Archives For Who do you think you are

Becoming a Disciple

July 19, 2013

 Photo Credit: Anduze traveller via Compfight cc

What does it mean to be a disciple? The term is derived from a Greek word, mathetes, which means a pupil or apprentice. The implication was that a disciple would sit at the feet of the master teacher or craftsman, learn from them, and then go and spread the same message.

As Christians, we most often associate this word with those twelve followers who walked with Jesus during His earthly ministry. In Acts, we see the culmination of their training as we read Luke’s account of the actions of Peter, John and some of the other disciples.

But they weren’t always the confident bringers of God’s Word that we read about in Acts. We read about hot-headed, speak-before-you-think Peter in the Gospels. We read about men fighting for position as the honored ones to sit at the left and right of Jesus in heaven. We see story after story of flawed men.

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40

Becoming a disciple is a lifelong journey of learning. It’s a process by which you become more and more like the Teacher—Jesus—every day. It happens as you spend time in regular prayer. It happens as you personalize Scripture during your quiet time. You become more like Jesus as you practice outrageous generosity and compassionately serve others. You grow closer to Jesus as you nurture relationships with other Christians and engage in shared study with them. You are molded into a disciple as you joyfully worship with God’s people.

Not feeling like a disciple yet? Don’t worry. Just as Jesus encouraged and empowered Peter and the other disciples for ministry before they were fully qualified, He is using you to reach others. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t need to know all the answers. You don’t need to memorize the entire Bible.

You just need to be ready to be used. Keep learning and studying. Invite Jesus to teach you and use you. For you are His disciple.

The Greater Spirit

July 5, 2013

Band-of-Brothers-580

I’ve not had cable for much of my life, so watching ESPN and other cable networks while traveling is a fun perk for me. On one trip, I managed to find Band of Brothers from HBO, which recounts the story of the men of Easy Company in the 101st Airborne during World War II.

I later purchased the DVDs to watch the entire series. One episode tells the story of the battle of Bastogne. Undersupplied and outnumbered, Easy Company and others from the 101st march in to defend this strategic town against the Germans. Against seemingly hopeless odds, the 101st holds the line against the evil forces of the Nazis.

On a base level, we want to believe that good will overcome evil. While this is an amazing story of triumph, usually the group with the bigger guns, smarter officers, or better planning wins the battle. Sometimes I feel like the men of Easy Company: ill-prepared for a fight against a superior force.

Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:3-4

You are in a spiritual battle. Every day the devil and his demons work to surround you and cut you off from reinforcements. They are trying to overpower you and destroy you. But you are an overcomer in Christ. The devil may seem too powerful, but there is a greater Spirit living inside you. You do not fight alone, but with the power of God’s Spirit.

And that Spirit is greater than all the enemies that are attacking you. There is no enemy that can stand against this Spirit. There are no hopeless battles against evil in this war. In Christ—with His Holy Spirit—you are an overcomer.