* There is no love in one’s heart.
* One is always thinking of worldly things.
* One never depends on God for help.
* One never, or hardly every prays.
* One never studies the Bible.
* One is selfish - never thinks of others.
* One never forgives.
* One never gives of his/her means - never returns to God what He has let them use.
* One is always discouraged.
* One never teaches others.
How difficult is it? It is impossible!
This list was not put here to make accusations against or to discourage anyone. It was put here to make us all seriously think about who and what we are and what we are doing. The truth is, we all find ourselves in one or more of those areas once in a while.
So, what is a real, true Christian? A true, faithful Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. What is a “disciple”? A disciple is a follower, a learner of and from the one being followed. So, what does a real disciple do? Several things we need to give serious consideration to.
1st - A real disciple listens and learns. What did God, Himself, say to those following Christ while He was here as one of us? “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" (Matthew 17:5). Or, think about what Jesus, Himself, said in Matthew 11:29 where He said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” A true disciple of Christ is going to work hard to learn from Him by means of His word.
2nd - A real disciple is a follower. Those who are followers of Jesus are going to try to be just like Him in everyway possible. They will give up everything they have to follow Him. "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39).
3rd - A true disciple worships and obeys. Those who are true disciples of Jesus Christ are known for their emphasis on obeying His teachings in every way and for their worship of God in spirit and truth. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love”; 14 "You are My friends, if you do what I command you.” (John 15:10, 14). 23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24).
So, what is a disciple, a true disciple of Jesus Christ? One who serves like Jesus, shares like Jesus and teaches others of Jesus. Now, think back about the list of things on the front of this bulletin. Can you see how these things or, any one of them in and of itself, can damage our discipleship? We need to seriously examine ourselves to insure we are not letting any of these things prevent us from being the disciples, the followers of Christ that we need to be.
Also, Lord willing, I will be out of town Monday - Tuesday attending the men’s/preacher’s retreat at Pettijohn Springs Christian Camp.
Until next week, I love you all,