Last week we looked at the first step in the process: 1. Abide in the Power of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:1-2:
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
The second step in the Discipleship Process is to Implement the Principles of Christ
We must not only abide in the power of Christ, but we must also accept the principles of Christ. Paul tells Timothy to pass on “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses.” The word witness here actually means, “martyr.” It’s the word for someone willing to die for his or her faith.
Paul is saying, “You can test what I’m saying by the witnesses. These men don’t just speak the Word or listen to the Word; these men are going to die for the Word of God. They are not just church attendees; these men are literally willing to die for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
It’s one thing to stroll into church on Sunday morning and hear an uplifting word from God through the pastor. It’s another thing to live faithfully from Monday through Saturday. Are you putting the words you hear on Sunday into your life? Paul wanted to be sure that Timothy didn’t just hear the Word, but applied it faithfully to his life.
Deuteronomy 4:1 says, “Hear now, O Israel. The decrees and the laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live.” And in Deuteronomy 5:1, Moses summons all of Israel and says, “Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.”
Scripture always makes a strong connection between hearing and doing or obeying. But there is a heresy being taught in churches today. It’s reflected in this attitude: “I can choose to get saved by Jesus today but put off obedience to Him until I die and go to heaven, right? Hey, I don’t really want to be like Jesus! I just want fire insurance, pastor. I just don’t want to go to hell.” I’m sorry but you cannot choose Jesus as Savior without acknowledging Him as Lord of your life.
A few years ago, I spoke to a youth group, and I told the students, “You don’t have to tell me what you believe; just let me watch what you do and I’ll tell you what you believe. Your life will prove (or disprove) the case for the faith you attest to. The way you live will show me if you are a believer or a disciple in Jesus Christ.”
Many relinquish parts of their Life to Christ, but not everything. It reminds me of the life changing night in the life of theologian and historian F. B. Meyer. One evening he was invited to heard C. T. Studd, the famous cricket player (equivalent to an NFL Athlete today) share his testimony of why he abandoned the sporting world to serve alongside Hudson Taylor in the China Inland Mission. Studd spoke a phrase in his message that pierced Meyers’ heart:
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
After the service, Meyer approached Studd and said, “It’s obvious that you have something I lack, something that I need. What is it?”
Studd responded, “Have you Surrendered Everything to Jesus Christ?”
Without thinking, Meyer replied, “Yes I have.” But he knew deep inside that he hadn’t.
The interaction with Studd caused great anguish in his heart that evening. During his prayer time that night, he logged in his journal the interaction with God. Meyer felt as if the Lord speaking directly to him, “Meyer, I want all the keys to your Heart.”
All the Keys?
“Yes, Meyer, I want all the Keys.”
That night, he took a ring of keys and offered them to the Lord, symbolizing his commitment to God. But he couldn’t fool God. There was still one key that was missing. It was as if the Lord rebuked him, “There is one key missing, and If I am not Lord of all, I am not Lord at All.” As the Lord turned from him, he yelled, “Lord don’t Leave! Why are you Leaving?”
“Meyer, If I am not Lord of All, I am not Lord at All.”
But Lord, its just a small key, a very insignificant place in my Heart!
For the third time he heard, “If I am not Lord of All, I am not Lord at All.”
Meyer’s life would never be the same from the experience that night. Before he stood up, he wholly surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus—his career, his desires, his future, his thoughts, his dreams, his plans, his heart, and his mind.
Have you Done that? Have you given him all the Keys to your Life?
What could God do with your life if you surrendered it to him?
Next week, we’ll get into the Nuts and Bolts of Making Disciples.
Can you do me a Favor?
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