Jesus asked His disciples, “Do you know what I have done for you”? http://ow.ly/8QCa30e6Oa9
Recently, someone recommended the book, Discipled by Jesus.
I read it in one sitting.
But I had been praying about a framework of discipleship for my congregation. This book was simple, but it was deep.
I have been a Christian for many years; 25 years. And my first thought was…I know all of this. Yet, in its simplicity, there were questions that would take us a lifetime to answer.
Five questions. The author discusses five questions that Jesus asked His disciples. These same questions need to be answered by His disciples 2000 years later. We, who call ourselves disciples of Jesus, must answer these questions. And I think it goes deeper than we ever dare to go.
Most of us never get much more than surface-deep with Jesus. I know this because of how little change I see in people’s lives who call themselves “Christians”.
The first question Jesus asks of His disciples is this:
Who do you say that I am?
In Matthew’s Gospel, Peter responds by declaring Jesus is the Messiah. And Jesus praises Peter’s response. In my meditation time, I admitted that I knew the answer. I knew that Jesus was the Messiah. It was no big reveal for me. It was not an epiphany. Then I sensed the Holy Spirit ask me again, “Who do you say that I am”?
I may have known the correct answer, but it didn’t feel like Jesus was the Messiah. It felt like Jesus was an Egyptian slave master asking me to make bricks without straw and I feared what would happen if I didn’t make my quota.
When was the last time you were raw and honest with God? Most of us stay stuck and see little transformation because we don’t want to do the hard work. The hard work means we put ourself in the way of grace. We spend time in prayer and scripture and worship. We spend time with other disciples to encourage and challenge one another.
But we don’t want to do the work. We want the blessings and the privilege of being disciples of Jesus. But we don’t actually want to spend any time with Jesus.
I am not trying to heap condemnation on those who are new to the faith and still figuring it out. There is no condemnation for anyone who is in Christ. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Today I spent time meditating on this first question of Jesus. Who do you say that I am?
You, Lord, are the King of kings.
What does it mean for Me to be the King of kings?
It means that Your Kingdom supersedes all other kingdoms in my life. It means that I live by the ways of the Kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of earth. It means I allow the King to rule over my life.
Is there any area where I am not King in your life?
Let’s talk about it.
It has been a few months since I have given you any recommendations. Here are a few to get you through the summer months. I hope you will check out a new book or podcast before Labor Day weekend.
What I’m listening to…
Are you a multiplier or a diminisher? Ugh. This book kicked my butt! We [leaders] often think we are developing leaders. However, we can also become accidental diminishers. Wiseman gives you practical ways to identify when you are multiplying leaders and when you are diminishing potential leaders. The audiobook is great if you are an audio learner or if you travel. It is read by the author which is usually my preference in audiobooks. However, the paper copy comes with resources in the back. If you like tests and next steps, then you might want a hard copy.
Hooray for season two! I am a huge Malcomb Gladwell fan! Huge. I encourage you to read his books, but you want to listen to his podcast. Gladwell could write about fairies and toadstools and I would listen to it. He is a natural storyteller. Don’t miss this!
Watching: Elementary (Hulu)
Elementary (CBS) is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. It takes place in New York City with a few other twists on the original book series. It is every bit as fascinating as Sherlock (BBC) but made for television.
What I am reading…
Lysa Terkeurst is a mainstream Christian author. She writes primarily for women and she has a blog called Proverbs 31 Ministries. Lysa is a deeper Bible scholar than I had anticipated. The Best Yes has been challenging as she causes you to stop and really look at what you are doing with your time and resources.
The Scripture I’m meditating on…
“A good [reputation] is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold”. Proverbs 22:1
Often we believe that our good reputation is the result of success. But how we achieve our “success” effects our reputation.