Following the second session of Fear God, is the first session “Follow Jesus”. Appropriately placed, knowing who God is, aides in the following of Jesus, blending the reverence, fear, love amidst other characteristics, help us understand Jesus and and the importance of our modeling the righteousness demonstrated by Him.
The video lead to a great discussion, which released us to Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will complete his work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus returns. Paul gives a word of instruction and encouragement; informing the church that God had begun, and was at work in the life of the believer, changing them from the inside bit by bit.
Following Jesus is a journey that involves the process of change. This process is a combination of study, discipline, and application. As we study the teachings and learn ,more about the character of Christ, we gain the tools necessary to become more like Him. As Chan pointed out, it’s not enough to memorize and quote, we must add to it action. This action, requires us to apply what we have learned, and this application happens through discipline. Yes, discipleship requires discipline! This discipline is mad possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love that we have for our Lord.
As we discussed Discipleship, we highlighted the witness of the disciple that occurs through discipline. It was pointed out that our lack of discipline is a bad witness for the faith. Furthermore, our presentation could uses some tweets. The question was asked, “What would happen to your witness if you presented yourself as a work in progress and not a finished product?” Paul reminds us that we are a work in progress, yet many of us present ourselves as finished works. This presentation has earned the church a reputation of being filled with hypocrites.
Luke writes, in the 14th chapter “and if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you can not be my disciple” (verse 27). He then continues, “But don’t begin until you count the cost.” Chan suggest that the problem with out faith is that it is filled with believers and not followers. He suggested that we would have more followers if we would stress the cost first.
Discussion insued from what it meant to carry ones cross, and the depth of what it meant to consider the cost. In carrying ones cross, it’s was stated that the cross represented sacrifice, lifestyle, denial and purpose.
As believers, God has a design and propose for us all. He calls us to a life of following Him, with the great commission as our mandate. We are to follow and carry the Gospel to a lost and dying world, denying self, matching our lifestyle to His, sacrificing any things that stands between Him and us, and carrying out our individual purpose on this earth. Our cross, is our responsibility. What is your cross? What have you been called to bare? Why have you been sent? Who have you been sent too?
Jesus considered the cost in the garden, and emerged saying, not my will, but the will be done. We too must do the same. We must have the “not my will attitude” to follow Jesus! To complete the Lords task, we must, as Jesus stated be willing to hate even our own lives, not considering it more valuable than obedience to God’s plan for us and for the world.
All this to Follow Jesus! We must be diligent in our efforts to bring God glory! And it’s is done through our lives. We must live lives of submission, keeping the will of God in front of our eyes and etched into our hearts. We are not made for pleasure, we are made for service. And though there are gains, focusing on the loses will help us keep a balanced perspective that will lead to meeting God’s approval.