Christ the Reality of Heaven

Imagine a place full of peace and filled with love. A home rich in spirit and deep in affection. An inhabitant brimming with kindness and overflowing with grace. Well, this residence exists and in Christ, we discover the reality of heaven.

God makes a believer’s life one worthy to receive His grace and sanctified through salvation in Jesus. Even in this broken world, the Lord brings us relief from the spiritual pain sin causes to our hearts. In fact, Christ gives us the Holy Spirit, and this allows us to live free on a planet anchored in wickedness.

Once we abandon our personal agenda and pick up our cross, then a glimpse of eternal life enters our lives. God wants us to experience His Spirit so we can find serenity while we live on the corrupted earth. Likewise, Christ comforts us from Satan’s cunning ways.

When I meditate on heaven, it makes me excited. Besides the obvious of meeting Christ and glorifying God the company the Lord puts me in is astonishing. Every one of those men and women of the Bible God saved awaits me.

I’m grateful to God for including me with His elite trusted servants.

The moment God saved us our affiliation with those incredible people of the Bible emerged.

In the Old Testament Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Habakkuk, Job, and Micah are there to welcome us. Ruth, Esther, Sarah, Leah, Rachel, and Deborah are there to embrace us with love. Those are a few of many God’s chosen ones before His deliverance of Christ.

Switching over to the New Testament our alliance continues. Peter, Thomas, Bartholomew, Andrew and the other seven original Disciples watch for our ascension into heaven. In like manner, Mary of Magdalen, Martha, Sapphira, Anna, and Phoebe look for our coming.

Wow God joins us with an exceptional list of faithful followers. This is not of our making but a gift from Him through our willingness to accept Christ as His entry into heaven. As shown above, our family is impressive!

Who are you most looking forward to meeting in heaven?

 

Christ Removes God’s Mystery

The greatest mystery of humanity is God’s existence. Throughout the ages, humans struggle with accepting the Lord as the creator and ultimate authority over the universe. In fact, many people collide with the Father’s truth. They create absurd concepts anchored in self-centered intellect trying to disprove God’s Living Spirit.

For example, Darwinism is a popular choice that may people take as the reason for our existence. This theory of evolution captures the minds of unstable souls leading to a belief of uncertainty. Charles Darwin believed creation came from random chance and mutations. Here he tries to convince others God doesn’t exist because everything in the universe is aimless without purpose.

The most compelling evidence of God’s presence is experiencing the Holy Spirit. No mystery lies behind the Lord’s breath of life because His Son Jesus Christ is the key to God’s wisdom. Remember, the Messiah is God’s kingdom and solves the debate over creation.

In my dark days, the confusion over God’s truth kept His word mystery. I lived life my way, and the road of self-destruction engulfed my spirit. My outlook on existence involved constant sinning and unnecessary suffering. Understanding a spiritual life was nil.

Under those circumstances, the Lord stayed silent. He knew the precise time when I became ready to hear His voice. It took physical, mental and spiritual bankruptcy to bring me to His doorstep. I reached the point of desperation, hopelessness and then God stepped in and comforted me with His compassion.

As soon as He called on me, everything changed.

The Lord saved my life, introduced me to Christ and removed the mystery of His kingdom. I’m grateful for His gift of salvation.

It’s in Christ we discover God. Until one turns away from sin and follows Christ as God’s way, then eternal life stays a mystery. To unveil God’s wisdom comes from reliance on Christ without reservations. We must concede to our innermost selves Christ as God’s salvation.

Once you find Christ, then the resolution to God’s mystery fades away, and access to spiritual knowledge with a power greater than temptation emerges. This courage to turn away from sin isn’t found within ourselves. Because it’s important to realize without Jesus, no one can live free from the bondage of self.

In the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, it gives the best description of unlocking the mystery of God. Apostle Paul shares this with us.

“The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them, God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  (Colossians 1:26-27 NKJV)

Given these points, it leaves no doubt God placed Christ as the one who solves the riddle of His sovereignty. Through God’s grace, our spiritual understanding increases and we find His the truth.

What are your thoughts on God’s mystery?

Abide in Christ and Discover Eternal Life

Christ is never unwilling to give to those who abide in Him. One of God’s greatest truth is knowing Jesus as His Son and taking action on Christ’s commandments. In fact, nothing pleases God more than living for Christ’s purpose. And the rewards from the Lord by following the Messiah are an endless delivery of divine grace, mercy, and love.

Salvation isn’t a theory. Ask someone who God saved and you’ll discover a powerful conviction to His truths. The saved person tells you nothing matches living in Christ. It’s the most profound experience anyone can have with God!

The Lord made a person’s life spiritually whole full of purpose and filled with meaning. To get this precious gift then faith in Christ is God’s preference. Without abiding in Jesus the strength of God stays elusive. But when you concede in Christ, the courage to live holy overtakes the lusts of the flesh.

The first thing to remember is God’s salvation plan starts with His grace through faith in Christ. Make no mistake, my friend, without Jesus eternal life with God stays at bay.

Christ said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

 

 

 

 

 

I remember my life before God introduced me to Christ. Prideful ambitions coupled with the chains of sin caused me tremendous suffering. My self-searching motives engulfed me in selfish behavior leading me to an isolated and lonely existence. Everything evolved around me leaving no room for selflessness.

This lifestyle bonded me to a life anchored in self-reliance and the inability to resolve problems reserved for Christ. My self-will run wild led me to a life full of turmoil and filled with relentless troubles.

It brings me great joy the transformation Christ instilled in me changed everything. I no longer rely on myself and as the result of abiding in Christ the freedom from sin is noticeable.

The Spirit of God entered my heart and the wisdom to understand His will is visible. This improved outlook upon my existence revolutionized my knowledge of Christ. For example, I discovered a love unlike any I’ve known. Likewise, a compassion for others emerged and spirit connects with the tribulations experienced by people.

Abide in Christ connects us to God. And a conscious contact with the Father leads to eternal life. The Lord’s grace is the reason we live in Christ.

How do you abide in Christ?

God’s Greatest Commission the Holy Spirit

Now that Christ rose from the dead and taken His seat at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19) then it becomes our responsibility to partake in the Great Commission. Since God’s Spirit is alive and we believe in the resurrection, this holds us accountable to spread the Good News. In fact, it’s in the Holy Spirit we discover the wisdom behind God’s message of salvation.

God’s new Covenant includes the Trinity and illuminates a believer’s spiritual life. Once God’s awakens His chosen ones, His Living Spirit transforms the heart of a faithful servant. This gift from Christ supplies us with God’s wisdom and governs us to carry the truth to others (Romans 1:16).

One of my favorite conversation is the one placing God as the focal point. When I share with others, the impact Christ makes in my life a God consciousness emerges. This spiritual connectedness inspires me to devote myself to His purpose. Nothing brings me greater joy than glorifying God and in return, the Holy Spirit brings an internal peace unmatched in the world temptations.

Likewise, the moment God captured my life everything changed. His grace empowered me with the Holy Spirit and put me in the hands of Christ. Since then a new and improved outlook on life took root and keeps me seeking God’s truth. But the neatest experience is growing in the image of Christ. I love the way God teaches me.

When it became known Christ rose from the dead, then He appeared to the Eleven Disciples. Their first thoughts on the risen King brought doubt. They couldn’t fathom Jesus resurrection. And Jesus in His glorious triumph took away their disbelief and sent them out to baptize with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

Here, Christ gives them the power of the Holy Spirit to anoint discipleship to God’s people. It’s important to realize the Trinity is the backbone of salvation. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the qualities of a real disciple and separates true believers from the world.

God’s Living Spirit coupled with Christ’s Deity is an unshakable foundation for eternal life. They are full of spiritual power and the devil flees knowing it’s impossible to penetrate Christ’s armor. In fact, salvation is the greatest protection against the cunning ways of God’s enemy.

Given these points, it’s easy to understand God uses the Holy Spirit to finish real discipleship. The Lord never leaves us in doubt and our personal experience with His Living Spirit gives testimony to Christ’s faithfulness!

Christ’s Resurrection Unveiled God’s Final Plan

God unveiled His promise of an eternal life free from sin through Christ’s resurrection. This assurance of a life spent in spiritual bliss isn’t a theory but a reality to those who live in Christ. And a believer understands this truth because God’s Living Spirit gives them the courage to live holy in a world riddled with evilness.

When I ponder over the great Resurrection, it brings me joy knowing God amended Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 3:22). It’s important to realize this undeniable event transformed my life into God’s light. So without understanding Christ’s rising from the dead my spiritual life stays elusive.

When Jesus unfolded God’s plan for the end of His time on earth (John 2:19), it set in motion the reality of Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Those who heard Him speak on these events became confused. They imagined He meant destroying the physical building and rebuilding it in three days.

With this in mind, we must accept God’s temple is Christ Himself. Those present when Jesus spoke of the resurrection couldn’t grasp the Lord’s unique way of redemption. Yet when Mary Magdalene saw the open tomb and God’s angel told her the news of the resurrected King, she became overjoyed (Matthew 28:1-10)

We are fortunate for Matthew’s recording of Christ’s rising from the dead. Because when the actual resurrection occurred and the Roman soldiers shared this news with the chief priests they bribed them (Matthew 28:12). Then instructed them to use dishonesty and blame the Disciples for stealing His body (28:13-14).

Under those circumstances, a web of doubt engulfed those alive during this significant interaction with God’s plan of salvation. For example, the Apostle Thomas refused to believe Christ arose from the dead until he touched the wounds of Christ’s body (John 20:24-26).

Not much has changed since those ancient days. Many people reject the resurrection. They cling to individualism rooted in self-searching motives. Everlasting life isn’t their focus because they live in the here and now. And they live a fast-paced existence missing out on the spiritual nature of life.

In the past, I recoiled from the Lord. My outlook on Him was one of disbelief. I spent every day spewing my agnostic venom on others. Even in those dark times, God had plans for me to partake in His Son’s resurrection. I the hope your experience with the Great Commission captures your faith in a profound way.

In summary, God’s exposure to Christ’s resurrection gives us an endless delivery of grace. It’s in this powerful act of the Lord we become purposeful and spiritual useful in proclaiming the Gospel. Now with our newfound wisdom, we can live in this broken world.

How do you live in the resurrection?

Divided We Stand In God’s Glory

God used Christ’s kingship to set His chosen ones apart from those who fail to glorify Him. The great division between real believers and people unfit to live in spiritual eternity became necessary. And it’s in becoming divided we stand in God’s glory!

Christ made it known (Matthew 10:34-39), He didn’t come with peace but to carry out God’s ruling. In fact, God decided it was time to rescue His people from the false teachers and set up Christ as His Supreme Ruler. So, from this point forward a real believer must accept Christ as God’s way (John 14:6).

 

It’s important to realize not everyone enters heaven. This may confuse you because we hear a belief in Christ (Acts 16:31) equals salvation. Christ shared this:

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)

With this in mind, Jesus is reminding us a simple belief isn’t enough. We must go further and live by examples of God’s grace (Romans 10:9). This means our actions must show others the internal changes Christ made in our hearts.

Remember talk is cheap, but faith in action is life-changing (James 1:22).

The message of Christ’s division is easy to grasp. It’s in those verses (Matthew 10:34-39) that Christ shows God’s truth on a believer’s relationship with Christ.

First, He shows us loving Him must become our number one priority and fail to love Him above everything will end up unfavorable in God’s eyes (Matthew 10:37).

It’s important to realize our love for Christ must go beyond the kind we have for our families and friends. God commands us to love him first then love others (Matthew 22:36-40). Our ancient ancestor Abraham is a prime example of how to love God even when it means denying a love for family (Genesis 22:1-24).

Christ divided love as a reminder of glorifying God. Here we must accept the Lord as the reason we live and love Him without reservations. In reality, Jesus is saying by loving God first our affection towards family increases.

As important to loving Christ is denying oneself for His purpose (Matthew 10:38). Nothing is more satisfying to God than humbling ourselves before Christ. When we abandon our personal agenda and seek Christ, then God steps in and blesses us with His grace. This remarkable interaction with God is experiencing the undeniable existence of the Holy Spirit.

Again, Christ teaches us we must become divided from our powerlessness over temptations. Until I surrender myself to Jesus, the mystery of God stays elusive.

I experienced both sides of this division. On the negative side, I defied God. In this chapter of my existence agnosticism caused me immense suffering. I tried my best in convincing others to turn away from God by pointing out His unresponsive reactions to the wickedness of the world.

My argument based on the cruelty people inflicted on each other was wrong. I didn’t understand how God works in a broken world. As shown above, those thoughts got me nowhere.

It brings me great joy to announce God has removed my disbelief. Today I no longer live on the wrong side of Christ’s division. As a matter of fact the Lord shed His grace upon me, and now I see the world through faith’s eyes. This new and profound outlook isn’t of my making but Christ.

Given these points, I owe everything to God.

In summary, Jesus’s division paves the way to an eternal life with God. Jesus divided us so we can glorify God in heaven.

What’re your thoughts on Christ’s division?

Redemption Through God Unbiasedness

One undeniable fact of God is His fairness. The root of this truth first surfaced after Adam and Eve’s great fall from His grace. Once God finished handing them their consequences for disobedience, He provided a way out (Genesis 3:22). It’s here, where God’s unbiasedness gave birth to faith and redemption.

The ensuing story is my experience with the Lord’s impartial interaction with me.

On the negative side, agnosticism fueled my disbelief of God and I spread its poison to anyone with open ears. Many times I argued God’s none-existent using the evilness of the world to point out His dislike for humanity.

How could God exist in a world riddled with death, hatred, and cruelty to children?

This outlook on God showed my misunderstanding of faith. I couldn’t grasp the idea those kinds of human actions in the world are not acts of God but the results from wicked people doing evil deeds. In my mind, I used those realities as a way to reject God. I didn’t know faith is an example of the inner changes God provides to remove sin’s corruption.

During this period of life, my thoughts became influenced by alcohol and drugs. This sent me on the road of self-destruction causing severe problems.

In fact, addiction almost killed me. One time I wrecked the car. It happened driving home from a bar. I became intoxicated from several hours of hard drinking and this impaired my ability to think. My drunkenness caused me to veer off the side of the road and crashed into a metal utility pole.

Then the next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of the road in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic. Even though I walked away uninjured, this incident put me in the path of death. This wasn’t enough to stop me ruining my life. I continued driving drunk.

Besides the substance abuse, I lived in fierce resentment, self-centered fear, and other unrighteous behavior. Sin ran wild, causing emotional, mental and physical harms to many people. My life continued to get worse, and along the way, suicide raised its ugly head.

Then one day in the spring of 1985 God got my attention. Alcoholism reduced me to one hundred and ten pounds, looked as if I was walking death and ended back home at mom’s house. This devastated her, and those tears she cried showed the terror behind her eyes. Now she experienced up close a frightening example of the horrors of an unsaved soul. With the agony of defeat prevalent and nowhere else to turn I heard God’s calling.

God took my hand and taught me the real meaning of life. His light overpowered the darkness hanging over my head. And nothing mattered except God. Over the next fifteen years, the relationship between God and me blossomed. He gave me the keys to the meaningful and purposeful life anchored in His purpose.

Even though God took hold of me, He understood I wasn’t ready for His way of living. And in the summer of 2000, I chose to distant myself from God. It began with complacency. You know those times when I believe my spiritual life is well but fail to rely upon Him. Well, this lack of faith cost me His grace, and three years later I returned to the nightmare of addiction.

It wasn’t a wise decision returning to alcoholism. But because of my dead faith and failing to recognize my error God’s voice fell on deaf ears. Under those circumstances, the day I drank, alcoholism returned with a vengeance.

Over the next eight years nothing I tried to ease the unnecessary suffering caused by my disobedience worked. My ability to make sound decisions ceased to exist, and this drove me deeper into despair. In my darkest days, I remember sitting on the couch with no electricity or running water with a cooler full of beer getting drunk. Self-pity filled my heart driven by my refusal to turn back to God.

I tried geographic changes to no avail. Every time I moved the lurking notion of impending doom never left my mind. Other ways included changing friends, hangout places and isolating myself at home. Nothing overtook the reality of my choice to walk away from God. And from my actions to live willful the quality of life continued to get worse.

Alcohol became my worst enemy and every time I drank the blackouts from abusing it became severe. It wasn’t uncommon for me to awaken from a blackout with black eyes or broken ribs because others told me I became violent. They had to manhandle me to stop me from causing more physical damage to property. And this led to more destructive drinking to drown out the embarrassment.

Not sure what happened. One day in the summer of 2011 I asked God for help. And within a few weeks, God’s Living Spirit became visible. He embraced me with His grace. God showed me mercy, and Christ entered my heart. This remarkable and unbelievable spiritual awakening changed me forever.

I knew God answered my cry for help because He removed my obsession with alcohol. No longer was I consumed with constant thoughts of getting drunk. Those became non-existent and God replaced them with a peace of mind unlike any other I had every experience. And God freed me from the bondage of self and as the result of His intervention, my thoughts shifted from the alcohol to thinking on Him.

I am grateful the Lord gave me another chance. Today I keep my faith active. For example, once awaken the first thoughts of the day begin with glorifying God. Prayer is where it starts and throughout the day a conscious effort made to rely upon Christ. And every night a sincere thanking for His daily bread.

God didn’t give up on me nor will He for you. His unbiased treatment of me keeps me seeking Christ and I look forward spending time with Him. I cherish His Spirit. I hope your experience is one full of His love and filled with His presence!

Christ’s Sermon: Blessed are the Faithful

Part 2: The Beatitudes

Throughout man’s history, God recognizes faithful believers. He rewards those who place Him as their number one priority and live by His commandments. The Lord blesses His chosen ones, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we find this to be true. Blessed are God’s faithful followers.

Christ’s sermon on the mountain begins with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12). Each of them starts with a blessing. In fact, this is Christ’s way of reaching out to humanity with the keys to eternal happiness. Because being blessed means living a joyful life through God’s grace.

This blissful consciousness is God given and not by our making. And when we live the Beatitudes, God takes notice, and our lives become prime examples of a Christ-centered life. And this makes living in a broken world enjoyable.

Jesus uses the Beatitudes as the blueprint for a life built on God’s word through living in His truths. They radiate a life anchored in Christ’s Deity showing others the inner-workings of God’s Spirit. In the same way, they are the spiritual principles the Lord gives to those worthy to receive His unconditional love.

In the Beatitudes, Christ outlines God’s eternal plan for a life centered on Christian action. As a matter of fact, it’s in those scriptures that Jesus spells out in perfect detail the behavior a Christian must show to find God’s blessing. For this reason, we need to deny ourselves and live for Christ.

It’s important to realize the Beatitudes have three distinct attributes. First, they show a life rooted in humility. For example, becoming poor in spirit isn’t a lack of spirit but is surrendering free will for God’s purposes.

Once a believer becomes willing to continue letting go of individualism for Christ’s sake then his or her spirit transforms into one driven by the Holy Spirit. And this brings an overwhelming want to serve God better.

This spiritual transition from spiritual darkness into Christ’s light opens the door to the kingdom of heaven. And the more our spirits yearn for God, the happier we become because real gratification of life comes from dependence on Christ and not from selfish motives.

 

The second Christian attribute contained within the Beatitudes is acting on God’s word without reservations. A point often overlooked is salvation is an active participation in God’s truth. And this means developing a personal willingness to apply faith under each circumstance of a Christian’s life. With this is in mind it’s easy to understand words are meaningless until they become active. Christ makes it easy to understand the meaning behind the Beatitudes.

As a matter of fact finding the kingdom of heaven, God’s comfort, eternal inheritance, and Christ’s righteousness are more than words. One must take action by showing God a willingness to do His will in a world that rejects His truths. This means showing a humble, mournful, and righteous life (in unjust circumstances) and knowing others will ridicule us for standing firm on Christ’s words.

The last spiritual attribute in Christ’s Beatitudes is receiving God’s unconditional love. A most compelling evidence to God’s love is best shown in His rewards of mercy, seeing Him, becoming sons of God. And receiving a great reward in heaven for standing firm in times of Christ persecution is His gift to the faithful. Christ didn’t shy away from the way God responds to those who follow the Beatitudes.

In my past unhappiness raised its head. Living in darkness brought me emptiness and discontent. Everything I tried to bring me joy failed because I lived in the lusts of the world. My selfish motives became interwoven in prideful ambitions. I knew nothing of meekness nor God Himself. Then, when I wanted to die, God rescued me.

I’m grateful God saved me and introduced me to Christ. Today my code for Christian living are the Beatitudes. I’m not perfect and fail to live those spiritual truths. But the moment I realize my failure and humbly ask Christ for help then through repentance I’m connected to the Holy Spirit.

How do you practice the Beatitudes?

Christ’s Sermon on the Mountain

 

Part 1: Overview

I have heard many great sermons preached on God’s truth. Those pastors are pouring out their hearts to spread God’s words. They motivate, inspire and encourage me to live for God. But the most excellent sermon I’ve ever read is the Sermon on the Mountain and the one sharing is Christ Himself.

Understanding the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew: Chapters 5-7) is of the utmost importance. In fact, this speech speaks volumes and describes the Christian qualities God’s expects from his faithful followers.

Those chapters are Christ’s blueprints for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s Spirit. Here Christ gives us the tools of righteousness and leaves no doubt of the will of God.

Contained within those three chapters are God’s real truths and corrects every wrong presentation of the Lord’s word. In the Old Testament, the stubborn attitudes from God’s chosen ones continued to place distant between them and God. They became misled, and their spiritual leaders taught them an incorrect understanding of God’s word.

They practiced Jewish traditions giving little or no focus on God’s law. And when the time came for God to deliver Christ to them they were unprepared for the Lord’s truth.

As soon as Christ taught His Disciples the wisdom behind the Father’s words everything they knew changed. The scriptures written in The Sermon on the Mountain comes directly from God’s voice and spoken by Christ.

Christ’s opens His sermon with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) and ends it by telling the disciples His role as God’s Son (Matthew 7:24-27).

The Sermon on the Mountain shows the actions a member in Christ’s kingdom needs to take to find favor with God. In fact, the other three Gospels support its validity. Everything Jesus spoke of in this powerful sermon is in each Gospel. God is constant, never deviates from His words and we understand this from the way the Gospels tells the same truths.

In this sermon, Christ’s delivers God’s message of how a believer needs to respond to life’s terms. In other words, it spells out the solutions to the way we approach God (Matthew 6:5-15) and how to treat our neighbors (Matthew 5:43-48). Christ made sure He spoke on the actions God wants humans to take to live in His kingdom.

Christ shows God’s way of handling anger (Matthew 5:21-24), lust (Matthew 5:27-30), marriage (Matthew 5:31-32), and hatred (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus explained the reason not live by oaths (Matthew 5:33-37) and how to avoid selfishness (Matthew 5:38-42).

In Chapter 6 the sermon identifies the proper way to please God (Matthew 6:1-4). Jesus spoke on how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15) and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). The rest of this chapter places the focus on building a relationship with God (Matthew 6:19-20, 24) righteousness (Matthew 6:22-24), and trusting God (Matthew 6:25-34).

Chapter seven begins with Jesus sharing God’s command of taking a non-judgmental towards others. Then Christ points out going to God by asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door. The last sixteen verses of chapter seven cover the narrow way, false belief, and reliance on Christ himself.

Over the next few weeks, I will share a deeper look into The Sermon on the Mountain. I hope you will join me and share your experiences with Christ’s masterful display of God’s word.

Christ: The Essence of Real Discipleship

After Christ had returned from His 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:1-2), He chose His first four disciples. God planned for His Son’s ministry to be short, and Christ needed to teach others the mysteries of God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:26-27). These four men became the essence of real discipleship.

It’s not by accident Christ approached these men. Since Christ is God (John 10:30), we see God’s Spirit working because those men without delay followed Jesus. They didn’t question who Jesus is and did as He asked. This illustrates God’s undeniable presence in a faithful believer’s life.

The first two men anointed to discipleship are Peter and his brother Andrew (Matthew 4:18). They were fishermen casting their nets from the shore. Christ told them He will make them fisher of men (Matthew 4:19). Here Jesus gives us the essence of discipleship-fishers of men. In fact, Christ appointed Peter as the leader of His church.

The next two who Christ called on is James and John (Matthew 4:21-22). Again Matthew highlights the impact God made in their lives. Those two men showed an unshakable trust in Christ because upon hearing God’s command they picked up their cross and walked with Christ.

When we take an honest look at the way, those men responded to Christ; we gain knowledge into true discipleship. The first thing to remember is their unselfish commitment to God. Their faith shows us a disciple denies oneself for the will of God. It takes selflessness to live as a disciple. Likewise, for us to become disciples, we must do the same.

Jesus recruited eight more disciples. One of those twelve betrayed Him (Judas Iscariot) in the garden of Gethsemane. Many others entered discipleship because God planned for anyone who believes in Christ sovereignty (John 8:31-32). Today others are still being granted this same privilege.

The essence of discipleship is applying Christ’s teachings to our everyday lives. It’s easy speaking the Gospels. But a more challenging presentation of God’s Spirit is exemplifying the impact Christ has in the way we respond to adversity.

For example, our reactions to life terms need to radiate the way Christ dealt with His troubles. Even though our problems don’t match the ones Jesus endured, He shows us the spiritual principles necessary in staying firm on God’s word. It’s our reliance on Christ that we find courage beyond ours to face the world full of evilness.

One of the first things to remember is discipleship radiates God’s Living Spirit. This doesn’t mean a disciple is perfect. Everyone falls short of living in God’s will (Romans 3:23), and no one is free from sin (1 John 1:1-10). With this in mind, we must remember it’s our willingness to repent and let Christ remove our trespasses. Nothing pleases God more than a believer’s action of repentance.

A disciple is a spiritual craftsman working for Christ’s Deity spreading God’s truth. And for this purpose, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind discipleship. Without God’s Spirit present in the life of a disciple, the message of Christ’s Kingship is ineffective. This includes taking a self-righteous approach in sharing Jesus’s truths.

Discipleship is of divine importance because our spiritual lives depend on our willingness to live in Christ. This significant God-granted experience is not without responsibility. We must pick up our cross (regardless of its pain) and become His servants. Remember we no longer living in the world but God’s kingdom!

Have you found your discipleship?