Archive for the ‘Disicpleship’ Category

fl000051Fewer things in the Christian life are more difficult than sowing the seed of Christ in a world where the soil seems awfully polluted. Some say it is a gift, while others say it is a calling on all who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior. I tend to agree that the commission is multi-faceted but demanding on all of Christ’s followers. Never has that been more evident to me in my life until my wife, sister, brother-in-law and I started VineLife Church a little over two years ago.

During those two years we have been planting seeds in the life of people who didn’t even know they were God’s fertile soil, some to the point of denying the seed all together. I got to tell you this has been a hard process. Sometimes seeing the seeds grow before our eyes. Other times seeing the seed produce a seed of its own and plant the seed in others. And yet, there are those painful times as well. Where the seed is planted and seemingly never to sprout (only God knows). Or other times where the seed is planted and nurtured and cared for, showing promising growth only to realize later that it believes it needs a new pot (i.e. church body). But the hardest part of all is how close one must get to people in order to plant these seeds. Building relationships, tilling the soil of their lives and in the end scattering the seed not knowing of it will bring forth the fruits of the kingdom. When it doesn’t, it hurts and calls into question the whole point of planting seeds of the Gospel. However, those that do sprout always far out weigh those that don’t and the fruit they produce is uncomparable to the tremendous crop that one plant alone can produce. All in all, sowing the seed of Christ is the most rewarding challenge of my life.

How about you, is it hard for you to share Christ? If so, why? If not, tell us more. What are your experiences in sowing the seed of Christ?

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You can check out all of Willard’s articles here. However, the article I really thought relevant to this weeks lesson in Matthew 16 is here. Here is something to wet your appetite.

How the disciple lives naturally comes out of who the disciple is.

As Jesus’ disciple, I am his apprentice in kingdom living. I am learning from him how to lead my life in the Kingdom of the Heavens as he would lead my life if he were I. It is my faith in him that led me to become his disciple. My confidence in him simply means that I believe that he is right about everything: that all that he is and says shows what life is at its best, what it was intended by God to be. “In him was life and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 NAS)

Being his apprentice is, therefore, not a matter of special “religious” activities, but an orientation and quality of my entire existence. This is what is meant by Jesus when he says that those who do not forsake all cannot be his disciple. (Luke 14:26 & 33) The emphasis is upon the all. There must be nothing held of greater value than Jesus and his kingdom. He must be clearly seen as the most important thing in human life, and being his apprentice as the greatest opportunity any human being ever has.

The article goes on to suggest three dimensions of learning to be a disciple of Jesus. 1) Obedience to the Lord,otherwise, why call him Lord. 2) Imitation of Christ in all areas of life becomes our own existence. 3) “Learning to exercise the power of the kingdom –of Christ in his Word and Spirit– to minister good and defeat evil in all of the connections of earthly existence.” These are all very powerful ideas and beautifully laid out. I was incredibly convicted, challenged and moved by this article. It makes me excited and hopeful for a greater day. May it bless you as well.