Saturday, April 26, 2008


I've been doing a study on discipleship. In the Great Commission Jesus tells the disciples to go and make disciples. It seems like most people want to assume that's about evangelization---producing converts. But a convert and a disciple are not the same. A disciple is a follower and not all converts are followers.

My study of discipleship reaffirmed that discipleship is not an easy walk. Jesus promised that disciples would be persecuted. He said a disciple was not above his master. In Matthew 10 Jesus talks about discipleship. He says that following him may mean being set apart from family and friends. He says no one who cares more for family and friends than he/she does Jesus cannot be a disciple.

Jesus also talks about "cross bearing." The first century believers understood what Jesus was saying. Following Jesus would result in persecution and could result in death. Unless one is willing to face persecution and even death they cannot be a disciple. It's a difficult chapter to accept.

I began to ask the hard questions. Would I be willing to give up my possessions? I found the answer was not what I would like it to be. I could easily give up some things, but others would be hard. Could I give up my job? Could I give up my parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren? Would I be willing to face persecution and even death? In other countries these kinds of things happen, but not in the United States. Still, I wonder?

I began to examine my past. I'm probably more than halfway through my earthly lifespan. There have been times I haven't forsaken all to follow Jesus. There have been times I would have gladly forsaken all to follow Jesus. I know this: I want to follow Jesus as a committed disciple, willing to follow Him wherever He leads.

In Mark 10:28 Peter said, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You." I want that to be my attitude. And, when called upon, I want it to be demonstrated in my action.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


We've got family coming to visit and I thought it would be a good idea to clean up my home office a little. As I looked around I saw my 2007 tax file laying in the floor. It's been several weeks since I had my taxes figured and that should have been filed. Over a year ago I bought a new Smartphone. I still see my old one laying on the desk. I attended a meeting in January and I have a paper on my desk that needs to be added to the computer file I started while there. I could go on, but you get the picture. There is a lot of clutter in my office and I need to take a serious stab at taking care of it.

As I looked around I was reminded that our lives often get cluttered. It doesn't happen all at once. Like my office, it's a piece here and an event there. Instead of dealing with it at the moment we put it off until later. Then, one day we look around and marvel how cluttered our lives have become. And then we understand why we've had difficulty hearing from God lately.

There's a parable in the Bible that reminds one of the need to deal with clutter. Jesus told the parable of the soils and one of the soils he talked about was the soil that was covered with thorns. There the seed could not produce an adequate crop because it was choked. (See Luke 4:1-20)

In the explanation of the soils Jesus explained that the seed in the thorn-choked soil represented the word of God in the lives of people who are cluttered with the things of this world. The word never adequately grows in their lives.

As I thought about my office I also thought about my life. I found some clutter there that needs to be cleaned up. I'm trying to take care of that because I want God's word to take root and produce a good harvest in my life. I hope that's your desire, too.