RSS

Tag Archives: discipleship

Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 20

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-5-25-29-amClaiming to be a disciple of Moses was one thing.  Jesus has just told them in John 5 that theirs was a mere claim.  They weren’t really disciples of Moses.

They then claim to have certain knowledge about God speaking to Moses.  This they knew.  What they didn’t know was where “this fellow” came from!  And these were the leaders responsible for the spiritual safety of the people of Israel!

The ignorance of the man born blind (how he was healed) is matched by the ignorance of the religious leaders (regarding the identity of Jesus).  That kind of stalemate gave the man born blind an opportunity to perhaps exit the conversation.  But “in for a dime, in for a shekel,” as they say.  So he attacks!

“Now that is remarkable!  You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.”  Isn’t the man born blind really saying, “You’ve failed the geography test — which was a small matter — how in the world can you pass the miraculous one?”  And I think he used his brand new eyes to stare them down one by one.

What do you and I KNOW?  I mean, really?  We know that God loves us.  We know that He’s done something about our sin.  And we know that He is in the sight-giving business.  But only to those who recognize their own blindness and want it taken away.  (to be continued)

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2017 in discipleship

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 19

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-5-25-29-am“Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe.  I think you owe it an apology.” That’s a great insult!

I haven’t had insults hurled at me since, well, never! I guess that means I’ve never been in a situation — a standoff — with angry, religious gestapo who want to kill Jesus.

And then they talk about DISCIPLESHIP!  “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses.”  But were they?

In John 5, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus.  We read, “17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”  Later Jesus says, “45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Hmmm.  Jesus didn’t think they were very good disciples of Moses.  Jesus refers to Moses as “your accuser” and logically argues, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me.”  I wonder:  What steps had the Pharisees taken that had removed them from being disciples even of Moses(to be continued)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2017 in discipleship

 

Tags: , , , ,

Time for a Great Quote: Flannery O’Connor on Our Tastes Being Formed

Mary Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist.
“The high school English teacher will be Screenshot 2016-02-10 05.46.59 fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. He will teach literature, not social studies or little lessons in democracy or the customs of many lands.

“And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

(from Flannery O’Connor’s “Total Effect and the Eighth Grade,” published in The Georgia Bulletin in 1963, reprinted in Mystery and Manners)

Are you allowing God the Holy Spirit to form your tastes?

 

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2016 in learning

 

Tags: , , , ,

Following Jesus (video clip from Dr. John Ortberg)

How are you doing in “following Jesus”?

Do you love Him, trust, Him, admire Him?  Are you reading and re-reading His story, studying His teachings?  Are you actually seeking to do what He wants you to?

Isn’t prayer, in a sense, the asking of some of these Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 6.15.12 AMquestions?  No wonder I often don’t pray!  Truly following Jesus will reorder my priorities, change my plans, interrupt my dreams, inconvenience my daily life.

Wouldn’t it do us good to ask another believer every day, “Would you mind telling me how you are following Jesus today.”

Ready to ask that question today?  Ready for someone to ask you that question?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2015 in discipleship

 

Tags: , ,

Time for a Great Quote (Francis Chan on discipleship)

“He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a ‘Christian’ Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 5.59.46 AMwithout being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 6, 2015 in discipleship

 

Tags: ,

Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 15

This is our final post in our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify us (v. 14).  The kind of people Jesus wants are those who are eager to do what is good, whenever and wherever we can!

These are powerful concepts which, if properly communicated, will have dramatic effects on those who pay attention to them.  The Christian gospel (the saving grace of God) not only redeems people, but tutors us in godly living. And we learn to be patient as we serve Him, waiting for His return.  But we are not to be waiting around — we are to be turning away from wickedness and focusing on being purified by that grace.  An eagerness to do good ought to mark the child of God.

If Titus 2:11-14 is a summary of what God’s grace does and is doing in the Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.08.09 AMbeliever’s life, then what do we do with these truths?  We teach them to others!  We do not let those who don’t believe them discourage us or push us into silence about what GOD has said! These things we should TEACH.  We should use these truths to ENCOURAGE and to REBUKE WITH ALL AUTHORITY!  We can’t prevent people from despising us or the message — but we can keep their unbelief from silencing us.

A few questions:

1.  Have you received this salvation-bringing grace for yourself?

2.  Are you a student of God’s grace, allowing it to instruct you in both the negative and the positive aspects of following Christ?

3.  Are you waiting for Christ to return, busy in His work, Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.13.37 AMand rejoicing in His full deity?

4.  How’s it going with the good-deed-doing?

5.  This touchy matter of purity — are you making progress in that whole area of growth?

6.  Do you look for opportunities to pass these truths on, to gently but clearly apply these first to yourself, then to those God gives you to influence?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Titus 2

 

Tags: , , , , ,

“Get Thee Behind me, Satan!” (a sermon clip on FOLLOWING JESUS, John Ortberg)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 2, 2014 in discipleship

 

Tags: , ,