Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship: Part Two

If you are just now joinging us, this is the second part of a series on the Cost of Discipleship. I suggest you start by reading Part One.

#2 Disciples must be Willing to Suffer for Christ
Speaking of Saul/Paul, Acts 9:14-16 says, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake.’”

“For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…” Philippians 1:29

I will be the first person to tell you that American Christians don’t know a thing about suffering for Christ. We assume that if someone makes fun of us or makes us feel inferior for our beliefs that we are enduring the worst kind of suffering for our faith. Yes, those things are a form of suffering, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who can literally lose their lives for following Christ or claiming to be a Christian. If you want to read about real Christian suffering read the Jesus Freaks books. They will give you a small taste of what it’s like in other parts of the world.

“The heart of discipleship, beloved, is a commitment to Jesus Christ. That means that you're willing to publicly identified with Him no matter what that cost.” – John MacArthur

Tune in next time for the Cost of Discipleship Part Three!

The Jesus Freak Books:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship: Part 1

Last week, in Discipleship 101, we covered the very basics of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. As Christians we are Christ’s disciples. We should daily be striving to be more like Christ—more like our Master. Jesus taught His disciples that if they truly wanted to follow Him and be like Him there would be sacrifices they needed to make. It was going to cost them—not necessarily money—but it would cost none the less. So today we are going to talk about the cost of discipleship.

#1 Disciples must Put Christ First
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 NASB

John MacArthur once said, “Discipleship... more than just being a learner, being an intimate follower, having an intimate relationship, following to the point where you would go as far as death out of love.” This is what it means to put Christ first. This is what it means to take up your cross. It means that no matter what trials or suffering or pain or ridicule you face as a Christian you will continue to seek God and His will for your life and make decisions for your life based on the Word of God and its truth rather than turning to your desires or whatever seems easiest or right at the moment.

Tune in next week, for the Cost of Discipleship: Part Two!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Discipleship 101

Too often Christians go around speaking church-ese and expecting everyone to understand them. They take for granted that everyone knows all the church lingo and should understand them perfectly when often people don’t. Today I want to talk about being a disciple.

Who/What is a Disciple?
The definition of a disciple is:
• A follower of a master, spiritual teacher, religious leader, or guru
• One who lives by the teachings and lifestyle of his/her master
• One who holds the standards and ideals set by his/her master
• One who wants to be like his/her master

The New Testament uses the Greek word mathetes when talking about disciples. This word generally refers to a student, pupil, or apprentice.

What does is mean to be a Disciple of Christ?
As Christians we are to be Christ’s disciples, but what does that really mean? Considering what we have just learned. Being Christ’s disciples literally means to be an apprentice of Christ—one who holds to the standards and ideals set by his master and wants to be like his master. We are to be followers and imitators of Christ.

This is Discipleship 101. Now that you know what it means to be a Disciple of Christ, next week we will talk about the Cost of Discipleship.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thinking Back on David Nassar

I was thinking back today about this guy called David Nassar. Nassar is an author and evangelist. I have heard him speak and it's amazing to see and hear the passion that God has given to this man. In reflecting, I realized that part of the reason Nassar is so passionate and his faith is so real is that it cost him. Becoming a Christian wasn't just something that he did on a whim. Below, I have included a video of a portion of Nassar's testimony.

David Nassar was born in Iran. He grew up as a Muslim in a Muslim household. Later, his family moved to America. After high school David was invited to church by a friend and eventually he chose to follow Christ. When he decided to get baptized his family disowned Him--a common practice in Muslim families when someone leaves the faith. Still Nassar followed Jesus. I believe that God rewarded David's obedience and sacrifice and blessed it by allowing him to see each of his family members come to Christ.

Would you be willing to give up everything you know to follow Christ? What about all your possessions? What about your family? If you answered "No" maybe you should stop and take some time to consider who Jesus really is to you.