Monday, January 25, 2010

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE?

``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````Matthew Matthew 28:19 says that we are to go into all the world and make "disciples"....

Earlier today I began a blog entry. Writers get inspiration from many things when they write. A beautiful sunset, a song, a current event, personal experience, even a statement by another author can send the wheels turning.

So was the case for me this morning. I have been using a devotional that was given me recently by a dear friend. It is powerful and thought provoking...the stuff that leaves you chewing on it sometimes for days.

The writer of this article made the following statement regarding the verse above, "The commission given to the apostles was to make disciples, not just "converts". This article prompted me to write an article based on the premise that one is either a "convert" or a "disciple", meaning that some PROFESS to be a believer, when in actuality it is more a mental assent than a true conversion.

The more I wrote, however, the more I realized that my writing was neither lining up with what the former writer REALLY said nor was it lining up with what I truly believe.

Now that you are probably thoroughly confused, let me explain the difference.

One can be a believer (convert) and not be a disciple. But...you cannot be a disciple and not be a believer.

The author of the statement quoted above was saying that the disciples were to `go into the world ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````go and "disciple" others...not just lead people to Christ and then abandon them to themselves. That I agree with and sadly, too often in today's church, that is exactly what happens. That is why there can be those who have professed Christ, genuinely and with heartfelt enthusiasm. Yet, if left undiscipled, they flounder and wander and often never grow past the stage ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````point``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` of the new birth.```````````````````````````````````````````````

That is why Paul referred to them as those who preferred the "milk" rather than the "meat". In Hebrews 5: 12-14 he says" For though by this time [approximately 4 years] you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach YOU again the basic principles of God's revelation. You need milk, not meat. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness because he is an infant. But solid food [meat] is for the mature...for those who senses have been trained to distinguish beween right and wrong." (Holcomb translation)

Paul was reprimanding the Hebrew believers for they had been believers for 4 years, but were still on a "milk" diet when by that time they should have been consuming "meat". This demonstrates to us that there are believers who never progress beyond the "milk" stage. As we talked about being malnourished yesterday by refusing to come to dinner, we can easily see how this can happen in a person's life.

One essentially chooses to become a disciple. He or she chooses to go on with God, to follow Him, to obey Him, to seek Him. It is a conscious choice.

In Biblical times when a person gave their slave his freedom, the slave could then CHOOSE to go on his way or CHOOSE to remain in the household of his master by his own free will. If he felt his master was good, honest and his staying would be more to his benefit than to leave, the master would take him to the city gate and there at the gatepost he would drive an aul through the slaves earlobe, thereby piercing it for all to see. From then on that piercing would signify that he was indeed free, but CHOOSING to serve His master. In the same way, when one chooses to be a devoted follower of Christ...i.e. a disciple...he is in essence becoming a "pierced ear Christian".

There are many who go through the motions, who have simply given mental assent to the Cross, who acknowledge God and who profess to be believers. Yet nothing ever transpired within their heart. They are not milk Christians. They are not Christians at all. They have been deceived to think that their good works or their church membership is equal to salvation. It is not.

I am thoroughly convinced that when the rapture occurs, if it should occur on a Sunday morning, many will be left sitting in the pews and not only that, but there will be a large number of pastors who are left behind as well.

Today I urge you to ask yourself these questions. Am I truly saved? Do I know that I know that I have trusted Christ and invited Him to take up residence within me? And, if I have, what is my testimony today? Past that conversion point do you have a story to tell of what God is doing in your life. Are you a "milk" Christian or a "meat" Christian? Would you consider yourself a "pierced ear Christian?

I hope as you ask yourself these questions, that you will realize where you are with the Lord and CHOOSE to go forward with Him with an undivided heart.
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