Where Does Real Courage Come From?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog-break 2


If you’re new to the blog-site – welcome!

We post new blogs each week. We’ve just finished a series of blogs called “Identity in Christ.” You’ll see it posted below on the right.

Taking the blog break for 2reasons: First, to encourage you this fall to be intentional about being in discipleship, active in your growth in Christ. Make Sunday worship non-negotiable. But make discipleship non-negotiable too.

Second, I want to recommend a short but provocative book: The Radical Disciple   CLICK HERE

Imagine it: John Stott is in his late eighties. An Anglican clergyman, noted theologian, writer, speaker, whom Billy Graham once called, “the most respected clergyman in the world today.” He decides to write his final book at the age of 88. In the Postscript of the book he writes, “As I lay down my pen for the last time…”

So what’s his final message?

He could have written about anything. What was his passion? It’s this: Be a Radical Disciple of Jesus. It’s more than what we believe, it’s how we walk. It’s being the 4th disciple in the Parable of the Sower where the seed of His word goes to the root.

So Stott writes, “The English word ‘radical’ is derived from the Latin word radix, a root.” And so, he points out, “the seed sown on rocky soil…had no roots.” He goes on:

“Our common way of avoiding radical discipleship is to be selective: choosing those areas in which commitment suits us. And staying away from those areas in which it will be costly. But because Jesus is Lord, we have no right to pick and choose the areas in which we will submit to His authority.”  (p. 16)

Don’t avoid it. Be radical. Go to the roots!

As Stott takes a look at eight neglected areas of Christian formation, he drives home the one point that concerns him most. To summarize where we are as Christians today, as the believing Church, all he needed were three words.

Growth without depth.

The statistics on church growth, he writes, “are amazing. Explosion is not too dramatic a word to describe it…At the same time we should not indulge in triumphalism, for it is often growth without depth. There is a superficiality of discipleship everywhere…” (p. 38-39)

To say it again: There is a superficiality of discipleship everywhere.

A few responses. Next week at call2disciple we begin going on the road. Each month, we’re offering a retreat in different parts of the country to help promote the work of discipleship in local churches. We’re taking John Stott’s book with us. We want people to read it. In fact, at our home church in Connecticut, we will be taking this book to heart, applying the principles both in our Sunday morning Bible study and in the weekly fall sermons.

And here’s why.

Growth with depth impacts the mind, the heart, the soul, the whole person. The Lord, by His word, by His Holy Spirit, wants to work a work in us so we “look like the Christ we proclaim.”

Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.

How can we talk about being Apostles sent into the world without first being Disciples, Radical Disciples of Jesus Christ? So when we go out, who we are is the first message! What we say is the second.

Get the book. Read it. Make a commitment this fall to be a Radical Disciple. And if we can help, write us back!

Go to the Roots!

The Lord bless your week,

Thad

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blog-break!!


Question for you: Are you in discipleship this fall?

What do I mean?

Being in discipleship is something intentional. It’s more than being in a bible study. It’s more than doing private devotions. Both well and good and important in the Christian life. But discipleship is more.

It’s intentional.

It’s done in community.

It’s a passionate desire to grow and mature in Jesus.

It’s where Christians older in the Lord come alongside those younger in Him.

It’s where the Bible is integrated into our lives.

It’s where we see Christians encouraging one another, holding each other accountable, and spurring each other on to live outrageous for Jesus.

It’s where we see change. In us – and in others.

It’s where worship deepens.

It’s where we learn to pray with passion.

It’s where we begin to see the Holy Spirit giving us a heart for service and mission; for those inside the church and for those outside.

It’s where the Bible comes alive. Step by step from the beginning, as the Lord teaches us the elementary principles of His word and grows us.

It’s the only way to become mature – complete in Christ.

Discipleship: It’s what Jesus told us to do – Go and make disciples!

It’s how we come to know Him more and more, so we can say with the apostles Paul: I want to know Christ!

So – let me ask it again: Are you in discipleship this fall?

At call2disciple, we want to help you any way we can. Call our office. Contact us. We have all kinds of resources that can help you get started. But whether or not you use our resources, the most important one we offer is this.

We’re available.

John 15:1-11, the Vine and the branches. "Is He everything to you?