Saturday, September 14, 2013

Brief Discipleship Moment - Wake Up Call

"Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6)

This well-known verse tells of Peter who gives not out of his own abundance but out of God's abundance. When approached by a beggar looking for handouts, Peter sees through the real need of the man crippled from birth. Instead of offering something that is temporal, he points all attention to Christ, the Giver of Everlasting Life. 

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This incident is also a discipleship moment. It is now a cliché that people like to use, saying things like: "It's not easy," or "Sometimes it is very difficult," or "I'm not perfect" to excuse themselves from moving forward in the call to discipleship. Like the beggar who asks for what he thinks he needs (money), instead of what he truly needs (legs), some of us ask for God to give us something first (our expectations) before we act in faith (God's expectation).  Just observe the following.

  • A says, "It's not easy to pray" and stops praying, waiting for some unknown feeling in the future.
  • B says, "Sometimes it is very difficult to read the Bible" and stops reading the Bible, waiting for some expert professor to teach before B does anything. Trouble is, each *expert* teacher only raises the bar higher to make one even more inadequate.
  • C says, "I'm not perfect enough, or inadequate to lead" and steps away from responsibility, hoping that others will pick up the slack.

In all these cases, if Peter is still around, he will probably be saying to:
  • A: "Super-duper prayers and eloquent sayings I have none, but in the Name of Jesus, pray."
  • B: "Expert reading and classy exposition of the Bible I have none, but in the Name of Jesus, read the Bible."
  • C: "Perfect leadership and skills I have none, but in the Name of Jesus, lead."
Discipleship is not about doing things well or making the perfect cut the first time. Discipleship is about learning how to do things well, and to attempt the perfect cut in the Name of Christ. Each time we pray, read the Bible, or lead, we do so in faith. 

One more thing. When it comes to discipleship, we need to remember that it is not about us making ourselves relevant to the world. It is about us learning to be reverent to the Lord. We seek to pattern ourselves not after the habits of the world, but the holiness of God.

"Many Christians have what we might call a "cultural holiness". They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God." (Jerry Bridges)

Have a great weekend.


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