A disciple is a learner and discipleship is one who is a follower of a teacher. The idea of discipleship in Scripture is that one is a follower/student of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the New Testament and especially in the Gospels Christ is referred to as the Teacher very often. Yes, Christ was and is the Master Teacher. Christ taught with parables, miracles and public encounters with numerous times, places and individuals.
There are many references in Scripture to discipleship, but one of the most pungent is located in the Gospel of Luke chapter 14. Verse 25 sets the stage for the remaining 10 verses, “And there went great multitudes with him and he turned and said unto them…” What the Lord Jesus said to this multitude of followers is that I shall give unto you the test of discipleship or we might say the hindrances of discipleship. In speaking to this multitude of followers He on more than one occasion used the word “cannot” in his teachings. Discipleship in this passage can be determined by some rather defined illustrations and explanations. For our study today let us focus on six thoughts that the Master Teacher said to His followers (Remember the Lord chose 12 disciples and personally taught them @ three years. Remember also the great New Testament Paul said, “I have learned…”
Let us be reminded as we observe these 6 powerful thought and teachings presented to His followers with the word “Cannot” emphasize. In each of the 6 illustrations a contrast, conditions and conclusions are recorded. Please take time to read and reread these 10 verses that are very attention getting.
Unbroken ties. One of the greatest hindrances to discipleship is the fact that we many times continue to hold to the circle of relationships developed previously. This verse gives many new believers a negative thought. However, the truth taught here is the contrast that now we have the wonderful Savior in our life. Our relationship with Christ is now to be compared and contrasted with any and all others.
Unused Crosses…Now as a Christian, one must identify himself with the Savior. It is the cross that the world associates Christ with. It is the cross that we too must identify ourselves with.
Unfinished Buildings…On a daily basis, God wants us to arise and count the cost of what may be before us as one of His followers. Too many times we are winging it. We face the world and its challenges without first going to the Teacher and guide. And building must have a plan and a blueprint.
Unfought Battles…The thought here is similar to the previous one but different in that one failed to get counsel. As a newer believer one must seek to gather around those who have fought the battle already.
Unoffered Possessions…For some reason it is the possession of things that can very easily bring defeat to believers and non-believers as well. God says in His Word that we cannot serve God and mammon or riches. One must read from Luke 18:18 the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Christ only wanted him to offer his great possessions but he would not and went away sorrowful.
Unsalted Salt…This of course is an interesting term “unsalted salt”. However salt is either salty or not salty. If it is not salty it is of no use. This salt seems to rehearse what the previous thoughts have said to us. One must know for sure that God wants us to grow up as one of His disciples.
”But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14.
Someone said of the English preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Mr. Spurgeon all your sermons sound alike,” to which he answered without apology, “yes, I take a text anywhere in the Bible and make a beeline for the cross.” It is said that 95% of Spurgeon’s sermon centered about the cross. Mr. Spurgeon is one of the most published authors in modern church history and if you have read any of his sermons one knows that he speaks on many, many Bible subjects. What is meant by this statement is that Mr. Spurgeon always brought salvation into his messages and of course the cross is the place to go.
Perhaps it would be good this year of 2015 to direct more of our time and attention to the work and ministry of the Cross of Christ to reinforce our standing as a child of God and to point others to the cross as well. John 19:25 begins with these words, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus…” We often quote Galatians 2:20 beginning, “I am crucified with Christ…”
The cross is the heart of the Gospel, the sum and substance of all that God has done for man and all that man has done against God. On the cross the Son of God paid the supreme price, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness
The cross is prominent in the Old Testament. We could begin in the Garden of Eden and the right and wrong sacrifice which points to the Savior and the Cross. Of course, there are many more examples that we can go to as well but let us choose. Perhaps my favorite is Numbers 21:7-9, where the serpent of brass is placed on a pole in the wilderness and Jesus Himself makes reference to it when He does witness to Nicodemus in the Gospel of John chapter three.
The cross is central in the New Testament. It was the message of John the Baptist the fore-runner of the Lord when he introduced Him as “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” It was Peter that proclaimed Christ as the crucified one on the day of Pentecost. It was Paul who traveled across Asia and Europe and magnified the cross to many as he helped to establish new churches.
The cross is a fact of history. One hundred and seventy-five times His death is mentioned in the New Testament. In the last twenty-four hours of our Lord’s life thirty-two prophecies were fulfilled. Twenty-five of the 89 chapters of the four Gospels’ accounts speak of His death.
What do we see when we look at the cross? The Romans saw another helpless victim of imperial tyranny. The Greeks saw another blight on their culture and on the history of civilization. The Jews saw another false messiah dying. One of thieves saw another criminal dying with him. The other thief saw the Just dying for the unjust. God saw His Son dying for the sins of the whole world. We see Christ, our Savior, bearing our sins in His own body on the cruel cross.
Take some time and look for the many, many song titles with the message of the cross. However, our prayer should be in the words of this old song, “Jesus, keep me near the cross.”
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. Paul of course is addressing the church in Philippi because of their help to him while a prisoner. The church had sent Epaphroditus to bring to him a supply as he was held up in prison. Space will not permit us to describe the conditions in the prison where Paul was being held. Paul was sending a thank you note to this church for their help in his hour of need. While in prison Paul writes in chapter one, Paul sees Christ as his life “For to me to live is Christ Chapter 1:21.” In chapter two, Christ is the model of true humility, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus chapter 2:5.” Chapter three presents Christ as the One “Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” 3:21. In chapter four, He is the source of Paul’s power over circumstances, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” 4:13.
It is the Apostle Paul who as we read of his many temptations, his many exploits in sharing the gospel and his many physical confrontations suffered that has a right to say to us in this great promise in Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Many times in quoting this verse we use the plural of the word need as “needs” rather than just the singular used here as “need”. When God sees our life He sees the need as He sees us and He sees our need encompassed as one. Amen.
Join with me as we take this verse and look at the several aspects of this blessed promise. We will take a moment and look at just five thought that embrace this glorious verse.
“ALL YOUR NEED…” A GREAT NECESSITY. It is difficult of course to try and comprehend the truth of these three words. Try to calculate what all your needs are and all those around you and all those that you may know somewhat and then those that you do not know. God is able to supply “all your need”. Someone said not our wants but “all our need”. Mainly this verse should turn our attention for 2015 upward from “whence” cometh our help.
“MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED” A GREAT HELPER. Some of us may think that for some reason the Lord did not supply our needs last year or that he is not able to supply our needs this year so let us go to our great helper and seek His help and supply.
“MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED” A GREAT SUPPLY. Are we now ready and willing to cast all our care upon Him for He careth for us? God is the creator and sustainer of life. God, we must admit, has the resources to meet our need.
MY GOD…RICHES IN GLORY” A GREAT RESOURCE. This supply is not coming from organization or worldly sources but from His riches in glory. The needs are great but can we compare them with His riches in glory?
“ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES…BY CHRIST JESUS”. A GLORIOUS CHANNEL. We have looked at our need and we have looked at the riches and resources but how do we receive this supply? The channel of our supply is “by Christ Jesus”.
There will be a Men’s Meeting on Saturday (1/10) at 4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. All men (ages 12 and up) are encouraged to attend. There is a cost of $5 that will cover a meal that will be provided.
The Ladies Soul-winning will start up again on Tuesday (1/6) at 9:30 in room 321. Whether you are a seasoned soul-winner or new to soul winning, please join us. There will be a pot-luck brunch so please bring a favorite dish to share. Childcare provided through 6th grade. For questions or more information, please see Mrs. Carrie Frost.
Genesis 1:5…”God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Another year has gone and the mystery of time again challenges us. Job said, “My days are swifter that a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6); as one looks backward it seems almost as if the years pass swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.
We measure time by clocks and watches. However, since the dawn of time man has attempted to measure time by many and varied objects including the hourglass. Today we have modern and sophisticated time pieces. But all clocks and time pieces, whether ancient or modern, tell out the same relentless story, time moves on and someday for all of us, time will merge into eternity.
Time is a strange thing. Let us consider some of the important lessons that “time” should teach us.
TIME NEVER MOVES BACKWARD. IT CANNOT BE RECALLED. How often do we say or hear the statement, “I wish I had that moment, day or year back?”
TIME HAD A BEGINNING AND TIME WILL HAVE AN END. The Book of the Revelation tells us that “time shall be no more”. Yes, there will be the sober truth that time will have an ending.
TIME WILL MERGE INTO ETERNITY FOR ALL OF US. This should and must be one of the most solemn thoughts that enter the human mind. There is an eternity and each of us will live there in one of two places prepare for the human race. Those two places are heaven and hell. What we do with the Lord Jesus Christ determines where we will spend eternity. (See Romans 6:23).
TIME IS MEASURED; TIME IS SHORT, FOR ALL OF US. Sometimes we are engaged by the statement, “your time is short”. Time is short for our Christian service. We are admonished to make our time count. As we look back over the past year how did time serve us or better still how did we serve time? Time may be short for those of us who read these words of admonition regarding time. For our unsaved friends the Scripture states, “Today is the day of salvation, now is the time”.
TIME AND MATERIAL THINGS ARE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED, AND WILL BOTH PASS AWAY. “We look not at things which are seen: for the things which are seen are temporal”—connected with time— “but the things which are not seen are eternal.” The question is, “where are we looking?” Further still, where are we making our investments? God does say that we could and should lay up for eternity
WE SHOULD REMEMBER THE EXHORTATION, “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” The word “redeem” means to “go into the market and buy up.” God is instructing us to make the very best use of the time before us in 2015.
GOD IS ABOVE TIME. God made time for mankind not for Himself. “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (11 Peter 3:8). I like what Moses wrote in Psalms 90:12, “So teach us to number our days…” If we number our days then most likely the year will be a more profitable one. Again the psalmist says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made”.
All Couples are invited to a New Year’s Fellowship on Wednesday (12/31) from 5-9 pm in the Fellowship Hall. This is a Pot-luck Fellowship so please bring a dish or dessert to share. Drinks will be provided. For questions or more information, please contact Brother Eric Rader
The mid-week service normally scheduled for Thursday (1/1) has been moved to Tuesday (12/30) at 7:00 pm in the Main Auditorium.
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