DAILY DISCIPLINE #42
By Colleen Donahue
"This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" John 6:60
The late 1960's and early 70's marked a short revolution in America. It was the "Jesus Revolution". Jesus was very popular for those few short years. I can remember sporting a button in high school saying, "Join the Jesus Revolution!" Jesus became synonymous during this time with freedom, love and peace. Many movements and organizations sprang up. Even "Jesus graffiti" became common on America's bridges and subway walls.
Over 2,000 years ago the FIRST Jesus revolution took place. There was great excitement over the Lord's teaching and everyone was astounded by His miracles and wisdom. Luke says, "He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him." (Luke 4:15 NIV) He was so popular that soon the Pharisees and Scribes were jealous and sought to kill Him.
This early enthusiasm for Jesus was short lived however. Men had misinterpreted His message and made it fit their own desires. No, He hadn't come to establish a rich and a powerful earthly kingdom. He had come to glorify His Heavenly Father. The "last straw" came with Jesus' own words: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:53) Then comes this sad verse... "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him." (John 6:66)
Although there were crowds and throngs that followed Jesus, only a few were His disciples and apostles. What distinguished them from the others that followed Him?
CONDITIONS FOR BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS
Day 1- In these verses Jesus called individual men to be His disciples. Notice their obedience, shown by the promptness of their response.
Mark 1:16-18 / Mark 2:14
Just as these men were individually called, so He calls us.
Day 2- Many that would follow Jesus are willing BUT... with a condition attached. Matthew 8:18-22 / Luke 9:57-61
The Lord gave NO ROOM for excuses and procrastination.
Day 3- In fact, once we choose our direction to follow Jesus, we cannot look back and still walk with Him!
Day 4- What THREE commands did Jesus give to those who wanted to be His disciples?
Day 5- The first of these three commands to deny ourselves is most unpopular. What exactly did this mean for men like Peter and Matthew (Levi)?
Mark 10:28 / Luke 5:27-28 / Luke 5:11
Day 6- What will it mean for us?
Day 7- What was Paul's testimony as to the things that he had "lost" to follow Christ? Philippians 3:8
The Lord's second command to TAKE UP OUR CROSS is even more unpopular than the first one. "The Cross must destroy all that belongs to our outward man -- our opinions, our ways, our cleverness, our self-love, our all....As soon as our outward man is destroyed, our spirit can easily come forth." (Watchman Nee)
Day 8- A cosmic miracle took place at the time that Jesus physically died. He actually was able to reach forward into all time and destroy the power of the sinful nature that is operating in each one of us.
Romans 6:6 / Colossians 3:3
Day 9- This miracle would enable each of us to say confidently...
Day 10- Nevertheless, Christ made it very plain that those who would follow Him would walk a difficult road.
Romans 8:36 / 2 Corinthians 4:11
Day 11- How often will we need to "take up our cross?"
Luke 9:23 / I Corinthians 15:31
The Lord's THIRD command in Matthew 16:24 is that we FOLLOW HIM. The first disciples that followed Jesus physically took up the Lord's concerns -- and so will we.
Day 12- What was Christ's primary concern while on earth?
Luke 19:10 / John 3:17 I Timothy 1:15 / Hebrews 7:25
Day 13- What will become ours?
Day 14- As a part of the Lord's concern for us, what did He spend much of His time doing?
Isaiah 53:4-5 / Mark 3:10 / Luke 6:19
Day 15- What else?
Day 16- To follow in Christ's footsteps will mean to spend time with the kinds of people that He fellowshiped with. Who were they?
Matthew 9:9-13 / Matthew 19:21 / Galatians 2:10
Following Christ has a deeper meaning for us than just physically doing what He did. We need to know the Lord so well that we become one with Him. His own nature must be allowed to live through ours. For a true disciple this will mean some radical behavior!
Day 17- For example...What did Paul need to do to continue with Christ's concern for men's souls?
I Corinthians 9:19-20.
Day 18- In what ways will we need to act exactly the opposite of everyone else?
Day 19- What position in society did Jesus take that we must also take?
Day 20- From now on WHO will we be pleasing?
Day 21- Like everyone else, the Lord's disciple will need to make a choice... Matthew 6:19-24
Day 22- A great mark of the Lord's disciple is a carefree, trusting life that totally defies the world's advice that "we need to take care of ourselves." How can this be?
Perhaps the cost of serving the Lord seems too much for you. Yet, if the cost is great, the benefits are far greater.
Day 23- What does God promise when we feel very weak? (physically, spiritually and emotionally)
Day 24- There are many difficult things that we are bound to face in our life for God. Yet, what comfort does the Lord promise?
Day 25- The Lord Himself assures us of His overshadowing care.
Day 26- If we feel we have missed out on any earthly riches, what does the Father have in store for us?
Luke 12:32 / Luke 18:29
Day 27- We may have lost earthly friends became of our service for God, and yet, God promises something much sweeter.
John 14:23 / John 15:15-16
Day 28- How does the Lord promise that our joy will be complete?
Day 29- Where did God promise that we would find peace despite walking in a world full of trouble?
John 16:33 / Philippians 4:7
Day 30- What is the Lord's final promise to all who serve Him with a whole heart?
John 12:25 / Galatians 6:8 / I Peter 5:4,10 / 2 Peter 1:10-11
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