Tuesday, 30 March 2010

So what is a disciple? (Part 4)

I am still focused on some of the effects of a person who is fully following Jesus.

A disciple is someone who:

4. Is committed to others in sacrifical 'Koinonia' fellowship

Rick Warren says that true meaning of fellowship is 'being committed to one another as we are to Christ'. WOW, think about that!

This is a great testimony and witness to our discipleship (John 13:24-35)

This is more than just ordinary human love. It is the kind of love that God demonstrated to us. It is unconditional love that does not look for a return to stimulate it's action. God loved us while we were still sinners!

1 John 4:10-11 (New International Version) This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[a] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

The only chance of this happening is to open ourselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us that, 'God has poured out his love into our hearts by his spirit'(ROM 5:5)

A Question to ponder: Is my heart filled with God's love to such an extent that I am able to love others in a sacrificial way?

So...... YOU GUESSED IT.... How are you doing?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

So what is a disciple? (Part 3)

My thoughts today are around the effects of Jesus at work in the life of a person who is fully following Jesus.

What is a disciple?

A disciple is someone who:

3. Lives in a fruit-bearing relationship with Jesus

Before Jesus went to the cross he told his disciples what his desire for them was, that they 'bear fruit and fruit that lasts'. (John 15:4-5) NIV. A key word in this passage is 'remain'. If you are REMAIN IN the vine, the promise is that you will bear much fruit; THEN A WARNING...apart from me you can do nothing.

Watlon Moore writes: 'Our union with Christ makes possible a life through which others can be saved. When a tree is so full of sap that it can no longer hold it, the result is fruit! When a Christian is so full of Christ, others see him and hear about him and are then spiritually reborn into the Kingdom of God. Thus, new believers are one fruit of discipleship'

While it is good and desirable to display the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23), it also carries the thoughts of personal witness, evangelism and soul winning. Without this kind of fruit-bearing in our lives the Kingdom of God will not be expanded.

I want to challenge you today to be passionate about your relationship with Christ. Do not allow anything to take your eyes off Jesus. Allow his word and his spirit to fill you continually and overflow from your life - bearing fruit.

How are you doing?

Friday, 26 March 2010

So what is a disciple? (Part 2)

The second point today is a great challenge to us all but crucial.

A disciple is someone who:

2. Commits their life COMPLETELY to the Master.

TOTAL commitment!! A half-hearted commitment is not enough for Jesus to teach us effectively. Full Submission to him is a important to Jesus because he looks at our desire, heart and trust in him and his ways. He leads us in his love and he is committed to our spiritual growth.

Lets understand something here. Jesus has the right to demand a full on commitment to us as he gave his life for us. NO-ONE ELSE did! Jesus knew that the way to fruitfulness was the path of total commitment and so he point his followers in the same way. (Matt 16:24-25)

Hey, HIS commitment to us is sealed in his own blood, what he wants from us is a commitment of our total love. This is so that we will TRUST him in every step as he takes our life and moulds it in accordance to his will. The Apostle Paul caught the meaning of this in 2 Corinthians 5:15.

So how are you doing?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

So what is a disciple? (Part 1)

I have been thinking much about following Jesus recently...

A believer is called to follow (He is the leader!), to learn from him and to his example. We have been called to become what Jesus is the son of the father in whose life the will of God is fulfilled through commitment and obedience.

A disciple is someone who:

1. Lives continually by the words of Jesus (John 8:31).

This is not an occasional obedience rather one who is commits himself to follow through the teaching of the master. Don't go super spiritual on me here!! It is simply all about putting into practice the inspired word of God - The Bible, that has already been given to us.


Without the stable foundation of obedience to the word of God as the basis of our discipleship we are at the mercy of every subjective notion or feeling that comes along. I challenge us all who profess to be followers of Christ to be fully committed to obedience to God's word.

Like the man who built his house on the rock, we would be well prepared to weather any storm that comes our way.

So how are you doing?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Love has come for US ALL

This song inspired me today, totally anointed. Listen to the whole song. I am so thankful for what Jesus has done for me. 'EVERY heart is set free love has come for me. Marvel at his amazing Grace for you, the revelation of his love for you will bring us all to our knees in worship FOREVER MORE.

Awesome - Thanks to Mark Schultz and his band.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Success = Fulfilling the Great Commission

This is a great article By Rick Warren.

"Christ doesn’t expect us to produce more than we can but he does expect us to produce all that we can by his power within us. That is a lot more than most of us think is possible."

Jesus has given the church a job to do. We will either succeed or fail at it. I define our success as fulfilling the Great Commission. Using this definition, every church should want to be successful!

What is the alternative? The opposite of success is not faithfulness, but failure! Any church that is not obeying the Great Commission is failing its purpose for existing, no matter what else it does.

Jesus defined faithfulness in terms of behavior - it is a willingness to take risks that require faith in order to be fruitful.

The clearest example of this is the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The two men who doubled the talents the master gave them were called “good and faithfulservants.” In other words, they proved their faithfulness by taking risks that produced fruit. They were successful at the task that they had been assigned, and they were rewarded for it by the master

The passive, fearful servant who did nothing with the talent he was given produced no results to show the master when he returned. He was called “wicked and lazy” in contrast to the two servants called “faithful” who produced results.
"We expect too little from God and we attempt too little for him. If your ministry doesn’t require any faith, then you are being unfaithful."

The point of the story is clear: God expects to see results (fruit) that demonstrate our faithfulness. While others defined faithfulness as orthodoxy, Jesus defined faithfulness as productivity!

Faithfulness is accomplishing as much as possible with the resources and talents God has given you. That’s why comparing churches is an illegitimate way to measure success. Success is not being larger than some other church; it is bearing as much fruit as possible given your gifts, opportunities, and potential.

Christ doesn’t expect us to produce more than we can but he does expect us to produce all that we can by his power within us. That is a lot more than most of us think is possible. We expect too little from God and we attempt too little for him. If you’re not taking any risks in your ministry, then no faith is required to do it. And if your ministry doesn’t require any faith, then you are being unfaithful.

How do you define faithfulness? –

* Are you being faithful if you refuse to learn new methods that work?
* Are you being faithful to the message if you insist on communicating it in an outdated style?
* Are you being faithful if you insist on doing ministry in a way that is comfortable for you even though it doesn’t produce any fruit?
* Are you being faithful to Christ if you value man-made traditions more than reaching people for him?

I contend that when a church continues to use a method that obviously isn’t working- that is unfaithfulness!

Friday, 12 March 2010

A right attitude is so important

From an early age I realised having the right attitude was important. I watched people rise and fall, achieve or fail, get chosen or get passed by solely on the basis of their attitude. I have always tried to make the right decision to choose to display the right attitude daily as I recognise it influences the people around me. I remember an old teacher telling me, 'Mark your attitude is a choice' and that comment has remained with me to this day and I believe it to be true.

I am learning a few things:

1. I need to take responsibility for our own attitude
2. Decide to change areas in my life where I know I have a bad attitude
3. Think, act and conduct myself life the person I want to become
4. Place a high value on people
5 Start to really appreciate life

Everyday I want to make adjustments necessary to keeping my attitude right. This really matters to me because it is all about personal growth. Remember, no one is going to be more passionate about it than you!

Make adjustments! I challenge you to start to look for something positive in everything. Find someone positive in every situation. Say something positive in every conversation. Remove negative words from your vocabulary. Express gratitude to others daily.