All of us feel better when our lives are productive. You can even see horses & sheep dogs, Australian blue healers for instance, who visibly display how good they feel at doing their job & contributing to life. This post is to stimulate us to rethink our lives & our approaches to life, our Creator, & Christ in a way that will be more productively satisfying. It is based upon the teaching of Christ, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” JN 15:8
What would happen if we discipled like Christ discipled?? Discipling is an intentional mutual spiritual journey with a sense of connectedness, a dynamic situation that promotes real life learning. It means taking on the nature of God, rather than just Bible study. If having intimate relationships with people seems strange, a look at God’s revelations thru Christ will give us an example of how open Christ was to knowing people & their problems, imparting his life as a teaching model for his disciples; & this was all done as people came into his life. He made himself available for God to work thru him, more than trying to chase after problems. “Christ also suffered for us: leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.” He rejected the idea of creating a mass movement & mass producing Christians, & cherished the concept of discipleship. (cf. JN 2, MT 28 & others).
Just knowing some interesting factoids doesn’t make for a successful coherent concept of life, & life is too short to learn all its lessons the hard way. Basic Youth Institute’s biblical principles (which they taught so deeply) was so important to me to see how everything in life fits into a beautiful panorama that God is designing, while so many Christians are unsuccessfully trying to make sense of life with an eclectic assortment of tidbits (factoids, theories, disinfo, unrelated puzzle pieces) gathered helter skelter from all kinds of disparate sources. “Therefore my people have gone into captivity [bondage to addictions, problems & sins], because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished [spiritually hungry], & their multitude dried up w/ thirst [spiritual thirst].” ISA 5:15 How do we internalize the truths that will make us successful??
“For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” LK 12:12 Discipleship from God’s Spirit has been available for thousands of years, “He said, ‘My presence shall go w/ thee…” (PS 23:2) “The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master, and why beholdest thou the mote (speck, splinter) that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceiveth not the beam that is in thine own eye?” LK 6:40-41 God’s truths will be life giving & transforming us in positive ways, where we see how to correct our own lives. If not these things, then something is tainting things. We want to open up to both God’s Spirit, as well as our fellowman.
Can you see yourself committed to a spiritual mentor, building new relationship skills thru the practice of love, faith & humility? People dedicate themselves to their corporation, to their athletic career, to their hobby, why not to empowering your life with life-giving life-enhancing principles? Christ said one needs to deny oneself, and this is often misunderstood as meaning denying things, denying one’s self-worth, denying one’s feelings, denying one’s happiness and one’s intelligence. Christ said he came to give us life more abundantly, and everything we do boils down to a choice between life & death. When we deny ourselves, we fearlessly place our lives into his hands, and say in effect, here is my checkbook, my brains, my talents, and expectations, use it all for Your glory! At this point, we see what the Creator can do with the very things He blessed us with in the first place. The world sees it as a risky venture to invest in God, but they will gamble on the craziest of things. I have found that an investment in what God is doing is a safe investment in the long run, & a satisfying one as our lives begin producing fruit.