Summary: God calls us to be more than just people who live the way they want throughout the week and then maybe turn up for a couple of hours at church on Sunday.
The question: Are you a “Christian” or are you a disciple?
Perhaps you have been a Christian for years.
There was that point in your life when you discovered Jesus for yourself.
Maybe, something happened that caused you to seek comfort, or meaning or healing in your life.
Maybe your parents were Christians and they took you to Church and Sunday School.
Maybe, you became aware of a need inside your heart that you could not explain.
Maybe, God revealed Himself to you in some way.
Maybe, a friend invited you to church and it felt like the preacher was speaking directly into your life.
However it started, you became aware of the message of the Gospel, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, born to die because of your sin, your iniquities.
You realised that Jesus was the Saviour and that by trusting in Him you would be set free from the penalty of your sin.
You realised that Jesus was the Messiah,
God’s anointed one and that by turning to Him in repentance He would save you.
Then there was a hunger in your heart and mind to learn more about the things of God.
You wanted to draw closer to Him, to grow in Him.
To be like Him.
You read what you could, you went to church,
you listened to sermons,
you went to Bible Studies, you went to prayer meetings,
you told other people about how important being in a relationship with Jesus was.
You wanted to fill every moment with worshipping and serving your Lord and Saviour.
You were on a different journey you were walking with Jesus everyday and you loved it!
You were excited and you always looked forward to the next step of your Christian walk.
BUT you came to a fork in the road,
something happened that caused you to make a choice about your journey,
something happened and that burning desire to follow Jesus,
to share Jesus, to be like Jesus, started to cool off.
Over time, your fire for God became lukewarm.
Learning about God, took a lower priority in your life.
In-depth Bible studies turned into a quick dip into a five minute daily devotional.
Your daily prayers of praise and worship turned into ad-hoc shopping lists of wants and needs.
And being an active participant in church became
turning up for a couple of hours on a Sunday if it fitted into your schedule.
Jesus is still your saviour, but you have chosen other things to be Lord of your life.
BUT, you have a choice, your christian life does not have to remain lukewarm, the fire can be rekindled, you can choose a different path.
You can choose to move away from a cold, casual, convenient Christianity into a devoted, dynamic discipleship.
It’s your choice, how far are you willing to travel on your current path?
Are you willing to renew your love, trust, and obedience, to Jesus.
And you willing to be a dynamic disciple?
Tonight I want to tell you about a man who was very close to Jesus, yet it took years for him to willingly become a dynamic disciple.
A man who grew up with Jesus, a man who lived with Jesus, yet he did not believe in who Jesus was, he actually joined others in scoffing at Jesus.
Who was that man?
His name was James and he was one of Jesus half brothers - same mother, different father.
At first James did not believe in Jesus, but there came a point in his life when James went from scoffer to powerful preacher;
from being a non-believer to being a totally devoted dynamic disciple.
I want to show you what he went through on his journey to discipleship,
and I want to encourage us that where ever we are in our journey with Christ we can choose to be dynamic disciples.
Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about James, the half-brother of Jesus.
In the New Testament, there are about a dozen passages that mention James, and they paint a picture for us that reveals a about him.
Let’s begin in MATTHEW 13:54-57
This is a time when Jesus is well into His earthly ministry and He returns to Jerusalem.
Jesus returned to Nazareth, His hometown. When He taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”
55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” MATTHEW 13:54-57