Discipleship: Loving Response Required To His Lordship
This isn’t going to be easy so I begin with a reminder…I’m sharing the direct words of Jesus…I’m just the messenger. We must heed what our Lord says.
First let’s recap what He has called us to in order to be His disciples…
1) He must be the utmost priority in our life;
2) We must give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him;
3) We must give up everything for His sake, including our right to our life, our self and our right to be right (Luke 14:25-35).
That’s tough…but remember He’s The One who has given His all so that we can do the same. He is our Source and Strength (Philippians 4:13).
Why is this so important? Because we are His salt and light to the world. Salt and light changes everything they are exposed to…unless they have lost their ability to do so. Jesus said that if we are not completely sold out to Him then we have lost our saltiness (Luke 14:34-35). In other words, we’ve lost our influence to point those around us to Him.
Think about the glaring lack of influence that our churches and “converts” have in our culture today? Media mocks our faith, education ridicules it and government ignores and demeans it. Perhaps it is because we have failed to fully submit and surrender to Him as Lord and have lost our saltiness. The world around us has relegated our “salt” to the manure pile, which is exactly what Jesus said would happen.
Here are three scriptures that can help us pray and learn to be his sold-out disciples and be salt that once again influences the world around us:
1) “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” Matthew 6:10 (Father, start with me and your will in my life)
2) “Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness.” Matthew 6:33
3) “Not my will but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Oswald Chambers gives more insight to how this is to be lived in contrast to the world around us… “Our Civilization and Christ’s Call” (Matthew 6:33 – see above)
“To follow Jesus Christ today is to follow a madman according to the ideals of present-day civilization. We have made a thousand and one necessities until our system of civilized life is as cast iron, and then we apologize to the Lord for not following Him. ‘God can never mean that I have to follow Him at the cost of all I have?’ But He does mean it. Instantly the clash is between our civilization and the call of Jesus Christ. Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)–‘Seek first the kingdom of God’–and apply it to modern life and you will find its statements are either those of a madman or of God Incarnate.” (Parentheses mined and added)
I share this thought about discipleship and transition to…LOVE…because this doesn’t sound very loving? Yet, God’s Word intricately ties discipleship and love together, “If you love me your will keep (obey) my commands.” John 14:15 (Parentheses mine and added)
Twee this: “Discipleship is our love to Him in response to His Love for us!”
Remember that Discipleship is not about being perfect…we’re already made perfect in Christ but we have to grow in our understanding and maturity in Him while we still dwell in this fleshly temple (body). So discipleship, as we live it out, is about maturation in Truth and Love rather than perfection.
Ultimately discipleship under Christ’s Lordship is our response to His incredible, unfailing, sacrificial love for us. We respond as His disciples in loving Him (and others) ONLY because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)!
This is why Jesus could say what He did in Luke 14:25-35 because He knew that only those who received His grace and love…Redemption through His blood and body sacrificed on The Cross…could even do the things He asked that we focused on last week (www.loveandlordship.com for previous articles, videos and podcasts to see what it means for Him to be Lord and us to be His disciples…on His terms not ours)!
He does this because He knows that we can’t do this in and of ourselves but only by His grace, mercy and strength, as we trust in Him by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
As we begin to unpack what His kind of Love truly is and how we are to respond in that Love let me ask one simple question that ties His Love and Lordship to our discipleship response…
Have you received Christ as Savior and known His Love and are you walking in that Love as His disciple? Asked another way…Is there room in your heart for Him to write His story in and through your life for others to read it and know Him as Savior and Lord? (2 Corinthians 3:3)
Truth in Love
We are created in God’s image so that everything that He has called and commanded us to do is to be done in loving relationship…with Him and with others. Christ has made this possible by the reality of Redemption for all who will believe.
However much of what we see and call love today in our culture and even in many churches is our version of it. We’ve stood at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, right along with Adam and Eve, and fell for the enemy’s lie that we could be like god(s) (Genesis 3:4-5). So we’ve created Him in our image and redefined love based on our emotions (heart) and thoughts (mind) rather than the Truth of His Word.
His Word and His Son gave us very specific meaning and examples of Love that we’ll explore over the next few posts. I pray they will give you a new insight on what His Love truly is and how we are to live it out and can only do so as His disciples, living in His Lordship.
Here are 7 Great texts on Love in the New Testament that should guide us in how we are to love and disciple others to love as well. We will develop these in subsequent posts…
2) Mark 12:29-31…A clear priority and order of love of God and others
3) John 13:1-17…Love lived out in humility, service, authority and discipleship
4) Romans 8:37-39…God’s unfailing and inseparable love for us
6) Ephesians 5:21-33…Godly Love expressed in relationships and in particular in the Marriage Covenant and what it represents – Christ and His Bride, The Church.
7) Mark 1:40-42; 10:17-22…the full-orbed Love of God.
As we continue with this series, I’ll begin to dive deeper into each one of these to help us discover more of the absolute and needed connection between discipleship and Truth in Love!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – God is Love. It would do us a great deal of good to know what that Love looks like. Be praying about what God will reveal to you as you study the texts in this post and desire to know His Love more fully and share it unconditionally.
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you what you need to do to live in love as Christ’s disciple.
- Make a list of the areas where Christ Kingdom and will are first in your life.
- Make a list of the areas where Christ Kingdom and will take a back seat in your life.
- Give some thought to what the Scriptures on Love in this post say to you.