In the world but not of it

August 24, 2010

Called…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you. 1 Timothy 6:12

We are called by Jesus…

The verb “disciple” occurs only 25 times in the New Testament (6 in the gospels). The noun “disciple” comes no less than 264 times, exclusively in the Gospels and Acts.

The noun “disciple” indicates someone who would submit themselves to their master with the hope of being a teacher one day themselves. In other words, it means to be a student of something or someone.

In Rabbinical circles one would choose his own master and voluntarily join his school, but with Jesus, the calling or the initiative is entirely orchestrated by Him.

Jesus told us “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16)

When we see ourselves as personally chosen as disciples by Jesus, this changes our whole attitude towards Him and motivates us for the work He has instructed us to fulfill. An example would be If someone has been chosen to represent his country in the Olympics his attitude and approach to his event would be quite different from someone who has chosen to go as a spectator.

That person would have a strong sense of responsibility and would be totally dedicated, something that the most enthusiastic tourist could never have.

As disciples of Christ we have been personally called and commissioned, and unless we realize this we will not have any real sense of our responsibility to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him.

We are called to Jesus…

It is important to know that we are called to Jesus Himself, not to a religious system or school. The Jewish disciple and Greek students in bible times committed themselves to a specific teaching or cause.

But the call to Jesus is wholly personal, as disciples we are to follow Him, be with Him, and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Him.

When Buddha was dying his disciples asked him how they could best remember him. He told them not to bother. It was his teaching, not his person that counted.

With Jesus it is different. Everything centers on Him. Discipleship means knowing Him, loving Him, believing in Him.

We are called to obey and serve Jesus…

Jesus calls His disciples to unconditional obedience for the whole of their lives. We shall never graduate this side of heaven or get beyond a life of obedience. When you and I go on holiday we are never on holiday from the Lord.

This may sound adolescent to even mention but many treat their relationship with God like a relationship to a program not a relationship to a person.

Yet this is the great obstacle in the church today. Each Christian wants to make the rules, bend the rules and then break them all over again. Our walks changes too often because our hearts are not rooted.

Many are called to believe but few are called to surrender!

Notice what the Scripture says in Luke 14:28-30 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.  They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

The parable of the constructing a builder has the underlying lesson of counting the cost. What Jesus is teaching us here is that any particular effort involves counting the cost. In the NKJV verse twenty eight uses the phrase “does not sit down first and count the cost”, which in the original language implies an attitude of deliberation.

A servant should not demand certain conditions of services. Jesus demonstrated the spirit of service in a way in which the disciples never forgot, by washing their feet.

He taught the principle of serving and loving one another rather than delegating or excusing themselves from service, something that many people in leadership seem to forget.

Many count the cost of following Jesus, rather than counting the cost of not following Him.

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