Summary: Discipleship starts with a heart completely devoted to Jesus
Discipleship. What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus? A clean heart. A surrendered spirit. Fellowship with other believers? What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus? We really dumb down this calling to be a disciple. We could start a discipleship program and teach others to be a disciple. We could make a set of rules to follow and set up punishments when we disobey. But that would fall short of discipleship. What does it take to be a faithful disciple of Jesus? Why isn’t it easy enough to follow rules and understand boundaries, make everything all nice and neat?
To be a disciple of Jesus he wants you to give him everything! He wants your time, your energy, your effort, but most of all he wants your heart.
Kierkagaard in "And I looked around and nobody was laughing" says this, "I went into church and sat on the velvet pew. I watched as the sun came shining through the stained glass windows. The minister dressed in a velvet robe opened the golden gilded Bible, marked it with a silk bookmark and said, "If any man will be my disciple, said Jesus, let him deny himself, take up his cross, sell what he has, give it to the poor, and follow me." Kierkagaard
We think of God as all powerful and all knowing. Is there anything God can’t do? I asked a Jr. High group one time, Can God make a rock so big that he couldn’t lift it? Does God have a weakness? Paul says in Corinthians that if God has a weakness, it’s stronger than your strength. I believe God does have a weakness. He can’t refuse a sinner who comes to him with a repentant heart. Discipleship starts with a heart that is completely devoted to Jesus.
I believe we are going to find some keys to discipleship. This is what I want to call “faithful discipleship.”
Turn with me this morning to 1 Peter 3:8-22 (read)
Did you catch what Peter is saying? He never uses the word discipleship in this text, but if you had to put a word with this text, I believe it would be discipleship. Peter doesn’t cover everything that it takes for discipleship, but he does touch some key points. The first movement in this text is that we have to show Love for our Enemies (8-12)
I. Love of Enemies (8-12)
If you re-read verses 8-9 you might think verse 8 doesn’t have anything to do with people we might consider our enemies. What does living in harmony, being sympathetic, Loving as brothers, and being compassionate and humble have to do with loving my enemies?
a. The Church Speaks – even when we don’t know we are speaking
My speech teacher in High School told me that you, “can not, not communicate.” In other words everything you say and do says something about you.
i. When we show unity – live in harmony
ii. When we are sympathetic with the community
iii. When we are compassionate with the community
iv. When we humbly find our place in the community
A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.
b. Our Relationship with non-Christians (when something is done to us)
i. Don’t retaliate – Only leads to more anger
Old System = Eye for an Eye New System = Non-retaliation
38"You have heard that it was said, ’Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
ii. Jesus says, turn the other cheek
1. This is very hard to do
2. It’s against our natural desires
3. It takes control out of the hands of our enemy and puts it in the hands of God.
iii. Return the evil action with blessing
45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
1. Because it’s the right thing to do.
2. Because you have an understanding of the bigger picture
3. Because we weren’t created for this world
4. Because we speak volumes when we return blessings
5. Because it is our calling as Christians!!!!
6. Peter says that you do this so that you may inherit a blessing.
c. Our relationship with God – I believe in God who is working all the time.