When we read about all the people who followed Jesus while He was here in the flesh, we find some who followed closely and others who watched from a distance. There were some who were simply curious, some who were hungry, and still others who recognized something different in Him. The third group walked close to Him, learned from Him, and ultimately realized who He was…they were His disciples.
Originally, a disciple was someone who literally knew Jesus in the flesh and followed him — but after he was taken up into heaven, anyone who was committed to following Jesus in their daily life was called a disciple.
Of the twelve men who followed Jesus as His disciples, there were eleven who proved to be true disciples and one who didn’t.
What is it that makes a true disciple?
Jesus says in John 15:5 & 8: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing…When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
There are two distinguishing aspects of a true disciple: first, being connected to the vine; second, producing much fruit.
There are those who look like Christians, talk like Christians, and act like Christians, but they do not have a personal relationship with Christ. They are not connected to the vine. Jesus says in verse 6: “Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.”
Judas walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, preached in Jesus’ name, and was identified as one of Jesus’ disciples, but he never really had a true saving relationship with Him.
Where are you in your relationship with Jesus Christ?
Lord Jesus, I want to produce “much fruit” for you. I’m trusting in the Holy Spirit to empower me to be more fruitful. Thank you Jesus for inviting me into a personal relationship with You. Lord, give me a boldness to share with others about your saving grace. Amen
Do you ever feel like things in life are coming unraveled? Maybe things aren’t right on the inside because there is something wrong on the outside; the world around you seems to be falling apart.
The truth is it doesn’t have to be some major catastrophic event. It can be the sum of a lot of little things in life that keep piling up, and all of a sudden it seems as if everything is crashing down on you and you don’t know what to do.
We all have those times in our lives when we feel like our life is falling apart; times when we are overwhelmed and things aren’t working out the way we want them. Life can seem like a battle, especially when you are experiencing more defeat than victory.
...So what do you do?
...Where do you turn?
Look to Jesus when things are coming apart; He is the one who holds all things together.
In Colossians 1:15 -17 the Apostle Paul says: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”
You were created by God.
King David prayed in Psalm 139:13-18: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
Your life is still in His hands.
Lord Jesus, thank you for creating me…thank you for sustaining me through times when it seems everything around me is falling apart. You are my refuge and strength. Amen
We live in a world that is defined by boundaries. Take a look at a map and you can see physical boundaries that define our country, states, counties, cities and towns. When you look at a deed, you can read about defined boundaries for a piece of property.
We are literally surrounded by boundaries. Sometimes we know where they are and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we acknowledge and respect them and other times we ignore them.
Just as there are boundaries in our physical world there are also boundaries intended to be observed in the Christian life. However, some people, including Christians, want to define their own boundaries as to how they will live their life. They choose to live their lives according to their own desires and pleasures.
To draw a line in the sand means to set a boundary. Going beyond those limits will bring consequences. Drawing a line in the sand says I will not go beyond this point. Knowing where our boundary lines are helps us know what we value and who we are. Those boundaries should encompass both what we believe as well as what we do.
As Christians our boundaries are to be set based on the Word of God. We must stand firm in our faith, or we will not stand at all. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Paul says: “…dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.” Christian moral boundaries are set by living God's way according to biblical principles.
Jesus was asked by the teachers of the law which was the most important commandment. Jesus drew a line in the sand that subsequently is the foundation for all other boundaries. In Mark 12:29-31 it says, “Jesus replied, ‘The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord . And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”’
The Lord God is to be your greatest love. We cross that line in the sand when our love for other people and other things is greater than our love for God. Our love for God should motivate us to stay within the boundaries that God has established for us.
What’s amazing is that as long as you keep the eyes of your heart fixed on following Jesus, you will always stay within the boundaries God has set.
Jesus will always lead you down the right path
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to follow you with my eyes fixed on you. Amen
Bro. Joe Metts