Monday, April 01, 2013

Quiet Moments With God -- Dare To Be A Disciple

Easter weekend has come and gone, but so many images of Jesus life and death remain with me. I watched the Passion of the Christ, as I always do this time of year, as well as the mini series on the history channel, The Bible. There were many thoughtful posts on Facebook. And images from Easter Sunday church are still with me.

It is Monday, but I haven't left Easter behind. And my mind is captivated by Jesus' disciples.  

Last night after watching the final episode of The Bible I was glad to see that they didn't exclude what followed the resurrection of Christ. The disciples who were closest to Christ suffered greatly. Many were killed for their faith.

When speaking to the disciples in John chapter fifteen, verses18-21 this is what Jesus said. If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And me, for they have rejected the One who sent me.

The disciples didn't fully understand what was in their future or their Lord's future, but they followed. When the Holy Spirit came to them after Jesus' death, they knew what they were meant to do and they did it, understanding that they would be persecuted and that some of them would die.

I don't know what is ahead for Christians here in the United States. It seems persecution toward Christians is on the rise. In places around the globe Christians are dying because of their faith. Even so, we are called to share God's truth with the world, with our neighbors, and even with those we know only via the internet. In that case, what a beautiful gift technology is.

Sadly, too many believers have decided that their own salvation is enough. They are wrong--it is not. Oh, heaven is waiting for all believers, but God has asked us to be His disciples.

It's scary to step out. We ask -- What can I do? Who am I, to tell others? I'm no one special. I'm not a great speaker. I'm not a theologian or a teacher.

And so I ask, who did Jesus choose? A tax collector, fishermen, everyday fellows, not learned scholars. As a brand new believer I was filled with the joy of my new life and I was compelled to tell everyone about Jesus and what He had done for me. I didn't know much, except that my heart was filled with joy and hope instead of despair. And I knew God loved me. And so armed with very little knowledge but much zeal I told anyone who would listen, about Jesus. Not everyone appreciated my fervor.  :-)

I never imagined that one day I would teach Bible studies, speak to women's groups or write books. All that mattered then was that I wanted others to know Jesus and how beautiful it felt to belong to Him. And that they could know joy and be assured that one day they would live with God in heaven. All they had to do was believe.

Discipleship is a risk. But if we begin first with our love of God and if we believe and then step out, God will do the rest. He will open the doors, and then we must step through them. Like newborn colts, we may stand on wobbly legs but the Lord will help us walk and the Holy Spirit will guide and teach.

I do not know what the future holds. Life is uncertain and the world is a scary place. But this world is not our home. We are only passing through. How wonderful would it be if while we are here we help others know the One True God so they may also spend eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.

I will be forever grateful for the first band of disciples. Without their faith and courage I would never have known my Savior. And I am grateful for the men and women who have come alongside me to help me along on my journey. Thank you, Kathy, Alice, Lois, Ed and . . . well there is too long a list, but I am not the same because of those who were willing to step out of their comfort zones and reach out to me.

Do you have someone you'd like to thank or tell us about? I'd love to hear!

Go, therefore, and tell the world!

Grace and peace to you from God,


No comments:

Post a Comment