Don’t Give Up!

As I contemplated the concepts of discipleship, I came across verses such as:

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

And I concluded that being a disciple is not an easy task… in fact, true discipleship will be a life long struggle to follow Jesus over our own desires, wants, and comforts.

This year started off badly for my family and me. I’m sure that the start of 2013 will go down in our history as one of the most hurtful, challenging, trying months we have ever encountered. Family issues, church issues, and health issues have all taken their toll on what should have been a year of great breakthrough and growth.

However, in all honesty, I think that it’s these moments that really test your faith and tell you exactly who you are. In the midst of storms and tribulations, do we become better or bitter? Do we trust more in Christ or use any excuse to back away from the calling over our lives? Are we willing to take up that cross and follow Christ, even if it means pain and sacrifice?

I’m no hero in the faith. I’m just some guy who decided that in spite of all that has happened, I’ll trust God more. I choose to believe that if God allows us to go through bad times, it’s for a greater purpose—or as Romans 8:28 aptly says:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


What does being a disciple mean?

The dictionary provides a simple definition for a disciple, being a “follower, adherent, believer, student, or supporter.” In addition, a disciple is one who believes and follows the teachings of another, and desires to learn more of his master’s will.

An important aspect to discipleship is faith. The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Therefore, we need to believe have faith in order to follow him as a disciple. It’s a simple concept in theory but a difficult one to practice.


Good people and Godly people

This past summer was absolutely fantastic! I was able to spend lots of time with my family and in devotional time seeking God. During those quiet moments, the Holy Spirit lead me toward studying on the topic of discipleship, most importantly the difference between being “good” and being “Godly.”

So often we get caught up in the personality, charisma, or personal sentiment regarding people. We like them, so therefore that automatically means that God does too. Nice people, who treat me well, tell me what I want to hear, and give me what I want. But the chasm between good and Godly is enormous.

Consider Jesus’ words in Luke 18:19:

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

Paul also confirms this sentiment in Romans 3:23

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

In the New Testament sense, NOBODY is worthy of God. It doesn’t matter how well we treat our spouses, take care of family, give to good causes, or attend church.

The ONLY way that we can be justified is through having a relationship with Jesus Christ! As John 14:6 states:


The Truth of Christianity and What it Means to be Saved.

The following verses have just captured my attention lately. For the past months, I’ve been contemplating deeply on the truth of Christianity and what it means to be saved. There are so many good people in church. They are the many people who sacrifice to take care of their families and abstain from a lot of the vices of this world. Yet, Jesus plainly states in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It gets to me every time. We can be so religious and pious that we completely miss the mark. Our salvation is not dependent on what we do but rather who we know. The only way to God is through knowing Jesus (John 14:6).

This is what hurts so much as I preach to the many good people I run across on a daily basis. They give to the Red Cross. They attend service Sunday mornings. They don’t curse, drink, or smoke. They treat their wives and families with the utmost care and love. Yet, all of these things by themselves are meaningless without a relationship with Jesus. Being good doesn’t equate to being a Christian!


Personal Reflections

I’ve been taking a break from blogging these last few weeks. It seems that after nearly a year of doing this, I’ve hit the proverbial May/June swoon (a phrase I prefer over “writer’s block”). It’s not that I don’t have anything to share… I have so much I want to express in writing that it’s been hard to focus on one thing.

So let me share what’s been on my heart…