Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peculiar Disciples

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

It takes a special kind of person to be a disciple because of what the meaning of the word entails. If being a disciple was something as easy as simply believing many would rush at the chance to become one. But many will not become one, not because they do not want to, but because they choose not to fulfill all the requirements of being one. Many would like to be a disciple of Christ, but not many are willing to wear the robe of the One they want to follow. Denying the wardrobe of a disciple causes many to be denied: "For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). To be a disciple, one must be willing to embrace the manners associated with the mentor.

Being a disciple of Christ means more than a simple acknowledgement of His being. It requires a heart-felt decision to allow God to mold you into His image. When God put out the call to mankind through His gospel, His desire was for all mankind to answer and become a Christian (1 Timothy 2:4). But His desire must penetrate the heart of the hearer so he or she will respond in a manner worthy of the call (1 Thessalonians 2:12). His desire is for the disciple to change mentors. Before we become a disciple of Christ we must be willing to relinquish our rights as a human to receive the blessings of being a spiritual follower of Jesus: “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:8-9). Paul makes it clear that a disciple gives up being pulled around by the flesh so they can be led by the Spirit of God.

Being a disciple of Jesus means to become more than a follower, it opens the door to becoming part of His family: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). Discipleship is a decision to sacrifice, suffer and surrender to the will of God and these are the ones Jesus calls His family. Many would like to be His disciple, but not many are willing to suffer through the surrender and sacrifice associated with the decision: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27). Jesus did not say it would be hard to be His disciple if one is not willing to commit to His call, but that this person cannot be His disciple. The desire to be a disciple alone is not enough to become one, it takes devotion, determination and yes, even death to self.

Many folks would like to become many things in life. I know many people that would like to become a doctor or a lawyer because of the wealth that goes with these careers. But not many of these folks are willing to go through the suffering or make the sacrifices that are needed to achieve these lofty goals. And although their desire for these professions may be great, without making the sacrifices required to attain these wealthy occupations, they cannot wear either of these titles. And so it is with becoming a disciple of the Christ, Who has come into this world to show us what it means to be a servant of God. But without embracing the lifestyle of the Mentor, a person, no matter how bad he or she desires it, cannot be made His disciple. Being a disciple of Christ means to be willing to die to the power of self, die to the power of sin and also to die to the power of satan to be made alive through the power of God (Romans 1:16). These three deaths cannot come into realization without the decision to surrender, suffer, and sacrifice your life for the will of God. This is what Christ did (John 4:34), and true disciples follow the Lord at all cost.

In His Grace,

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