The Cost Of Discipleship

October 31, 2007

St. Mark 8:34) “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” 

This is why everybody that’s talking about heaven won’t make it to heaven.  And I don’t minister to you as one who has arrived.  However, there are some phrases we should pay attention to in this text.  The phrase in the scripture which says “let him deny himself” means as Disciples of Christ we must learn to say “NO” to ourselves.  We must learn to say “NO” to that new outfit if we are going to pay for it with God’s money (tithe) or with money we know we don’t really have; we must say “NO” to our favorite TV show  when we know the house of God is open for services; we must say “NO” to acting out when someone says something to us  we don’t like; if you are single you must say “no” to the spirit of fornication; if you are married you certainly need to say “NO” to an adulterous relationship, in fact, if it looks like sin just say “NO”.  However, the problem is in the world which we live in that’s hard to do because not only is the world doing it, but the church is doing it as well; there is not enough people saying “NO” to sin on behalf of Christ.  Additionally, we must take up His cross, which means we have to die.  We have to die to our own thoughts, ways, feelings and emotions; we have to die to our own agenda; we may even have to die to our own dreams, if the dreams doesn’t line up with the destiny which God has planned for us; and too often what we plan for ourselves is totally different than what God had in mind, because most of us made our plans out of the flesh.  Thus, we didn’t pray or ask God about what He thought we should do with our lives.  Listen, God doesn’t mind any of His children being successful, He just wants you to be successful His way; and the good news is if you are successful His way, man will never be able to take it from you.

                                                God Bless You.


Watch Out For The Traditions Of Men

October 30, 2007

(St. Mark 7:5) “Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked him, why walk not the disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with un-washed hands?” 

This question the religious leaders ask Jesus concerning the disciples washing their hands before they eat bread had more to do with keeping their religious traditions, than it did with the disciples washing their hands before dinner.  You see the religious leaders were more concerned about the people obeying the written laws of Moses and the laws in which they created themselves than obeying God.  Thus, the religious leaders were going to hell and didn’t even realize, because with their lips they honored God, however, their heart was far from Him.  And as Christians we must understand if the traditions of men don’t line up with the word of God, and we continue to operate in those traditions, we too are on our way to hell.  Because men and their man-made doctrines will bind you up and I’m not going to be bound by man; I’m going to be free in Jesus.  If you have been in church for any length of time you have seen some of those traditions; a few which I have seen growing up was the belief that in order to cast a demon out of a person they had to be foaming from the mouth and rolling around on the floor; another was if your church was having service on a certain night and you’re out at a ball game, you must not be saved; if you are not screaming from the top of your lungs, you must not be preaching; and if you aren’t loud you must not be getting your praise on.  These were all traditions of men or men who didn’t know any better.  However, now that I know better, I must do better and so should you.  Don’t allow the traditions of men (whether it’s a pastor-bishop-elder even your momma) to bind you up; know the word of the Lord for yourself.  Because there are a lot of leaders out here doing it their way and Christians are just taking for granted that it’s being done right, when it could be tradition and just wrong.

                                    God Bless You.


The Boomerang Effect

October 29, 2007

As Christian we get away with nothing.  It is important that we live our lives as unto the Lord.  We must monitor the way we treat our fellowman and the way we live our lives, because (Col 3:25) says “He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done and there is no respect of persons.”  Thus, it’s a boomerang effect; what you do to others will return to you, and when you do wrong, you will eventually have to pay for the wrong which you have done.  Somehow we believe that because God doesn’t cause us to pay for our wrong right away there is a tendency to believe that we got away with it.  However, our time and God’s time is totally different.  Man operates in time, God operates in eternity, therefore when you least expect it or when you are least prepared, God will allow your enemy to roll up on you and collect payment for the wrong which you have done.  Listen saints, there is a principle of sowing and reaping, and if you want to be blessed, you must sow heavenly things, you must love people, treat people right, do what’s right and do it because it’s right.  As a Christian, God is watching you and He is paying attention to how you are living and how you inter-act with others, from your family-friends-co-workers-even those you don’t know.  To prevent the boomerang effect from happening to us, let’s remember something Jesus said “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12 KJV).  My hope is that you will treat others the way you want to be treated.

                                                            God Bless You


The Sign Of A Disciple-Part 4

October 26, 2007

We often look at Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ as a negative, and on some level it certainly is a negative to deny your relationship with the Lord.  However, if we look at Peter’s denial of Jesus closer, we also see something else which is imperative; and that is the confirmation that Peter was a disciple of Christ.  Peter’s three denials of Jesus also brought about three confirmations by people who lived in the region that he was a disciple of Christ.  And we too must understand…if you are a real disciple of Christ, somebody is going to identify you as such; you want have to announce it, you want have to walk around with a bible in your hand or a gold cross around your neck; neither will you need a license plate on your car which says “clergy”, because people can tell when you’ve been with the Lord.  Thus, a true disciple of Christ stands out because he/she doesn’t talk like the world, they don’t behave themselves like the world; there is a standard which they uphold and that standard is holiness.  Yes, Peter made some mistakes and so have we, however, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, I want somebody to confess “that brother has been with the Lord”. (Ref. St. John 18:17-25-27) 

                                    God Bless You.


The Sign Of A Disciple-Part 3

October 25, 2007

(St. John 15:8) “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 

The third sign of a Disciple is fruit bearing.  A Christian must display some fruit; and I’m not talking about rotten fruit…such as bitterness, hatred, malice, idolatry…etc.  However, I am talking about the fruit of the spirit.  As Disciples of Christ we must exemplify love, joy, peace, and longsuffering just to name a few.  To display this type of fruit (fresh fruit) is to glorify God.  I call the fruit of the Spirit fresh fruit because nobody wants to eat rotten fruit.  However, fresh fruit is good for you and good to you.  In fact, it’s a recommended need for healthy bodies, thus, the fruit of the Spirit is a recommended need for a healthy spiritual body, mind and soul.  Therefore, as Christians we need to learn to love more, speak Godly words more, even smile more.  The truth is, if every-time somebody sees you, your face is wrinkled up like a used piece of aluminum foil, their perception of you is probably going to be “that brother/sister is fruitless.”  However, if you can display the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, and a smile from time-to-time, you can be assured that when people look at you they see fruitfulness.  Finally, your fruit is not only in your character (fruit of the Spirit) or your conduct (fruit of righteousness) it is also in those you lead to Christ (the fruit of conversion).  However, if your character and conduct aren’t right, then your converts-those you lead to Christ will be minimal anyway.  Therefore, let’s challenge ourselves to bear much fruit so our Father will be glorified.

                                                God Bless You.


The Sign Of A Disciple-Part 2

October 24, 2007

(St. John 8:31-32 KJV) “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 

The second sign of a disciple of Christ is you must become a student of God’s word.  In fact, you must consistently study the word of God.  We must continue in God’s word is what the scripture says; thus, there are no days off from reading the word.  A disciple of Christ must study on good days, bad days and on those days where he/she feels somewhere in-between.  We must study whether we feel like it or not; even if we have other things to do, because we always do, we must make time for God.  As Disciples of Christ in order to be free, we must know the truth and in order to know the truth, we must know what God’s word says.  It is also equally important to not only know the truth, but we must live the truth which we know; it must be exemplified in our lifestyles.  As Disciples of Christ we must know the truth because your enemy certainly knows God’s word, he’s just not into obeying it.  Therefore, as you study your bible… read it out-write it down-pray it in and work it out and the truth will come alive in your heart.

                                    God Bless You.


The Sign Of A Disciple Of Christ-Part 1

October 23, 2007

(St.John13:34-35KJV) says “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciple, if ye have love one to another.” 

The number one sign of a disciple is love.  A disciple of Christ must love unconditionally; meaning we must love whether we are liked or not, whether it’s my family, friends or an enemy.  We must love them as Jesus loved us.  However, for many Christians, this is where we fall short in our discipleship is love.  As Disciples of Christ we must become love; we have to follow the example of the Father.  God loved us so much that He gave his only begotten son for the sins of humanity; which in and of itself was impressive.  However, what was even more impressive was the Son’s willingness to die for wicked humanity.  Thus, the Father and the Son proved their love for us by what they were willing to give, which was everything.  Thus, the good news is God didn’t ask us to physically give up our life; however, He is expecting us to give of ourselves; he expects us to give our time, energies, efforts, money and our whole heart.  He expects us to love our fellowman.  Finally, in (Matt 5:44) Jesus says “But I say unto you love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”  I think that says it all.

                                                God Bless You.