Summary: 21st century Christians are better at believing than they are at behaving. This message studies what it means to become a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
"He went up to the mountain and summoned those who He Himself wanted, and they came to Him.¨ Thus began the greatest adventure these men had ever known. These men were called to be Disciples. Can you imagine what that was like? To be one of these twelve men who walked with God? I hope you can imagine it, in fact I hope that you are experiencing it ¡V because you have been called to be Disciples of Christ.
Let me share with you two things that I believe to be true today;
One Christians of the 21st Century are far better at believing than they are at behaving. The truth is that we have bought into a belief that makes no demands on us no demands on our time, energy, or behavior. We just do our church thang and everything else is ok. I’m ok with an hour a week but don’t tell me about this life transformation stuff.
Two Churches of the 21st Century have become more interested in gaining members than in making disciples. We have become more interested in entertaining the masses than discipling the believer. We have become more interested in being comfortable and less interested in carrying a cross.
Now some of you have already tuned me out and others are asking the question what does this really have to do with me? Let me tell you what it has to do with all of us.
I believe in my heart that many of us have lost the picture of what it is to be a Christian. A picture that was perfectly clear to these first men that Jesus called. Being a Christian is being a Disciple. The word Disciple is from the Greek the word that is used is Mathetes In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. In other words it refers to those who accept the teachings of the master, not only in belief but also in life.
So were are brought back to my original premise we are better at belief than behavior.
So how do we make the transition from being believers to being Disciples.
I think that the truth is found in this passage of original calling for His disciples.
Disciples are called to 3 things¡K
1) Disciples are called toBe with Him¡¨ v14a It all starts here. It all starts in His presence. The first thing we have to understand is that we are nothing without Him. We are powerless to change ourselves much less the world if we are not with Him. Several things happened to the Disciples by being with Jesus.
They came to know Him not just know about Him. They entered into a relationship with Jesus that was both personal and transformational. The truth is today that most of us know more about Jesus than we know Jesus. It is a great thing to know about Him it is a greater thing to know Him in personal experience. To know Him as a friend.
They came to follow Him where He went they went. They did not dictate the course they simply followed where He led and went where He sent them. They understood that it was Jesus who called the shots. We really want a God that will conform to our image and idea what we have is a God who calls us to conform to His image. Paul tells us in Romans that we have been chosen for a purpose to be conformed to the image of His son. There is an old saying You are who you run with.¨
Learn from Him by following we learn we should know more today than ever about what God wants what His will is because we learn by following.
Draw from Him His presence gives us strength and comfort and encouragement for the journey. I will never forget the day I got my pharmacist license. I was working with a guy named Ted Garrett I had trained under him for some time I got my lisence he left. I was alone what I had always depended on (my fall back) was gone and it was all on me. The great thing about God is he never walks out.
2) Disciples are Called to Preach v14b Understand something with me to be a disciple is to preach. The word preach, here is the word Kerusso it means to be a herald, to proclaim, to preach. We often misunderstand and even misuse the word, preach. For us preaching is the act of doing what I am doing delivering a message. This is a form of preaching but it is far from the only one. St. Francis of Assisi said Preach always, if necessary use words.¨ That is the truth of the preaching of the Gospel. There are three primary ways that we are called to preach or be proclaimers of the good news of Christ. The first is through our lifestyle who we are Our lives should be a constant testimony to the Gospel of Christ. In the sermon on the mount that we are studying on Wed. nights, the key verse to the whole of Jesus teaching is Matthew 6:8 So do not be like them¨ We are called to a unique lifestyle one that is not like our neighbors. Paul said it this way do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.¨