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I Have Decided

One failure of the church in this modern time is making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Follow Up

Who are you following?

This is the thought that has run in my mind these past few days. It is not a statement borne out of ignorance. It is clear in churches today. Many are the people who claim to have followed Christ but few are those who really committed their life to become like Him in character and even in His suffering.

David Platt once preached about Matthew 4:17-22. I learned from him the three categories of disciples in the Bible: There’s the casual disciple, majority of the people who followed Jesus and listened to His teachings fall on this category. They are the people who happened to just like Jesus and His lessons but never really digging into them. Then comes the convinced disciples. These are people who like His teachings, convinced about them and wanted to know more. But when Jesus began teaching the things that are hard to swallow, they stopped on their tracks, not really wanting to do every thing Jesus’ commanded. Lastly, there’s the committed disciple. Few belong to this category. They are people who were with the Lord wherever He went. They followed Him all the way to His arrest and after His resurrection, went on to die in spreading His message. Which of the categories do you belong?

Taking Matthew 4:17-22, Luke 5:1-11, and David Platt’s sermon, I learned the following principles:

A committed disciple of Jesus Christ lives a life of repentance. Before Jesus went on to call the first four of His disciples, He was preaching about repentance in the countryside and the villages. No once can be a serious disciple of Jesus Christ without repenting of his sins. Repentance is not a mere change of mind, it involves a change of the whole heart and actions. It is not just a one time event; it involves a lifetime of transforming the mind and heart and actions.

Sadly, what is happening in churches today is the devaluing of repentance. We have put so much emphasis on having a peaceful relationship with God and forgot that to have that relationship, we must have a change of heart first. Having a new relationship with God is essential but we must have a new relationship with sin as well.

Secondly, a committed disciple lives a life of radical obedience. Peter, Andrew, James and John were busy when Jesus called them. Yet, they “immediately” left what they were doing to follow Him. Is “busyness” your excuse not to follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly? These fishermen were doing their job for a living yet they were willing to leave it all behind to become fishers of men. James and John even left their father alone to finish their work. Radical obedience is taking Jesus worthier than time with our friends, our comfort, or even the regard of our families.

Lastly, I learned that a committed disciple lives a life of resolute dependence. Wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ depend their life on the Lord’s grace alone. The command “Follow me” is an invitation to trust what Jesus can do. It is trusting Him and having His own way in us even if we think we are experts on what we do. It is trusting that only God can “make us fishers of men.” When Jesus called His disciples, He did not ask them to bring their diplomas, titles, medals, trophies, hidden talents, etc. with them. He just called them to follow Him and trust that out of these lowly Galileans, He would bring out people who would turn the world upside down.

I think the church should begin making committed disciples now and stop settling for casual converts. If you are a part in the body of the Jesus Christ’s church and wants the Great Commission obeyed in your local church, making disciples starts with you becoming a committed follower of Jesus Christ. However, do consider the cost. Don’t be like a man who started building a tower and failing to finish it because he ran out of budget.

The challenges of being a committed disciple: living a life of repentance and forsaking the pleasures of any sin; living a life of radical obedience and forsaking my comfort and even my family’s respect; living a life of resolute dependence on Jesus Christ and forsaking my “self-sufficiency.”

Have you decided?

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Sermons

 

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Wrap Up 3: All About Worship

ImageThoughts Art Ransomed (TAR) are random reflections I regularly post on Facebook. They are thoughts from my personal meditation of God’s word, songs, and statements I find from friends and other sources. This week’s series is all worship.

#TARSeries 015: Just because the Lord Jesus Christ freed me from the slavery of sin doesn’t mean that I can follow my own self now. I’m am still a slave. But this time, of a good Master and He is worth following to the end. For I am bought with His own blood.

#TARSeries 016: Any thing I deemed more important than my LORD’s time, words, and love is an idol.

#TARSeries 017: This is how I see my worth before: I’m so special that it took a King’s death to save me. This is how I see my worth now: I’m nothing without the King who died to save me. My Lord Jesus Christ is special; for without Him, I would be a trash, a filthy rag worthy for hellfire’s fuel.

#TARSeries 018: Times of loneliness taught me this: the glorious beauty of my Master’s presence is oftentimes best felt in the silence, where no drums and guitar distortions distract your attention from His glory.

#TARSeries 019: I am sorry for thinking that worship is all about the slow songs, for manipulating people’s emotions through feel good music on Sundays, for forgetting about it on weekdays and for thinking that it is all about me.

#TARSeries 020: “When the music fades and all stripped away, I simply come, longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart. Yes, I will bring You more than a song, for the song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within. You’re looking into my heart.” Always best spoken than sung.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Wrap Ups

 

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TAR Week 1 Wrap Up

Week 1 Wrap UpThoughts Art Ransomed (TAR) are random reflections I regularly post on Facebook. They are thoughts from my personal meditation of God’s word, songs, and statements I find from friends and other sources. This week’s series is all about being all in for Christ and what it means to be a Christian.

#TARSeries 001: Oftentimes I work driven by many things learned from the Bible school to the point of exhausting myself trying to be approved by men when only God’s approval matters. O that my heart would burn with the passion only for God’s name!

#TARSeries 002: I know nothing of the battles everyone is fighting through. So, I should be kind to everyone. Always. (From To Save A Life‘s Facebook post.)

#TARSeries 003: I’ve caused enough unnecessary hurts to many people for me to learn to live by this principle: SPEAK ONLY WHAT’S NECESSARY WHEN NECESSARY.

#TARSeries 004: I find it always necessary to speak about my Lord Jesus Christ everywhere everytime.

#TARSeries 005: I want this to be my epitaph: Here lies a stranger who wants to meet you in heaven and he wants you to know that the ONLY  WAY TO HEAVEN IS JESUS CHRIST.

#TARSeries 006: I should take my worth from the cross of Christ, not from my critics.

#TARSeries 007: I don’t wanna say a word unless it points the world back to You (taken from Hawk Nelson’s song, “Words”).

#TARSeries 008: I’m sorry for passing judgment instead of extending love (from a post by All In Power).

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Next weeks series: Things To Think About Before I Marry

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Wrap Ups

 

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