80s Christian Metal Blessings!
Guys, we are entering a time of sifting. Increasingly it’s not “popular” to be a Christian. You can see it, right? In times like these, historically, the wheat is separated from the chaff. Posers are separated from the Real Thing. “Church attenders” are separated from “DISCIPLES of Jesus". So, let me challenge you to reflect on this question today, “Are you a CONVERT, or a DISCIPLE?”
Converts are religious. Disciples walk in relationship with Jesus.
Convers do religious things to soothe their own conscience and also in an attempt to appear righteous to others.
Disciples live for an audience of ONE; they pursue Christ with an undying passion to glorify their Lord and King in all that they do—compelled by a debt of love that can never be repaid.
Converts to the Religion called Christianity, profess belief in Jesus as Savior. They attend religious services and often speak fluent “Christianese”---you know what I mean, they know Christian lingo---they know the titles and lyrics to Christian songs. They love to talk about “church life” – traditions, activities, programs, etc. that they’ve participated in, etc. But all-too-often their character is exposed as unchanged by their religion. These are those of whom Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days (which began at Jesus’ ascension). 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV)
DISCIPLES of Jesus have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as Lord. His will is their desire. They count themselves dead to their former life of living for self and this world, and born again through faith in their Lord—to follow, honor, and love Him all of their days. They also participate in worship with the body and in activities of fellowship, service, etc. with their church family, but their motivation is purely to glorify Christ and know Him more intimately. DISCIPLES intentionally, and regularly pursue a closer relationship with Christ through private quiet times; reading and meditating upon Scripture, conversing with their Heavenly Father (prayer), abiding with Christ, quietly listening to His voice. DISCIPLES increasingly demonstrate the spiritual fruits of a character that is being changed from the inside-out by the Spirit and Truth of Christ and His Word.
The Scriptures describe DISCIPLES this way:
“The student (DISCIPLE) is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” (Luke 6:40)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ… I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:8, 10-11)
Live for our LORD & KING, Jesus Christ today, as His DISCIPLE!
Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!