There are messages we hear that resonate immediately, stick to our core and become an instant root in our character. They become our governing values, the foundation on which we build our lives. They are our soapboxes, and the lenses through which we see life.
For me, the first message was accountability — I am responsible for what God’s asked me to do. Not long after, the next was fruit. For a season I obsessed over bearing fruit, prayed for pruning (smh, I was young), and wanted to have something to “offer” the Lord. I knew I was a default “Martha”, a worker bee, a work horse, and a doer. I knew I was vulnerable to tons of good ideas, and that when I completed them, I might be too tired to start the God idea. So I prayed for fruitfulness.
That took several phases and another began today — my first discipleship class. I wanted to offer a forum for believers of all levels to discuss the fundamentals of the faith. Over the years we pick up subtle suggestions that tear at our faith and can weaken us and/or resolve to live for Christ. These suggestions come from culture, family (oral) tradition, paraphrased teaching, stretched teaching, flat-out error and then add to that our own “interpretations” of Scripture.
Today we started in Luke 14: 25-34 with COUNTING THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP. A disciple is a follower, a learner, and pupil of a teacher to whom he opens his mind and life. Wow, that already is a mouthful and distinguishing mark of disciples of Christ…and, how we consider our connections in business, civic service, etc. A power moment today came when we discussed carrying our cross and following Jesus.
Carrying our cross suggests burdens — of consequences from our B.C. (before Christ) life, of the message and ministry of reconciliation given us at salvation (2 Corinthians 5). We completed an “access activity” where we listed in 4 columns, numbered 1 to 4, the groups of people who had the greatest (1 &2) to least (3 & 4) access to us. What we learned, in terms of cross carrying, was that if we placed God’s blueprint for our lives on top of our lists, then our lives (aka our discipleship) should carry further than the first two groups.
Next, the Spirit of Truth revealed that each disciple is an automatic intercessor because through discipleship we avail ourselves for service to God and others. So, He can use us to carry another’s burden(s) as we carry our cross and follow Christ.
It was a challenging first session with a GREAT group. Join us next month, 3rd Saturday, for the next discussion. Love to all!