All Posts Tagged: disciple
As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.
The church is like a wagon wheel. It is people (spokes) attached to Jesus (hub), kept in alignment with Him and each other by the Mentor (the outer rim). A wheel is designed for movement!
“As the Father sent me….” Jesus was on A Mission from God. When He called His twelve friends, He gave but one instruction: “Come, follow Me!” (Matthew 4:19) Whenever and wherever Jesus went, the twelve followed (it’s estimated that Jesus walked 3,125 miles during His three years of ministry). Most likely He originated the song, “On the Road Again.” By the way “Jesus never once said ‘worship me‘ but he often said ‘follow me!'” (“Breathing Under Water”, Richard Rohr)
“So I am sending you.” The church is a movement of people not a monument of bricks and mortar! Minutes before He was beamed up Jesus described the scope of the movement. “You will tell about Me … to the ends of the earth”. (Acts 1:8)
“God showed His love for us when He sent Jesus … to give us life” (1 John 4:9). Jesus was the Father’s Emergency Medical Service, dispensing the Medicine of Life: healing the dis-eased (physical, mental, spiritual, relational), rescuing the lost, mending the broken, embracing the outcast, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, befriending the lonely, promoting justice for those falsely accused, mourning with those who grieve, liberating those demon possessed, freeing the imprisoned, offering hope to those in despair.
“So I am sending you.” “The person who trusts Me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on My way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. Whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it” (John 14:12-14) The church is nothing less than a movement of ministry, doing the stuff Jesus did, so that people experience “life that is full and good!” (John 10:10)
You are together the body of Christ, and individually you are members of Him.
1 Corinthians 12:27
The story line of the The Ten Commandments is from the Bible. God miraculously delivered the Jews from 400 years of bondage for one reason: “They’ll realize that I … brought them out of Egypt so that I could live with them” (Exodus 29:46). After liberation the Jews are immediately instructed to build a transportable tent: “The people must make a Tent for Me, so that I may live among them.” (Exodus 25:8) When construction was complete, God moved in: “The Glorious Presence of God filled The Dwelling.” (Exodus 40:34) Then God said: “The twelve tribes of Israel are to set up camp around My Tent.” (Number 2:1)
Imagine a wagon wheel. There are twelve spokes imbedded in a central hub. The rim unifies the spokes in the hub. The twelve disciples (spokes) were connected to Jesus (hub). The Holy Spirit (outer rim) brought unity by keeping the dissimilar members in alignment. Note: there are no Lone Ranger followers of Jesus! If Peter wanted to follow Jesus, he had to relate to eleven other followers: “You are together the body of Christ, and individually are members of Him.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
What was vaguely illustrated in Exodus was fulfilled in Jesus: “The infinite Life of God took shape before us.” (1 John 1:2) and “fixed His tent of flesh among us; and we saw His glory.” (John 1:14) That’s why Jesus was called “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23) After Jesus “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14) “He chose twelve disciples to be with Him” 24/7. (Mark 3:14
You’ve just been introduced to the CHURCH as designed by Jesus! It’s a Community of Life; liberated persons connected to and camped around Jesus 24/7.
God gave us eternal life; this life is in His Son.
“So, whoever has the Son has life;
whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.
1 John 5:11-12
Imagine a solid gold table lamp. It has a cord at the end of which is a plug designed for connection to an energized receptacle. However, the expensive lamp is UNplugged. It can be seen and handled. But, from the perspective of purpose the gadget is LIFE-LESS! It merely exists. Everything changes when the cord is plugged in. Energized the lamp fulfills its purpose. The conclusion is simple: connection means power for purpose whereas separation signifies a lifeless existence.
“God gave us eternal [living at 100% satisfaction] life; this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11) Provided by the Maker, Jesus is the source of power uniquely generated for humankind. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry….” (John 6:35) “God invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline. It would not run properly on anything else. God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn,” (Mere Christianity, p 50)
“So, whoever has the Son has life….” (1 John 5:12) “Jesus said to the fishermen, ‘Come, follow ME!’ At once they left and went with Him.” (Matthew 4:19) “When we are called to follow Jesus, we are summoned to an exclusive attachment to His person” (Cost of Discipleship, p 49)
“Jesus came into the created universe, bringing with him new life. Everyone who gets it gets it by personal contact with Him” (C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity). (Mere Christianity, p 221)
Getting connected to others via phone, computer, car, train, or plane is costly. Attachment to your Maker is free of charge! Just get connected to Jesus. But wait! There’s more. You’ll also receive LGS without charge! It’s an offer you can’t refuse!
The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a common feature on cell phones. With it you can be guided anywhere. Directions are provided both visually and verbally. And, if you mistakenly or willfully choose the wrong road, the program will immediately reveal your mistake and provide a course correction.
We’re all seeking happiness. However, most of us are clueless about the best route, the one that guarantees optimum fulfillment … eternal life. So, we waste time and energy on detours that only lead to increasing levels of disappointment, frustration and emptiness.
Aware of our situation, the Maker designed a Life Guidance System, LGS, called “The Jesus Journey”.
Originally “Jesus recruited a band of twelve to be his traveling companions.” (Mark 3:14) “Come, follow ME!”(Matthew 4:19) On this journey Jesus is the North Star, the only point of navigation required.
At the end of his earthly journey Jesus told his followers: “The Father will give you another guidance counselor who will be in you” (John 14:16) and “make sense out of all that I have done and said.” (John 14:26) The Spirit of Jesus is an internal LGS app.
The Mentor’s task is to keep you “focusing on Jesus”. (Hebrews 12:2) He receives data from the Father that are meticulously tailored to your journey with Jesus. His primary methods are coaching, counseling and correcting.
That’s the Life Guidance System. And, here’s the best news. LGS is a free gift from the Creator! All that’s required is connection to the system. More about that later.
“Apple at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.” —Steve Jobs, addressing employees after returning (he was fired in 1985) to Apple as CEO in 1997
“You will tell about Me … to the ends of the earth!” —Jesus, CEO of the church, addressing eleven disciples just before He left the earthly scene
FACT: the Movement of Life, the church, conquered the Roman Empire in one century!
REASON: the early church was People of Passion!