Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Barriers of Discipleship"

Church service was good today. I truly enjoyed myself. I visited my childhood church with my older sister. I'm technically still a "member" of the church because I joined when I was younger, but since then I've moved on and ventured out to find my "new church home," if I might say.

Anywho, the message was amazing. I'm not used to Pastor Davis preaching such a convicting message-- or maybe he always does, I was just too young to pick up on it. The message was "Barriers of Discipleship." He began by defining the word "barriers," stating that barriers in our lives are "structures that hinder action." Pastor was saying that the Lord requires us to not only know the benefits of discipleship, but the barriers as well. This keeps us accountable.

The scripture that he gave was from Matthew 28, you know... the great commission, where Jesus tells us to go and teach all nations. The word "teach" is translated to "make disciples of." Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit-- or, baptizing "in the name of Jesus Christ."

The scriptures he used to teach the message came from Luke 9:23, 57 and John 15. He stated that the first barrier is when we do not deny ourselves for Christ's sake... when it's our [fleshly] will waring against the Lord's [holy] will. Pastor Davis said this is a barrier in the lives of God's people. He also said that you cannot make disciples until you become a disciple-- or, you cannot bring anyone to Christ until you are a devout and sincere follower of Christ yourself. That was really good to me.

Another thing he mentioned was, if you take the word "self" and reverse it, adding an "h," you get the word "flesh." That really blessed my spirit. It's true. Our will is self-flesh; not self-less, it's selfish and the Lord's will requires sacrifice and surrendering ourselves and our own will. We must give it all up for Christ Jesus.

The second barrier (the first was "not denying self") was "If you don't sacrifice, you won't be able to serve." Meaning, if we don't sacrifice our will and our way, we as disciples of Christ will not be able to serve others and edify the Kingdom of God because God says in scripture that we cannot serve two masters-- it's either self or God, Christ Jesus. Particularly, Pastor was talking about the church ("church" in a general sense) not paying tithes. How can you trust God to bless you if you won't bless His sanctuary? It was kinda like that... I've never paid tithes in my life. I always thought "the ADULTS" pay tithes and I was OK. LOL, I'm a nerd. But, Lord willing I will trust God to provide for me as I give Him my 10th.

In John 15, Pastor was stating how Jesus is the True Vine and how a branch cannot bear fruit of itself; apart from God we can do nothing. One of my favorite quotes from the sermon was "Your vision comes with a provision that He has for you." That quote reminds me of what God says about establishing our thoughts and granting us the desires of our hearts... God knows what we desire and if it's pure, holy and in line with His precious will, He will give it to us. After all, He tells His children that anything we ask in His name, He will give to us (according to His will). God will make the provision. He will take care of us. That's why it's so important to surrender all and trust God to do the rest. Pastor said, "Whatever God designs, He can build!" --Now that's the beauty of the Lord. Glory to God.

I pray that the Lord tears down the barriers in your life that is holding you back from becoming a true disciple of Him. Pray my strength as I pray yours. Let's pay our tithes and trust the Lord to take care of us. We must bless the men and women of God. The ones that have been called have been commissioned (we're all commissioned according to Matthew 28) to do a great work and they are trusting the Lord to provide for them, so we must also give our 10th [10 percent of your income to the church] and trust that God will take care of us. It's a partnership--me and God, you and God-- we're all in this thing together, so let's do it right.

Words/Phrases to search for in your Bibles:

"die daily."
"crucify flesh."

God bless,
Mark 1:14-15.

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