The Savior’s call for each of us unto discipleship connects our beliefs and behaviors to focus on what we are becoming as well as what we are thinking and doing. It is taken upon us the yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:29). This is not something that is done through intellect. It is the deeper development and process in which we must willingly commit ourselves toward. Our call to true discipleship helps us come unto Christ so that we may respond to His question – What think ye of Christ? (Matthew 22:42).
Today, it appears many are aware of Christ yet are desensitized and diverted because Christ is far from the thoughts and intents of one’s heart. Genuine discipleship brings us into knowing who Christ is so that one is empowered to build up His kingdom by living a mindful and crucified Christian Life. This is because a true disciple of Christ is not distant from the Savior. Thus, the call to come follow Christ marks the path amid those uncertainties of life.
Such uncertainties are those distracting and intruding things of the world that seems to overwhelm us. In these moments where they often appear powerfully prevailing in our lives, preoccupying our thoughts, attempt to lure us into a false sense of hope, security, and sense of well-being. Whereas our own personal call to disciple into a mindful crucified Christian life is a journey and adventure above anything the world may present. And it is not a casual discipleship where we meander our way through life. It is a serious commitment where it is ripe with joy and promised blessings.
The cost of personal discipleship where we come unto Christ and follow Him is a journey that is difficult, rugged, and quite challenging. Yet, there is great abundance of spiritual growth, knowledge, guidance, and wisdom. Strength is drawn from the Savior himself as our sure foundation. A personal discipleship where we come to know, and appreciate, the attributes of our Heavenly Father. Come to know Christ, whom the Father has sent. Being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. This is because the teachings of Jesus Christ – His Doctrine, His Gospel – requires personal scrutiny of self. It invites careful examination and study. It maintains genuine personal reflection and inspection of our attitude and beliefs necessary for genuine discipleship.
Therefore, the New Testament does not just give us the instructions of the Saviors teachings. The New Testament warns us of the things we may face in mortality. Persecution, false teachings, calamities, diseases, social and political upheaval. It is no wonder that the primitive first century movement of the way came alive in a time of such political, moral, social, and economic upheaval. Through our personal study of the New Testament in the coming year helps equip us during our own time and season of life.
True and Genuine Discipleship is much needed Today
We are in a unique time period of human mortality. The days seem to be growing shorter and shorter. Hearts of men are beginning to fail. News reports are full of human tragedies and events that leave us questioning human nature and human compassion. Some are even proclaiming that we are now in the end of days where scoffers are becoming more prominent in the marketplace. Any form of religious conviction, or a symbol of religious identity is being tarnished and condemned.
The ideas of men, the philosophy of the world, and the wisdom of self-identity is becoming more and more prominent in the thoughts and hearts of each person. Selfish desires and attainment are more popular than selfless acts of service and love. To say the least, we are at war with the wisdom and philosophy of men. In this war, sides are being chosen. Where one decides to stand is where one’s allegiance and devotion will prevail and direct their paths.
Social media outlets have exploded with antagonism against Christians with comments that degrade, insult and even are ridiculous on some level. Furthermore, the so-called Christians that claim to love and follow the Savior use deceptive tactics to ensnare other fellow Christian believers into the thinking of modern sophistry of today’s marketplace.
How then are we to respond to this onslaught of scoffers that treat sacred covenants with total disregard, which are vocal about their hatred against the Church? How can we help one another, and those who are weak in the faith to distinguish from truth or error?
- Seek the Truth Continually
- Accept Unanswered Questions
- Seek the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Be Consistent in Personal Spiritual Disciplines
- Nourish Your Faith
It is our responsibility to seek after true and genuine Discipleship by coming unto Christ and following him. It is not enough to merely say you believe in Christ. It requires active participation in moving toward Christ and shedding our old way of thinking.
Authentic and Genuine Personal Discipleship Requires us to Seek Truth Continually
We have the blessed opportunity to seek to know and understand for ourselves who the Father is, His will for our lives, the purpose for our existence, and the hope that is provided through Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:7 reminds us that to those who ask, seek, and knock, they shall receive an answer find what they are seeking, and the door will be open to them. It is also coupled with Christ’s statement that we are to actively engage in pursuing the Kingdom of God in order to receive those blessings that are in store for us (Matthew 6:33).
It is not merely enough for us, as genuine disciples of Jesus Christ, to simply sit down and read the scriptures, but we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:3-4). We must ponder and reflect upon them, determine how and where they apply in our lives and come to a confident resolution to follow those teachings and instructions. As we study and ponder the words of our Heavenly Father, we position ourselves in the arena of truth. We gird ourselves with the strength of righteousness, and we begin to nurture and strengthen our testimony as we transform our thoughts and desires to the will and heart of our Heavenly Father. We also protect ourselves from the influence of false doctrines.
Accept Unanswered Questions
Many times, one will encounter a particular question, or a particular criticism against their faith. We may not have the answer right away. There may not even be an adequate answer at all that will satisfy the one making the inquiry. Even if it is our own questioning of things. Though the temptation may be there to want to know all things, we must come to the conclusion that there are things we may not come to a full knowledge of. This is because of God’s infinite knowledge and understanding are far from our own finite limited knowledge and understanding. What we must concern ourselves with is the reality and necessity of our own salvation.
Therefore, we want to ask ourselves, especially when it comes to some of the criticisms launched against us, what does it have to do with my own personal salvation and eternal life? When we can honestly answer that question, we have the confidence not to worry about unanswered questions that take us off into paths of speculation and human understanding.
Seek the Wisdom and Guidance of the Holy Spirit Constantly
What would have been the response of Jesus Christ if Peter had based his confession on something he learned? Or Peter’s confession of who Christ is, was based on something that was very prominent and evident for all to see? Reason why this is brought up is because Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God is not merely a confession of faith and response to the question Christ answered, but a spiritually attained knowledge that has no basis in logic, fact, or reason (See Matthew 16:16-18). Peter’s confession was not based on something he learned from studious labors in various books about Christ. It was not based on physical evidence that mandated – yes this is the promised Messiah. Peter’s confession was based on the very real Divine revelation as to who Christ is.
By relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, we are promised that we will be comforted, instructed, and that we are led into all truth and understanding. Through our continual seeking of the Spirit, we will draw close to our Heavenly Father, and we will strengthen and fortify our testimony through our spiritual understanding and knowledge.
Active and Consistent Practice of the Spiritual Disciplines
As we face the myriad of criticism against our faith and testimony of Jesus Christ and against, we must stand on the words of the scriptures. Through their testimony and counsel, we can receive the answers that help fortify our own testimonies.
By consistent, faithful, and mindful prayer and fasting – we grow in spiritual insight and knowledge. Increase in our understanding of our Heavenly Father’s will for our own personal life. And how we may be empowered to speak with authority and truth when moved upon by the Holy Spirit.
Through meditative and mindful worship – genuine discipleship helps us connect to God in a significant and meaningful way. Faithful obedience to reach out and engage in service helps us not only experience the love and light of Christ in our own hearts and minds – but it also allows us to minister as Christ ministered to those around him.
And through our personal study of the New Testament. Engaging in mindful and meaningful discipleship brings us to a place where we grow to become good stewards of our own health and wellness, improve our relationships with family and friends. Helps us maintain healthy connections within a community and fellowship of others. All so that we are empowered to edify one another.
Nourish our Faith and Testimony
The final principle truth is that we must come to the reality and understanding that Faith has the power to unlock knowledge of eternal truths. Pushed to its fullness, knowledge becomes an absolute and perfect certitude. Thus:
- We need to have pure hearts and great humility.
- We must exercise works to where divine revelation operates when we conduct ourselves as faithful disciples of Christ
- Respect the covenants we have made with God by which the Holy Spirit will become our constant companion.
Yes, the days may grow dark; the mists of darkness may thicken evermore. Scoffers and mockers will occupy moments of time. However, let us not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we receive the power of Salvation.
Let us not engage in battles but spend the time in preparation and fortification of our testimonies so that we can protect ourselves and our families with the power and strength of Christ’s doctrine. Let us stand our ground against the assault of the Adversary and continue to spread the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us stand against the tyranny of bondage and oppression by declaring unto all men, that there is freedom and liberty if one turns to Christ and turn away from the things of this world. Let us not be deceived but know the truth and use the sword of truth to defeat the deceptive tactics of the adversary.
There is no greater time in human mortality than today where the day’s maybe growing shorter, and the nights growing darker. We are the light of the world that shines forth to all to see.
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