Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shoulder Your Cross

The song that abruptly dashed to my mind in the last few days is called “If We are the Body” by Casting Crowns. I love this song and I am convicted everytime I hear it. The lyrics of the chorus question the work that we do. Do not misread and think that it questions God’s power; instead, question why we think His power is not working on us.

"But if we are the Body 

Why aren’t His arms reaching 

Why aren’t His hands healing 

Why aren’t His words teaching 

And if we are the Body 

Why aren’t His feet going 

Why is His love not showing them
there is a way 
That there is a way."

I found myself searching for the answer to the simple question - why are we not being effective as the early Christian believers were? Where are the Paul, Peter, Stephen and many others of today's generation? What is required of us to serve Him effectively? In Mark 8:34, Jesus says "....‘If any of you wants to be my follower,’ He told them, ‘you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me’”

Easy to read, hard to live! May God Almighty show us the areas where we are living out our own selfish ambitions. May He show us the sacrifices we have been unwilling to make for HIM.

Be Blessed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Great Commission : The Requirement - Part 1

The Great Commission is a familiar bible passage to many of us. From time and time again we are being reminded of our purpose on planet Earth that is to go and make disciple of all the nations. It is an instruction that Jesus gave his disciples and this instruction is still relevant for us who are the 21st century disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28:19-20 recorded Jesus saying to us: “And Jesus came 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, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

My article this time around will be divided in 3 parts that will cover the topic The Requirement, The Mandate and The Promise. Today I will cover on the 1st part of the Great Commission – “THE REQUIREMENT”.

I use the word “being reminded” in my opening statement because it reflect the actual situation today among many of the 21st century believers. We are living in our comfort zone that leads us to forget our ultimate purpose in this world. The Great Commission is one of the most significant passages in the Bible. First, it's the last recorded personal instruction given by Jesus to His disciples. Second, it's a special calling from Jesus Christ to all His followers to take specific action while on this earth.

Joseph Stowell identified the problem of the modern church well when he said, “We have become quite happy to call ourselves Christians with little or no thought of following”. What a profound statement!!! Instead of being fisher of men (which is our divine calling), we landed up busy taking care of the aquarium.

The Great Commission starts with the statement from Jesus on verse 18 that says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” I believe every word and verse in the Bible given to us for a purpose as it is divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Have you wondered why Jesus has to remind his disciples about His authority in verse 18 even after they personally observe all the miracles and power that Jesus has demonstrated? Puzzling right? Well I believe the fundamental requirement that is demanded of us in the great commission is to put 100% of our faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says without Faith it is impossible to please God.

How can we share our faith when we ourselves doubting God?

Verse 18 is a powerful statement which demands faith in Jesus Christ, validating His power in the lives of Christians and their commitment to Him. This verse acts as a clear claim to Christ's omnipotence, and therefore His deity. If Christians do not believe this statement, complete faith does not exist.

Verse 18 requires us to put our allegiance completely to Jesus. We need to believe 100% of Him without a shadow of doubt. We need to have a profound faith in Jesus Christ as indicated in verse 18. "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

Be Blessed.