AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES

 

     Have we, the Church, abdicated our role and one of the greatest responsibilities and highest honors, given us, by Jesus?

     Have we surrender our responsibilities to the professional clergy and thereby have disobeyed one of Jesus' foremost commands and commissions:  "Go and make disciples".

"So Jesus was saying to those who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  John 8:31

 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.  John 15:7-8

Jesus' disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.  And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations - baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to observe all that I commanded you; and see that I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

     Jesus taught, repeatedly, that if we are to actually be Christians we must be His disciples.  There is no difference between the two.   If you call yourself a Christian and do not do what Jesus said, you are not known to Him.  "Why do you call me Lord, when you do not do what I say.  Depart from me you wrongdoers.  I don't know you."

     It is, and always has been, the responsibility of each and every Christian, to follow and obey Jesus and to make  disciples who will do the same.

 


Have we, the Church, abdicated one of the greatest commands and commissions by Jesus to the professional clergy?

Have we engaged hirelings to do our work?

     I am studying this for myself.  I take one of Jesus' teachings for a Disciple each day and I will share one each day on Face Book if you would like to follow along.

NOTE TO PASTORS:

     Pastors, specifically, are to making disciples, not keeping the 'babes on milk', not attracting church members with programs, not to finding people who will follow your vision and not to find sheep of your own as an 'under shepherd' (especially since there is no such thing as an "under-shepherd".   Building programs, educational programs, social programs, etc., are not the primary calling.  These things are just a secondary necessary consequence of making disciples.
 

Read and study with me, what Jesus told us we MUST BECOME what we MUST DOING as His Disciples. 

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #1

  • Repent

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

 

https://www.whitestone2014.com/yes-you-have-to-follow-him-for-real

https://www.whitestone2014.com/call-to-arms-part-2

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?  __________________________________

 

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?  __________________________________

 

 

 

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #2

  • Follow Me

 

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

"Follow Me", is an imperative statement, a command (not a request).  It conveys a sense of urgency, as saying "Now!".  Finally, the idea is to draw near, as looking over Jesus' shoulder, watching, learning, preparing to imitate Him.  You are to be seen with Him and identified as having been with Him.

 

https://www.whitestone2014.com/the-real-gospel-of-christ

https://www.whitestone2014.com/yes-you-have-to-follow-him-for-real

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?  _________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?  _____________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #3
 

  • Rejoice in persecution

 

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

 

"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10–12).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

 

Rejoice: to rejoice, be glad, to rejoice exceedingly, to be well, thrive.

Persecute:  dioko = to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away in a hostile manner; to harass, trouble, molest one. 

This comes from the world Diakonos which translates DEACON; a servant of God, a minister.

 

How do you rejoice when being terrorized?  You cannot and you should not.  So, something unusual, something exceptional must have happened.

You cannot isolate these verses from what preceded in this chapter.  Each verse builds, one upon the next, until you have been purged, refined and been restored, fully surrendered to God and His Will.  Then, persecution is inevitable. 

 

You are walking in the step of Jesus, in His likeness, doing His Will and His Works.

Your reward in heaven is great.  Great, indeed.

https://www.whitestone2014.com/untitled-c1oj2

 

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?  ____________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?  ________________________

 

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #4

  • Let Your Light Shine

 

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?   

 

PHOS = To shine or to make manifest one's thoughts; God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly; reason, mind ; the power of understanding esp. moral and spiritual truth.

 

"Not as a result of our works, so that we may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."  Ephesians2:10

 

"For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."  Philippians 2:13

 

We must remember that it is not our light that shines, but His Light within us, bringing Him glory through our submission and obedience to Him and His Will.

 

HOW MUST I DO IT?  _____________________________

 

HOW MUST I TEACH IT?  _________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #5

  • Honor God’s Law

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?   

 

The "Law and the Prophets" taught and guided the Jewish people in all their thought and conduct so they might live a life pleasing to God to have success in their affairs. 

Then, In one bold and sweeping statement Jesus announces that He is the fulfillment, the revealing and the completion of all the Law and the Prophets spanning their four thousand years of history.

Jesus is saying that His life, ministry and teachings not only explain the Law and the Prophets but completes their meanings and requirements.

Jesus Christ is Supreme

The significance of this announcement is that

it relegates the Torah and the Prophets

as subjected to Jesus and His teachings.

"The Torah" - The "Jewish Law" or the "Torah" is the 5 books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). The Jewish tradition is that there are 613 commandments, or mitzvot, in the Torah (also known as the Law of Moses).  Also known as the "Pentateuch", which is Greek and means "Five Books", refers to the Torah i.e. the 5 Books of Moses.  These Laws and the Prophets teach and guide the Jewish people in all their thought and conduct how to live a life which is pleasing to God and leads to success in their affairs.

Secondly, the "Prophets", or The Twelve, also called The Twelve Prophets, or The Minor Prophets, the book of the Hebrew Bible which contains the books of 12 minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. 

These books contain an account of the world’s creation by God and the emergence of human civilization. 

The first six books narrate not only the history but the genealogy of the people of Israel to the conquest and settlement of the Promised Land under the terms of God’s covenant with Abraham, whom God promised to make the progenitor of a great nation.

The following seven books continue their story in the Promised Land, the establishment and development of the monarchy and the warnings by the prophets both of impending divine punishment and exile and of Israel’s need to repent.

The last 11 books contain poetry, theology, and some additional history.

In one bold and sweeping statement Jesus announces that His life, ministry and teachings not only explain the Law and the Prophets but completes their meanings and requirements.  He is the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets spanning their, now, four thousand years of history.

This means Jesus is the one True way to life and life more abundantly.  Now, as a disciple of Jesus . . .

HOW MUST I DO IT?  _____________________________

HOW MUST I TEACH IT?  _________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #6

  • Be Reconciled

 

"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison."   (Matthew 5:23–25).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

 

The Truth is presented on several levels in this teaching:  (1)  The physical and the practical, (2) the soul of the mind will and emotions and (3)  the Spiritual.

 

Jesus is using the practice of giving (a gift or an offering) to God, as He takes us from a practical spiritual duty to a profound Spiritual application.

 

We are reminded that sin separates the Christian from God - and sin must be dealt with quickly, otherwise, we are rendered spiritually impotent, emotionally drained and physically endangered.  Anything you have to offer God is tainted by your unresolved sin, and, in this case, a separation from a brother because of an offense.

 

Jesus then uses a metaphor of the law to explain what happens in the Spirit and in your soul when sin is unresolved and your are unrepentant toward God:  

 

YOU ARE HANDED OVER TO THE JUDGE

AND

CAST INTO A PRISON

 

The Apostle Paul reminds us, in Romans 8:6  "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

The Greek language used here for a "mind set" is, once again, is a picture of being "swept away, fenced in and locked up", put into a prison within one's own mind, soul and spirit, separated from God.

Jesus, Himself warns us, "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.   "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."  Matthew 6:14-15

 

The penalty is harsh but the remedy is simple:  "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way..."

Forgive and be reconciled.  This is what a disciple of Jesus does.  This is what a Christian does. 

 

Jesus' disciple cannot deliberately and defiantly engage in an offense between a brother or a sister and serve God - and remember - the jailer awaits.

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?  ________________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?  ____________________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #7

 

 

  • Do Not Lust

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:27–30).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?  

 

This is a very difficult saying and an even more difficult circumstance to find yourself.  It should be approached with humility, fear and submission to God through prayer.

First, God says unrepentant lust is an offense which brings death.  Leviticus 20:10 says "If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

 

Lust is destructive.  Proverbs 6:32 says "The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it."

 

Lust is a sin that spreads to others, like a virus.  Matthew 5:32 says "but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of un-chastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

 

Lust is powerfully seductive and fatally addictive.  James 1:14-15  says, "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  (v15) Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."

 

Lust leads to corruption of the soul, debauchery and a reprobate mind.  James 4:2 says, "You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask."

 

Jesus uses an extreme figure of speech when He says to pluck our your eye or to cut off your hand in order to illustrate the serious consequence of lust, "your whole body to go into hell".

 

A true disciple, a true Christian, must avoid lust at all costs.  But, when we find ourselves caught in the vortex of this strong delusion and in the powerful grip of this web of sin we must start by, admitting our sin, cry out to God, and begin what will be a long and very difficult journey back to freedom. 

 

1 John 1:8-9 says , "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


Please click on these links read for a more complete explanation and way of escape from this danger:

SEPARATED FROM GOD?

 

KNOWING GOD'S WILL

 

LIVING GOD'S WILL

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT?______________________________________

 

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?___________________________________

 

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #8

  • Keep Your Word

"But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."  (Matthew 5:37)

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

In order to get a grasp on the meaning of this teaching, we must get the context of what Jesus is saying. 

First of all, Jesus told us in verse Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."

 

Jesus is actually teaching on "the fulfillment of the law".  He is dong this by comparing what the "ancients were told" and what He now says to us.

This time, Jesus is referring to making of vows, all of which He calls "FALSE VOWS", which, in truth, is any vow or any bragging remark, or any prediction you make about what you say you will do, since you cannot predict or direct the outcome of your own future.

Matthew5:33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."

 

Secondly, Jesus is saying "let your actions do your talking" so you do not fail in your vows, which God considers as sin. 

 

Besides, when you brag about what you can or will do and fail to do it, you look like a fool and a liar.  This is not the representation a Christian can make as a follower of Jesus.

 

Read  Deuteronomy23:21 to understand the gravity of an unfulfilled pledge or vow:  “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you. 22“However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. 23“You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God, what you have promised."

James 4:13 picks up on Jesus teaching and reiterates, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

 

I have read several of the myriad commentaries on this matter and the great majority either lightly regard the context of this teaching or ignore the context all together and delve in to history, culture or the linguistics of the verse. 

 

We should take this teaching at its face value

If you are required to take an OATH, then make your oath truthful and fulfill that oath, such as "I swear to tell the truth on a matter".  But, as for vows, just do what you need to do and let the results be your vow.

SPECIAL NOTE TO PASTORS AND CHURCH "LEADERS": 

Many pastors and church "leaders" require or ask their members to make a vow or a pledge when it comes to tithing or giving to certain financial projects or programs such as "Building programs" or "Capital campaigns".

These church "leaders" claim that making pledges or vows helps them do a better job planning their budgeting or building projects.  This may help a project manager, but...

 

THIS IS A DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO JESUS' TEACHING.  It is often a deceitful and shameful method of manipulation.

 

The irony is that these tactics have caused the Body of Christ to doubt the "leadership crew" and the hirelings (paid religious professionals) and as a result tithing has diminished from a traditional ten percent to a mere two to four percent.  https://www.barna.com/research/donors-proceed-with-caution-tithing-declines/

 

​​Let your VOWS be "Yes" or "No"

&
Fulfill your VOWS to the Lord

This is what a disciple of Jesus does

 

Now, the question for the disciple of Jesus is... 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ____________________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? ________________________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #9

 

  • Resist Not Evil - Go the Second Mile

"You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38–42).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

Again, a teaching of Jesus seems counter intuitive and can test the soul of even the most dedicated man or woman.  It is difficult to understand - unless you are willing. 

At first glance, this teaching sounds as if a disciple of Jesus is to stand idly by while an evil person slaps you about and perpetrates all kinds of evil to you and in your presence. 

Some have even dubbed this teaching as "the law of non-resistance".  It from this teaching that some call themselves "conscientious objectors".   

There are other examples and times when it seems Jesus teaches the contrary, such as, "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6 

 

Or, Jesus' own example, at times, contradicts the "law of non-resistance", such as when He turned over tables and whipped the money changers in the Temple.

But, again, context is everything.

 

First, Jesus is telling us not to entangle ourselves in the affairs of evil men, even when they cast their evil upon us.  Instead, stay focused on Jesus' Mission while actively responding to evil, by overcoming evil with good.

 

Secondly, God's Word and methods are an intricate balance of mercy and justice, something we rarely see anymore.  Once you have "paid the debt" of forgiveness and kindness, do not linger.  If an evil person continues in his or her evil ways, "Shake the dust off your sandals", so to speak, and move on.

 

James teaches this principal and its practice when he says, "7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." 

 

This takes effort on the Believer's part, both of (#1) spiritual discipline and the effort of (#2) practical application.

 
A simple example of the law of "spiritual physics" is helpful.  Do this exercise with a friend: 

 

1.  Stand face-to-face, within an arm's length from one another.

2.  Each person should extend their arm until your hands meet half way between one another.  (AN IMAGINARY LINE IS NOW DRAWN BETWEEN THE TWO PEOPLE.  THE PLACE WHERE YOUR HANDS MEET IS THE "LINE OF AGREEMENT")

 

3.  Each person needs to slowly, at first, apply a forward pressure pushing on the other's hand palm, as if you are trying to move the "LINE OF AGREEMENT" IN YOUR FAVOR, increasing your space.

 

4.  Increase the pushing pressure and RESIST the push of your opponent - who should to be trying to PUSH THEIR WAY OVER THE LINE OF AGREEMENT into your space.

 

5.  One person, suddenly jerk your hand back toward yourself.  This will cause your "opponent" to fall forward and suddenly find themselves ON YOUR SIDE of the "ARGUMENT"

Thus, the principal of "spiritual physics"

- RESIST NOT -

(so that they may have the opportunity to come to your side of the matter!)

 

Finally, let's do as Jesus taught and modeled when I says, "I did not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but, I come to fulfill the law". 

 

Let's, you and I, also

"Fulfill the Law"

 

Now, as a disciple of Jesus, fill in these blanks:

 

HOW MUST YOU DO THIS? _________________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH THIS? _____________________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #10

 

  • Love Your Enemies

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same??” (Matthew 5:44–46).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

     Once again, Jesus brings a teaching which is counter-intuitive to the human mind.  It is a 'radical' departure from the long standing practice of revenge and retribution.

Jesus, however, is teaching from a "God perspective".   His teaching, when put into practice, will transcend the natural and complete its task by the supernatural Work of God. 

Just as Isaiah 55:8-11 says,

      8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
            Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

      9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
            So are My ways higher than your ways
            And My thoughts than your thoughts.

      10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
            And do not return there without watering the earth
            And making it bear and sprout,
            And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

      11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
            It will not return to Me empty,
            Without accomplishing what I desire,
            And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Practicing this Act

As a Disciple of Jesus

Requires Both Faith and Self-Discipline

Secondly, a closer look at the command to "love your enemy" you will learn that the word "love" used here is AGAPAO = Which is to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in a thing.

From its supposed etymology AGAPAO, (ἀγαπάω) is commonly understood properly to denote love based on esteem ( diligo), as distinct from (amo), or a spontaneous natural affection of emotional and unreasoning.

 

TO ESTEEM someone is to respect them but does not refer to a feeling an emotional type of live such as "philos" which is a brotherly kind of love nor an "eros" which is an erotic kind of love.

 

Once applied, we are told that a prophetic and supernatural act is manifest:  "So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven"

 

"May Be" - GINOMAI =  Means to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being; to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen; to be made, finished; of miracles, to be performed, wrought.  "So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven"

 

 

BY THIS, YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT

 

 

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ______________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? ___________________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #11

 

 

  • Be Perfect

 

"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:46–48).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is calling us to rise above our carnal nature.  Again, humanly speaking, a most difficult if not  impossible task.  Yet, Jesus says we must.

 

Jesus tells how our human nature is to associate (love = AGAPAO = Which is to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in) those with whom we agree and who agree with us. 

 

But, He says that IF WE ARE TO BE HIS DISCIPLES we must adopt a 'view from above'.  We must see the entire picture of humanity as He see it - from a 'heavenly perspective', "as your heavenly Father".

 

He tell us we must be PERFECT, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.

This takes the filling by the Holy Spirit, coupled with  effort and obedience on the Believer's part, both of (#1) spiritual discipline and the effort of (#2) practical application.

 

PERFECT:  Strong's concordance #5046 τέλειος teleios tel’-i-os

 

Brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue, of men; full grown, adult, of full age, mature.

 

In colloquial terms, we are being told to GROW UP and ACT LIKE JESUS, Who IS PERFECT!

 

We are to be full of integrity, virtue, adult, mature, LIKE JESUS.


We are to Possess Integrity:  The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided.

 

We are to Possess Virtues:  Behavior showing high moral standards.  Moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Doing what is right

and avoiding what is wrong

The virtues are temperance, prudence, courage (or fortitude), and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love (charity) from 1 Corinthians 13.

 

There is no escape from this.  If you call yourself a Christian, or if I call myself a Christian - a disciple of Jesus, this is what we do. 

 

It gives a new meaning to the phrase...


 

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

2 Peter 1:5 ¶  Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

6  and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,

7  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

8  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

10  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

11  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

 

Philippians 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

9  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

Now it is your turn:

 

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ________________________________________

 

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? _____________________________________

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES - Lesson #12

  • Practice Secret Disciplines

I.   "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

2  "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

3  "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 " so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

 

 

II.   "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

6  "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

7  "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

8  "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

9 "Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

10  ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

11  ‘Give us this day our daily bread.

12  ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]]’

14  "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15  "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

 

III.   "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

17  "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face

18  "so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  (Matthew 6:1–18).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The core of this teaching is found in the first verse:  "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." 

 

There is an adage for soccer players and coaches that says, "the best pass is the easiest pass".  In other words, don't over-think it.  Don't complicate that which is easy. 

 

So, taking this verse at face value, it is easy to see what Jesus is teaching.  In plain terms, if you seek recognition for your good deeds, then that is all you will get.  Recognition.  No one will think of you more than someone who just want to be recognized - a self centered person.  And, you will have detracted from the good you might have done in seeking to get glory for yourself.

Jesus gives us three examples of how some people try to satisfy their ego. 

 

(1)  Giving to the poor in order to be noticed for their charity and generous character.

(2)  Praying in order to be noticed for their religious expressions.

(3)  Fasting in order to be noticed for their personal sacrifices and disciplines.

 

Some might call this type of person a narcissist.  Jesus calls such a person, "a hypocrite".

 

The very thing a person seeks, which is "to be noticed for their generosity, charity, righteousness or personal sacrifices", is withheld from them.  The only thing they get is "noticed" - but not for the things they crave.

 

So, let's ask ourselves, do you ever feel like your giving, your praying and your fasting goes unanswered or unrewarded?

 

There is something bigger at work here: 

A Spiritual Law

 

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Luke 6:38

 

NOTE:  There are three words, in the Bible...

  

  • "make"

  • "practice", and

  • "give"  

 

And, all three are from the same Greek word.  Jesus used this word when He said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

 

All three words (1) GIVE   (2) PRACTICE  and (3)  MAKE, come from the exact same Greek word = POIEO ποιέω (poy-eh’-o)

 

They mean,

 

1) to make with the names of things made, to produce, construct, form, fashion, etc.

1a) to be the authors of, the cause

1b) to make ready, to prepare

1c) to produce, bear, shoot forth

1d) to acquire, to provide a thing for one’s self

 

These words are similar to the account of creation in Genesis 1, when God created, or God made - (Genesis 1:1, 25) 

 

CREATED = 01254 ברא bara’ baw-raw’

 

1) to create, shape, form

1a) (Qal) to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject)

1a1) of heaven and earth

1a2) of individual man

1a3) of new conditions and circumstances

 

Genesis 1:25  And God <0430> made <06213> (8799) the beast <02416> of the earth <0776> after his kind <04327>, and cattle <0929> after their kind <04327>, and every thing that creepeth <07431> upon the earth <0127> after his kind

 

MADE = 06213 עשׂה ‘asah aw-saw’

 

1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to do, work, make, produce

1a1a) to do

1a1b) to work

1a2b) to produce

1a2c) to prepare

1a2d) to make (an offering)

 

This Spiritual Law is saying "Give, and it will be given to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Whether good things or bad things, it will be given back.

 

If we give, pray, fast or whatever we do out of selfish motives, we will likewise, have selfishness poured into our laps in good measure until it runs over us.

Jesus give us the remedy and the escape and the discipline as His disciple.

This is What We Do as A Disciple of Jesus

This is the Spiritual Law Applied

1.   GIVE:  "Make your all of your giving of all kinds, in secret; and your Father in Heaven, who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

2.  PRAY:  "When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

3.  FAST:  "But you, when you fast, denying yourself of worldly pleasures, anoint your head and wash your face  so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

 

Now it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ___________________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? _______________________________________