Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discipleship Series – The Response

In this series of discipleship we will be looking at what a disciple is, what a disciple does, what disciplines a disciple should practice and how a disciple goes forward. I will include some excerpts from my new book, that I hope will add emphasis to this series.

The last article focused in on the definition of a disciple, as a student or a follower of a specific doctrine. In the minds of some people the word Disciple means only those who follow Jesus, but that is not true.

The world is a disciple of it's self, it's values and it's own ways, following it's lies and deceit, believing its own press. I use the term world, as those who refuse to believe and accept anything except what they can see, hear, feel, smell and taste (the five carnal senses) believing this all there is to life. However there is a whole new dimension that exists, the spiritual realm – Jesus is the physical appearance of our invisible God.

The beauty of God's design of our minds is He has given us the ability to set priorities on all the information we receive. We are bombarded literally with millions of pieces of data constantly and instantaneously we assign a value to it. We focus and retain those things that are important to us, and continue to sort other things in order of importance, finally kick out useless pieces of data, in less than a nanosecond! Quite impressive.

Try it for yourself. Listen to the evening news, what things catch your attention? Is it the weather, the economy, uprisings around the world or a sale at a local market. Things which make your ears perk up, those are the things you remember and assign a higher value.

When Jesus began his mission, he needed people to be his students. As Jesus was walking along the Galilean shore he began giving an invitation to the locals to come follow him. We find in scripture that he gained four followers right away. James and John left their father sitting in their boat on the lake and Peter and Andrew dropped what they were doing and followed him. I am always amazed when I read this account.

When they heard the voice of Jesus, nothing else mattered. They had a sense that this voice was the only voice in the world and instantly obeyed. These guys weren't perfect as we learn from scripture, but they were God fearing men. Their ears were listening for his voice

Please enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 12

Come An Invitation

When the Lord called His disciples, He simply said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), that was all He said. There was no further discussion about what they would do and they didn’t ask how. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, then James and John He proposed the invitation and they dropped what they were doing immediately and followed Him.
These were humble fishermen from a small fishing community. Fishing was their livelihood, if they didn’t fish, they had no other way to provide for their families. The Lord knew their situation and still called them to follow Him.
Peter, James, John and Andrew were not the only fishermen along the Shore of Galilean Sea that day. I can imagine Jesus walking along the shore, coming upon others working and making the same offer. The scriptures are silent on any other responses. I can imagine some of their replies, can you? “Who are you? And why would I want to follow you?” or “Can’t you see we are working to support our families?” or “Are you nuts, move along, quit bothering me”.
When the Lord came upon these other people, He did just as they asked, he moved on down the shoreline. He always accepts those who are willing to respond. Does that sound familiar to you? The Lord calls to us with the same invitation, “Come follow me”, but many times we say the same things, “I’m too busy” or “Why should I give up on what I’m doing to step into the unknown?” or “Religion is too complicated.”

Since the Resurrection of Jesus two thousand years ago, he continually is calling out to people to come and follow him. He is not calling to punish lay burdens on you, like the yoke of religion can do. No, he is calling out to offer new life, hope and freedom.

The world as a whole has heard of Jesus, but for various reasons, they reject His voice and teaching. Those of us who've accepted the invitation and believe what He said are are reaping the benefits of what He taught. We've been set free to grow in the truth and share that with others.

Have you accepted Jesus invitation to follow Him?

Next in this Discipleship Series – Follow the Leader


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I react the same way to the story of the first disciples. I know I would instantly wonder and worry about my family. I would probably hesitate, although I'd like to think I could walk away when called. Great post, Terrie.

From Carols Quill said...

I no longer watch the news for the reasons you mentioned. I don't want anything they have to say "catch my attention."

Love "follow the leader"!