By Steve Troxel
In the message “Stand Firm On The Rock” we saw how Christ is the solid Rock upon which we have been set. He alone is our stable source of direction and strength. We will need to visit this truth again and again as we continue to answer the call to follow.
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to “Come, follow Me” (Matthew 4:19), He was calling them to become His disciples (the word disciple means follower). But Jesus placed strong conditions on a disciple; “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).
The call to be a disciple is not simply a call to live a good moral life. It’s a call to crucify (put to death) everything of our self that hinders our relationship with God. We must hold loosely to everything but God; “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).
The life of a disciple must clearly demonstrate a commitment to Christ by producing fruit for His Kingdom; “This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be My disciple” (John 15:8). A disciple must flow with pure love; “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). And a disciple must maintain a commitment to all Jesus taught; “If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples” (John 8:31).
Discipleship appears to be a VERY difficult call! It’s difficult to be His disciple and even more difficult to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In fact, if we focus only on these “requirements,” our task is impossible!! We are called to glorify God by drawing very near to Jesus and loving Him with all our heart; but in our own strength, we have no ability to draw near – no ability to be His disciple.
“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
When Jesus was “lifted up” on the cross and died for our sin, He provided the way back to the Father – the way to become His disciple. He drew us to Himself so we could be forgiven and stand in the presence of God. Likewise, the only way to draw near and follow today is to lift Him up to His rightful throne over our life and give Him our pure praise and absolute worship.
If we fail to lift up Christ, our efforts to carry our cross become nothing more than a list of restrictive rules; we will have no ability to produce Kingdom fruit, and our love for others will be selfish and artificial. Without a focus on Christ, our walk will become an impossible burden without direction. Let’s “make disciples” by first being His devoted disciple. And let’s be His disciple by ensuring that in ALL we do, we love Him and continually lift Him up.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Dec 1 Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26