Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Path of Life

Biblical Discipleship Requires a Life of Sacrifice
by Rick Joyner

One of the great weaknesses of modern Christianity has been our devotion to making converts rather than disciples. When people are led to believe that all they have to do for salvation is raise their hand while standing in the back of a room, with every eye closed and every head bowed so as not to embarrass those who might slip up their hand, these “converts” are made to think that to be a follower of Christ will require little from them. However, true faith will require everything, including our lives. True discipleship is to no longer live for ourselves but for Him.  Biblical conversion is different than how many present it today. Those who committed their lives to being a follower of Christ were likely marked for martyrdom. Often their possessions and property were seized, and they lived their life not knowing if every day might be their last. The only way they could sustain a life like that was by growing in love for God and growing in faith. For them it was a better life than anyone else could have because their faith in God was better than any treasure or any possession.

True Christianity is the greatest adventure that can be had on this earth, and it is the most fulfilling life we could ever have, but it is also the most difficult. The integrity of the One whom we represent should compel us to be straightforward about the Gospel. Christianity is not for wimps. There is no place for self-pity or self-centeredness in the true faith. Yet, the more we are emptied of these things and our own ambitions, the richer and more fulfilling our lives will be. There is no freer person than the slave of Christ!

True Discipleship - Disciples of Christ are called to be “dead to this world.” This is where the greatest freedom comes. If we are dead, what can the world do to us? Those who live the life of the cross have no fear because what can a dead man fear? Those who are dead to this world do not fear troubles that others fear because their lives are built on another foundation.

Disciples live by the power of the age to come, not by the powers that control this present world. As this world and the powers that control it crumble, true disciples will not even be shaken, but will be on solid ground and able to pull others out of the quicksand. True disciples who have access to kingdom resources, will not be impressed by the wealth of this world. It seems from the gospels that Jesus did not even carry earthly money, He did not need to because He had access to much greater resources anytime He needed them. We will not get to this stature of faith immediately after we become disciples, but “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him.” (Ephesians 4:15) Jesus would not have called us to depend upon Him for every need if we could not attain it. We can do nothing more important than to depend on Him. This is biblical discipleship.