My dear wife Karen and I were driving home Saturday evening after enjoying a wonderful dinner at our favorite restaurant and the Lord just began pouring out His wisdom to me and I shared much of it with Karen. I realized that He would have me share it with you.
Too often, for most…every day, Christians begin their days already spiritually defeated before they even leave the house. Why is that? Primarily we have not counted the cost of following Christ. Funny how we donâ€™t do what He clearly says in His Word! Actually it is sad.
Most Christians use the word disciple as a verb and while it is an important part of sanctification, if we are not already a disciple, in other words the noun form, then we cannot be discipled. The noun must come before the verb.
The Greek noun for disciple is mathetes and it means not only disciple, but also student, follower, a committed learner and follower. Greek philosophers such as Socrates had disciples, young men who were committed learners and followers of the great philosopher. They made the commitment to leave their homes, give up all they had to study under the great philosopher. This is what Jesus was speaking of in Luke:
â€œThen He said to them all, â€˜If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Fatherâ€™s, and of the holy angels.â€™â€ (Luke 9:23-36)
When we get saved it is because we are a disciple of Jesus Christ; we have surrendered our life to Himâ€¦He is in charge.
As for the verb form of disciple, you cannot find it in the Bible. At least you will not find it transliterated as disciple; it is usually used as â€œtaughtâ€, â€œteachâ€ or â€œlearnâ€. And when you look up the verb form of disciple in the dictionary, Random House defines the archaic verb form as â€œto convert into a discipleâ€ and the obsolete verb form is â€œto teach; train.â€ In other words it is not used that often in modern English.
The point is that if I do not start out as a disciple, then being discipled will be difficult at best. And hereâ€™s why.
The closer I get to Christ, the harder Satan tries to trip me up. Satan wants to destroy my walk with Christ; he wants me to be ineffective the Godâ€™s Kingdom. That is why Peter described Satan as a roaring lion:
â€œBe sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.â€ (1 Peter 5:8)
The mighty warrior Joshua knew that being a disciple meant following the Lord; it was a conscious decisionâ€¦one frankly that must be made each day:
â€œNow therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.â€ (Joshua 24:14-15)
That is not just some clever saying we hang over the entrance of our home; that is a real life commitment by a real life follower of the Lord. Do I make that commitment every day? The answer is easy to find. How do I start my day? Do I sleep in or do I get up early enough to read my Bible? Do I give me enough time in the morning to get the things done I need before I leave for work, or do I get up early enough to go to my prayer closet and spend time with Jesus?
If I find my Christian walk routine, then that is the first sign of trouble. I can be sure that I am ineffective for Christ. How can I be sure? Well, when I am in Christian cruise control, when was the last time I shared the gospel with someone? Enough said!
If I am on the frontlines for Jesus would it not make sense that the enemy would send his best artillery to bombard my position? Of course it would because we are at spiritual war with Satan. He has declared war on Jesus and His followers and if you are in the battle you are going to have a huge bullseye affixed to your very soul!
So what should the Christian do? Be preparedâ€¦I donâ€™t know, maybe put on the full armor of God?
Sounds like a good subject to begin looking at tomorrow.
Have a blessed day in Christ.
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