Friday, 16 November 2018


Scripture:  Matthew 28 v 18 - 20: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

The Great Commission Jesus gave His disciples just before He ascended to Heaven is still as relevant today as it was then.  

"Only a disciple can make a disciple." - A. W. Tozer.
Tozer was a man to whom discipleship was on top of his agenda.  Not that making a disciple was to be like him but like Jesus.

The modern church has lost sight of true discipleship and has exchanged it with emphasis on being politically correct even if it means contradicting everything Jesus stood for and died for.  The church is now back under the laws of man, as was seen in the Dark Ages, and seemingly unafraid of God and His judgment.

"Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

To return to the faith of the first disciples is the only way of rectifying the state of the church that is in a state of churchianity.  It means moving away from the traditions of man built in over twenty centuries, and realising what Jesus said about them.
Matthew 15 v 8 - 9: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
 9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

"Many Christians have what we might call a 'cultural holiness'. They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God." -- Jerry Bridges

To reach the goal God desires for us we need to conform to His character.  We need to find out what He loves and love those things too.  We need to know what offends Him and be equally offended at those things, no matter what the rest of humanity think about it.  

"We have suffered from the preaching of cheap grace. Grace is free, but it is not cheap. People will take anything that is free, but they are not interested in discipleship. They will take Christ as Savior but not as Lord." - Vance Havner

There are teachings on grace that have been twisted out of the shape God intended.  Jesus in our hearts is like yeast in flour.  It changes every particle of dead flour into living dough that becomes bread.  The food of life.  Jesus changes our deadness, spiritual inactivity, into a living disciple on a mission for Him.  Our new life must in turn create life in those around us.

We are not members of some club which draws in people by the quality of its entertainment, but members of Christ's resurrected Body.  When we lift Him up for the world to see, He draws them to Himself.  We are out in the world to make disciples appointed by royal authority.

There are many things in Britain that bear a crest saying By Appointment of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  This means the goods on offer must be of the highest quality.  True Disciples wear an invisible crest from the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, By Appointment, and are the very best in His Kingdom.

If He sends out quality controllers to inspect His disciples, He expects to find people using the talents He has given them to be making more disciples.

"It is impossible to live the life of a disciple without definite times of secret prayer." - Oswald Chambers

"Because God disciplines those He loves, He will take drastic measures to get our attention if we need to grow up spiritually." - Crystal McDowell

Let us start praying in our secret closets to first of all shed everything that has crept into our lives to water down the full power of the gospel.  Let us fast and pray for two or three days on water only, shut in with God and start really listening to Him.  No food, TV, books, sports, entertainment or fun.  If we just give this time to Him we will see real transformation in our lives.  

The root of discipleship is discipline.  Like a Marine.  Honed to meet any adversity.  Are we spiritually honed and ready for battle?  Are our swords sharp and able to cut through everything false and unworthy?  Is our communication with our Commander in Chief connected properly so we hear and obey without question? Or are we dull of hearing?

Are we receiving input from too many different voices and not discerning truth from error?  We need to audit our lives and see what we are giving to God and glory, and what we are withholding from Him. 

Remember, our God responds to what we do first.  If we forgive, He forgives us.  If we give to those on the battle lines, He meets our needs as in Luke 6 v 38: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

"Take the words of Jesus and let them become the Supreme Court of the Gospel to you." -John G. Lake

John G. Lake lived 100 years ago and was a true apostle.  His books make a sure foundation for anyone needing to restore true faith and proper discipleship.  However, nothing replaces the Word of God as the real standard of truth and doctrine.  Reading, understanding and doing what the Bible says is all we ever really need.  It is the full CV of Jesus Christ.  He is the Word made flesh.

We can measure our discipleship by the amount of time we spend reading the Word and praying.  These are what ignites our zeal to serve our Almighty God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we desire to be true disciples of Jesus and if we have fallen short of Your plan for us please forgive us and restore us to the right path.  Time is growing short and we need to be ready for any eventuality.  Lord we love You, we worship You, in Spirit and in truth.  In Jesus' name. Amen.