Saturday, December 14, 2019

Advent: Seeking Christ Day 14

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” {v. 27 NASB}.

Discipleship. It is the most important call we Christians receive. The disciples have been following Jesus for some time now. Yet, He continues to speak to them in parables so that perhaps they will begin to understand what He has been teaching them—what He is teaching us—that we are to give God the very best. The disciples are traveling with Him and are caught up in all the needs of the ministry, yet, Jesus still needs them to understand exactly what it means to be a disciple. To be a disciple is an act of obedience, not a declaration of faith.

For the mighty ones, for the great ones of the world, there are only two places where their courage deserts them, which they fear in the depths of their souls, which they dodge and avoid; the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ.[1]

The Father gave us the most incredible gift that one could give—His only Son because of His love for us:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” {Jn. 3:16-17 NASB}.

The Father gave us a wonder beyond all comprehension for our finite understanding. He endured a long path to the cross to complete everything for us. Can we not give Him back our best? Can we not follow Him with our whole hearts? Can we move beyond a confession of faith and follow Him in obedience? Can we move beyond a confession of faith and follow Him in obedience? In this season it so easy to be caught up in the busyness of preparing for the holidays, just as the disciples were so busy, that they—and we—forget about what Jesus is endeavoring to teach us; discipleship is the call and it's going to cost us.

Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of the adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous.[2]

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[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Mystery Of Holy Night (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996), 16.
[2] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost Of Discipleship (New York: Touchstone, 1959), 58.

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