My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The commission from Jesus Christ is a set of instructions for his disciples. They are to continue his ministry by going out and making more disciples but only because the authority which has been given to Jesus. These disciples are to go and make more disciples and baptize them. Finally he reminds them that he will always be with them. While this all sounds really good, we read that the eleven gathered to worship him and receive these instructions but some continued to be doubtful. It is with this doubt that they listened to his instruction but it leads us to question whether they all overcame their doubt, or whether it led to doubtful discipleship.
I have to confess that I have never really paid that much attention to the verses preceding the great commission and was a bit surprised to learn that some of the disciples continued to be doubtful. Yet, I believe we may just find ourselves right there with the eleven, questioning our faith and trust in Jesus. We may be doubtful disciples, and the result may be doubtful discipleship.
The opening of the book of Acts leads into the activities of the disciples and their lives and ministry. We hear much of some of them, and others seem to disappear from the pages of history. Could it have been a difference between belief and doubt. The faith of the disciple may have a direct affect on their disciples. I'm afraid that doubtful disciples will raise up more doubtful disciples. Believing disciples will raise up believing disciples.
The faith of the disciples was witnessed by the fruit of those whom they discipled. This commission is for all of God's children, for we are all called to make disciples. But if we were to examine our fruit what would be found? Believing disciples, or doubtful disciples. Our own faith will determine our fruit and so, before we become frustrated with those around us and what may appear to be a lack of faith, maybe we ought to examine ourselves. If we were on the mountain with the disciples today would we be a doubter? If so, then we will be engaged in doubtful discipleship.
Thank you, Lord for all you have done for us. Please help me in my unbelief and empower me to make disciples. Amen.
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Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Ex. 33:4 ¶ When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Ex. 33:6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The people had sinned before God by making and worshiping the golden calf! They had taken their golden jewelry — the earrings and other items they had gotten from the Egyptians and used them to create an idol. Now, in an act of humility and repentance they were to take off all of their jewelry and ornaments. It was a time of mourning over their sin and it included intentional action on the part of the Israelites. Application:
We don’t do all that well with humility and repentance! It seems that we live in a time when we try to carry on…
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…