The theme of ministry for the past several weeks is discovering our progress in spiritual maturity by being effective in our Christian walk as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who is the only way to God. The early church believers were called followers of the way. The life of Jesus Christ is the turning point of all history. It is only Jesus Christ who is able to grant eternal life. The most important decision we make in this life is where we will spend eternal life. When we have made that choice we’re not only ready to die...we’re finally ready to live! Spiritual life is not a “religion.” It is a relationship with God.
Two great moments in our lives are when we are born, and when we discover why we were born. We were created for a reason—a real purpose. God has a personal plan for each one of us. His purpose in our lives can only be accomplished because of Jesus Christ. Last week Josiah Hodgett spoke to us about the “lifestyle of a disciple.” He stated that the term “disciple” means “learner,” or one who learns from a teacher. For believers, the term “disciple” refers to students of Jesus.
Discipleship then refers to a disciples transformation from some other world view and practice of life, into that of the life and lifestyle of Jesus Christ. In Romans 12:2 we are not to be conformed into this world’s mold, but to have a transformed mind so that we can discover God’s will and purpose for our lives.
Is it really worth it to follow Christ?
In Luke 18:29, 30 Jesus said, “I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brother or wife or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, - who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Peter had just told Jesus that he and the disciples had left all to follow him and had asked Jesus in Matthew 19:27, “Therefore, what shall we have?” He was wondering, “What do we get for following Christ? Is it really worth the sacrifices we’re making? Or , are we fools to give up everything to follow Christ?” Jesus knew Peter’s need for some assurance and reminded him that to “forsake all to follow him will have many benefits.” The motivation for following Christ should not be just to get the benefits. We follow Him because He is the one who He claimed to be, the Savior and Messiah. But He does reassure of some promised benefits for serving Him.
1. You get blessings in this life. (Mark 10:30) Jesus promises that you will receive many times (100 times) as much at this time.
2. You get blessings in eternity. (Matthew 18:22) Jesus said that you will have treasures in heaven. The blessing of eternity is living in the presence of God in His glory and with His angels and His saints.
3. You get trials in life as the privilege of suffering for Him. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12 “Faith that is tested by fire will find praise, honor, and glory on the day when Jesus is revealed to the whole world.” I Peter 1:7