Unforgiveness

Dare to lead...

warningPart of being a legacy dad means not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk.  As both Lance and I have shared in the past and will continue to share into the future, both of our wives read this blog and our children are watching us.  That being said, more than just our wives would call us out!  Does that mean that we are perfect?  Absolutely not!  Our wives and close friends know that we are sinners who are saved by grace.  What it does mean by being a legacy dad is realizing and committing to the fact that there is a greater authority in our lives other than ourselves.  That the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  The beginning of being a legacy dad is putting God in our lives where He should always be:  On the throne room of our lives.  God should be overall.  God is in control of my life, my family, my work, my personal life and I am subject to His will!  This doesn’t always mean that I get this in the correct order.  This also means, if I am being honest, that I sometimes try to put my old self back on top and on my throne room of my heart.  God has given me emotions and the ability to think and to have free will.  He is Sovereign and He is in control of all things.  He knows what I will do.

One of the hardest things for men to overcome is forgiveness.  On our own, we are incapable of it.  To be honest, even when we are walking the walk, forgiveness can be a very difficult thing to do.  When someone wrongs us (or we feel wronged) or someone wrongs ones that we love, it is next to near impossible to forgive even when God calls us to forgive.

1 John 1:5-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

imagesWalking in the Light
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2 English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ Our Advocate
2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

The New Commandment
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because[a] the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him[b] there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Ephesians 4:32English Standard Version (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

When we subject ourselves to God’s truth (The Bible) then we have a really hard time trying to justify the wrongs in our lives:

  • A bad marriage
  • A difficult work situation
  • An event
  • Difficult living situation
  • Addictions
  • Being wronged

No matter how we try to defend our positions, it is impossible to justify the wrongs that we have done against God.  We are sinners in need of  a Savior.  Left on our own devices we have no hope, no salvation and no chance of salvation.  But with God’s plan, there is a hope.  There is His Son.  There is salvation and redemption and forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ.

So if God can forgive us…

  • We can forgive our spouse – some of us, if we are honest, have let our marriages die.  We have stopped pursuing our spouse because we feel hurt, we feel betrayed, we feel broken and disappointed by some things in our past.  The marriage that we thought we would have – we don’t.  The spouse that we thought would meet every expectation – doesn’t.  The relationship that we thought we would have until we get old – isn’t.  Because of these shortcomings or acts or events some of us have grown weary, hopeless, and embittered.  There is unforgiveness and anger and in some relationships even dangerous anger.
  • We can forgive our children – some of us have wayward children or children that did not meet our expectations or what we thought we would see them grow up to be.  We have been callous with them and even neglected our parenting and call to disciple them because they continue to disappoint.  They have wandered or committed some unforgiveable sins that we can never get over.  How could they embarrass us like that?  How could they shame their mother and father the way that they have?  How can they sin and continue to have unrepentant sin in their lives?
  • We can forgive those who persecute us – whether some of us have been a victim or have a situation where we have been wronged or have been persecuted or have even ben maligned in ways that were not justified we feel that we have righteous anger, that is, we think we are justified in being unforgiving toward those persons or situations in our lives that persecute us.
  • We can forgive those who have wronged us – some of us have been a victim of drugs and alcohol or of loved ones who have hurt us not only physically, but emotionally and have destroyed our spirit and will to live.  As a result, we find our lives in a sense of rebellion and for some even with destructive habits that are reckless and in some cases malign others around us because we feel that if we have been victims then why should the rest of the world get away with this (this lifestyle leaves a wake of destruction and bitterness in its path).
  • We can get over ourselves (and for some of us our horrible pasts and let God move in our lives) – some of us try to say that our pasts (and present) is so horrible that we can not forgive ourselves, that we were really bad and that there is nothing or no one that can forgive the sins and atrocities that I have committed.

To all of what was just said above, I have one thing to say to all of us:  Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.  Do not withhold love when it is in our power to act.  Love and forgive as God loves and has forgiven us through His Son Jesus Christ.

How about this, Legacy dads:

  • Instead of blaming our circumstances on our wives (our children) our work, our outcomes, we let go and let God have control over it all.
  • Instead of withholding love, we love unashamed
  • Instead of judging with a measuring stick that puts us in pure hypocrisy, we judge ourselves by the measure we judge others.  Quickly realizing that this cannot be, then we let the only One judge others.  Instead we can love and live the lives that Jesus calls us to live (Read Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 3).
  • Instead of living in the past (past mistakes, past transgressions, past wrongs instead of rights) we turn that over to God.  We surrender the pain, the unforgiveness, the un-love in our lives and let God through His Holy Spirit fill that up with His love allowing us to show others God’s love and what God is doing through our lives by forgiving others (by letting His will be done).
  • Instead of saying that we cannot forgive ourselves of the sin and atrocities that we have committed, we finally come to understand that biblically speaking we cannot forgive our sins because only God can forgive us through His Son.

What is holding you back from receiving God’s best design for our lives?

What is holding you back from letting go of all it and giving it to God?

What is holding you back from letting God move in your life and filling the void that you thought others should fill?

What if, just what if, we did all of this and realize that when we completely surrender that under God’s will and plans and timing – we will have the abundant life that He promises?

Do you believe this?  Can it be true?  Do we serve a God who raises once what was dead into life?

Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you!

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

Impacts of homes without a Father

What is the big deal....?

Photo by Leo Weijs

Photo by Leo Weijs

More Data on the Extent of Fatherlessness

  • An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological father.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, “Living Arrangements of Children under 18 Years/1 and Marital Status of Parents by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin/2 and Selected Characteristics  of the Child for all Children 2010.” Table C3. Internet Release Date November, 2010.
  • Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39 percent (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers.
    Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. Table 1. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, 2001.
  • 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.
    Source: Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements 2012. Current Population Report. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.
  • According to 72.2 % of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
    Source: National Center for Fathering, Fathering in America Poll, January, 1999.

maxresdefaultThings to know:

  • God created man and woman
  • God has a plan for the family
  • God tells us to be fruitful and to multiply
  • God wants us to be His disciples and to go and make more disciples sharing the Good News!
  • God has a plan for Fathers
  • God has a plan for Legacy dads

Let me ask you this:  Are you too busy building your kingdom and your desires and your habits and recreational lifestyle or are you choosing to be a part of God’s plan and build His Kingdom?

Fathers lives matter!

Many churches today have thriving women’s ministries, power worship experiences and world-class children’s curriculum yet struggle to implement effective biblical road-maps and turn-key strategies for empowering and discipling men, parents, and marriages.

  • 93% of families will follow when the father takes an active role in his faith and walk with Christ.  When fathers are not active in their faith, 60% of children stop attending church or leave the faith altogether even if their mother still attends regularly.
  • Church ministries will average only 40 hours per year to influence the lives of children, youth and teens while parents will average over 3000 hours.
  • 1/3 of Church attending Christian marriages will end in divorce.  We can lower these numbers by effective marriage outreach and premarital counsel.

Legacy Dad empowers men to become the spiritual leaders of their families and take an active role in their faith. 

Looking forward to you spending time with God this week through reading His Word and praying to Him!!!

 

Blessings,
Dante

 

 

 

The Father Wound…

As an Elder and men’s ministry leader I can tell you up close and personal that the Father wound is a very serious problem in our culture.  For some in can result in addictions, for others it could be a plethora of symptoms from isolation to violence and complete psychological issues even including abandonment.

For some, the mere mention of the word father can trigger a multitude of mixed emotions.  Raw emotions and even pain and regret.  For some of the men that pass my path, they are still waiting to hear the words from their fathers that they were proud of them and glad that they have become the men that they are today.

There is a deep crevice and wound that can never be filled on this earth without God’s intervention.  I remember talking to one gentleman who was in a lot of pain and anguish because his dad opted for violence instead of love.  For abuse instead of healthy emotion.

Without the positive influence of a godly man who fears the Lord and is under the authority of Scripture, it is hard for children and wives to thrive.  This is not God’s plan.  His plan is for us to love and accept his Son, Jesus Christ.  To share His Gospel.  To love our neighbor as ourselves and to seek holiness and put our old sin nature to death daily.

Men strive for healthy relationships and to be affirmed by those that they love and care for.  These men are looking and yearning for the words “I approve”, “I am proud of you” and “I love you, son”.  For some of these men they may never hear this from their earthly dads.


Then you sometimes meet men who have unbelievable legacies of generational faith and I am humbled and thankful that these men had the chance to grow up in this legacy.

This is not to say that these dads, granddad and great granddad always get it right, because they don’t.  They are sinners like you and me.  The difference is that they know whose authority that they are under – God!  They are humble to the word of God and they are accountable.

These men are fortunate and thankful for the childhood that they have and for the relationships that God has brought them and continues to bring them.


Then there may be some of you like me.  Our grew up with a really good dad with good intentions, sometimes a bit too authoritarian and over aggressive on the discipline, BUT a man who gave me the work ethic that I have today and a man who worked a lot, but didn’t necessarily know how to tell his kids that he loved them.

Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of things that my dad did right (He provided, cared for, educated and coached us through life.  He taught me the importance of not being in debt (not that I always listened) and how to be a man.

The one thing was that he did not know the Lord growing up and he was prone to anger.  He was socially inept in the fatherhood parameters as he lost his mom when he was 11 years old and his dad spoke broken English and didn’t always understand what it meant to be dad.  My dad lost his mom and his dad lost his wife – they did what they could.  So he worked a lot more than most to provide because that was important to him.

Also, my dad grew up in the Great Depression.  He doesn’t understand these generations that applaud debt and immorality.


Some Scripture for leaving a legacy:

 

Psalm English Standard Version (ESV)

Unless the Lord Builds the House
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children[a] of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.[b]

Deuteronomy 6:6-9English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” –John 14:1-2

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. — Romans 8:15-16

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! –1 John 3:1

===

Image-1If you have a father wound or someone you know has this wound, don’t try to fix them, instead lead them to a group of godly men and walk with them.  Share with them and pray with them.   Read the word with them and worship with them.

Let them see that there God is the only one who can truly fill this Father Wound!

To God Be the Glory,

 

Dante

 

 

 

Is your church building disciples…

...one relationship at a time?

1 Timothy 3:1-7English Standard Version (ESV)
1timothyQualifications for Overseers
3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Titus 1:5-9English Standard Version (ESV)

Qualifications for Elders
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[a] and his children are believers[b] and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,[c] as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must titushold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound[d] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.


If your church does not have a discipleship plan to build Elders who are to care and shepherd the flock, then I am going to say that your church is not growing (disciples).  In case we haven’t realized it yet, the Church is a Family.  That is, because we died to self and were born again in Christ, we are now sons and daughters of the living King.  We should no longer have an identity crisis in life – we are heirs to God’s Kingdom.

Jesus commands the disciples before his death (and resurrection) in Matthew 28:

Matthew 28:16-20English Standard Version (ESV)

The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Great Shepherd (Jesus) gave us the command to go and make disciples.  Note that he didn’t just say go and make baby Christians who never grow in their faith.  The Creator himself tells us to be fruitful and multiply.  If it is alive, then it multiplies, that is the laws of nature.

If your church is alive in Christ, then it is building its disciples and they are growing in Christ and the church will bear the fruit of the Spirit and it will multiply.

So tell me, is your church building up Elders to oversee and shepherd its church (the Family of God)?

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

Do you call yourself a Christian?

How are you with obedience and submission

Romans 13:1-5English Standard Version (ESV)

submissionSubmission to the Authorities
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Hebrews 13:17English Standard Version (ESV)

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.


If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you are talking the walk, then your walk should show submission to God’s word and those who He has ordained in authority.  You should humble yourself and fear the Lord and you should obey God’s word – not just hear the words BUT do what they say.

Random Wednesday Thoughts (given all the news and lack of submission to authority)

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

Values

What legacies matter to you

Chicago-SkylineThis morning, my wife and I got a sitter and joined some friends downtown for brunch.  It was a very delicious and rich lunch, and I think my digestive system is still recovering from all the rich and delicious food that we ate over the span of 3.5 hours (Now that’s some eating).  All this to state that one conversation that struck a chord with me was one in the car ride downtown with my best friend, my wife.

As we were driving, we were talking about present day politics (or lack thereof) and craziness in this world.  If you and I were to watch the news religiously, let’s be honest, it would leave us in a sad state of affairs:  This world is spinning out of control and in need of a Savior fast!  There have been impressionable moments in the memories of or children:  The Holocaust, World Wars (1 & 2), 9-11, The Black Plague, Military action that does not have the support (air, land and sea) for its soldiers, and so much more that can be lasting and in some instances devastating toll our the psyche and rearing of our children.  James 1:27 states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

sensatinalism-wdse1201-pan-a-b systematic-desensitization-1-638We were talking about everything from gun control, conspiracy theories to the core of the problem and my wife, being astute, stated that much of the bad comes from this world.  The world (media and entertainment) promotes Sensationalism and Desensitization.  That is, the two issues that really need to be addressed by society are these two things previously mentioned.  1 John 2:16 states it like this, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”  When we understand that the world is broken and is sinful and prideful.  James 4  puts it this way, “1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

When we, as sinners, sensationalize violent and sinful acts, how can we expect others not to follow?  Not to have the desire to be noticed?  Not to have the outcasts of society and the evil promotes agenda?  When we, as sinners, promote violent and irrational entertainment (movies, violent video games, pornography (sex trafficking) and the like) how can we expect sinners not to be desensitized and to not look at our brother and sisters as children of God?  When we focus on 1 John and James 4 and so much more Scripture on this topic, we begin to understand that we have a responsibility to our generations to come.  We have a legacy that we need to leave for those that God gave us to steward over.

Every parent has and will continue to raise their children the way that God has equipped you.  As Lance has stated in previous posts, there is no clear-cut way to raise our children.  For each of us it is different because each of us has different backgrounds and children to raise.  But the bible does give us some guidelines when raising our children.  The Bible gives us clear ways to go with our spouses and family.

Some legacy values to instill in our lives and children’s lives:

  • Stay on the path of purity:  By living according to God’s word (Ps 119:9)
  • Hide God’s word in our hearts (Ps 119:11)
  • Teach them to be good citizens and to know where their citizenship rests (Ps 119:19)
  • Give them healthy boundaries (Ps 119:33-40)
  • Teach them gratitude (True gratitude of what God has done for us and what he asks us to do to our neighbor)
  • Teach them generosity
  • Teach them to forgive and to be compassionate
  • Teach them perseverance
  • Teach them humility
  • Teach them responsibility
  • Teach them courtesy and respect
  • Train them in the way that they should go (by making your faith real and accountable to them)
  • Give them discipline (how can you expect them to be disciples of Christ and they don’t understand true discipline?)
  • Love them unconditionally (I tell my children that I will always love them no matter what, but some times I may not like their choices)
  • If they wander from the truth (bring them back)

Proverbs 3: New International Version (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Blessings,

 

Dante

 

 

 

Four Essential to Finishing Well

summary from Jerry Bridges

2 Timothy 4:6-18 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Personal Remarks
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen”

DareFour Essentials to Finish Well:

  1. Daily Time – daily time of focused community with God
    • In the word
    • Set time to be in quiet time with God
    • In prayer
  2. Daily Appropriation – begin our time with God by reviewing the Gospel
    • Remember that we are prone to sin and to wander
    • Only through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus are we saved
    • His time should be my time
  3. Daily Commitment – we need to do our part as disciples of Christ
    • We need to become a living sacrifice – Romans 12:1-2New International Version (NIV) A Living Sacrifice “12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
    • We have to put our old sin nature to death daily (for some – daily, for others – hourly and still for others – minute-by-minute)
  4. A Firm Belief in the Sovereignty and Love of God
    • God is Sovereign – He’s got this whole world in His Hands.  Lamentations 3:37 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38 fIs it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?”
    • Because God is Sovereign we are free let him take our vengeance, to take our problems and to take our hands in all that we do

We need to make this a daily habit:

The Habit Poem
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to
failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn
over to me and I will do them – quickly and
correctly.
I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin –
it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I? I am Habit.

  • Author Unkown

What does God’s Disciple look like

DareWhen you think about what a true disciple of Christ looks like, who and what do you imagine that looks like?  Is it a Pastor, an Elder, a Deacon, and a Ministry leader in your Church?  Is it a parent or a friend or a mentor? Is it you?  If someone were to walk up to you now and ask you to tell them what is a disciple?  What does one look like?  How does one act?  Let’s take this in a more serious matter:  If you call yourself a Christian, someone who has put their trust in Jesus and believe that He has paid it all for your sins and because of that you are saved, does that make you a disciple of Jesus Christ?  Should it?  In every aspect of your life?  Your spending, your savings, your time, your talent, your entertainment, your filters?  Does the Word of God hold authority in your life?  Do you pray often?  Do others hold you accountable?

If people were to look on your life, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, would they see more of you or more of Him in your life?  That is to say, would your life, love and actions turn people toward wanting to know God or would it repel them to despise your beliefs and your faith?

Does any of this really matter?   What does Scripture have to say on this (CLICK HERE).

Do you believe that every one will die and that after this there will be  a judgement?  Does that thought make you think what you do and build in this life matters?  Are your building your kingdom and your desires or are you building God’s Kingdom?

In Matthew 28, Jesus tell his disciples the following:

The Great Commission

GoMatthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That is pretty clear-cut in what every church is called to do.  What every ministry should be pointing toward and to what every Christian needs to be doing in their life.  If you are a parent then your number 1 mission field is your spouse and your family.  If you are a leader, then all those who follow your leadership should be pointed to Christ in the way that you are leading.  If you are a servant and you are serving – then you should be serving Christ with all of your heart, mind, body, soul and strength.

Some true characteristics of a biblical disciple:

  • A disciple is one who listens (and not only listens) and does the will of the one who is teaching them (in this case:  Jesus Christ).  So a disciple of Christ is someone who learns from him to live like Him.
  • A disciple is one who gives the Word of God authority over their entire life (Time, Talent and Treasure)
  • A disciple is one who yields to the Holy Spirit and is in step with the Spirit.
  • A disciple is one who worships without restraint (in their time, their talent and their treasure)
  • A disciple is one who serves others without expecting to be served
  • A disciple is one whose life (even without words) points others to Christ (or at least to a higher authority)
  • A disciple is one who is accountable to Scripture and to his brothers and sisters
  • A disciple is one who puts God first in all things
  • A disciple is lead by the Spirit to tear down idolatry in their lives (meaning if alcohol is an idol, if drugs is an idol, pornography, sex, bad language, anger, pride, sports, entertainment, _____ – is an idol then you destroy and/or remove that idol from your life.
  • A disciple is one who prays regularly
  • A disciple is one who is a good steward of his time, talent and treasure
  • A disciple is one who waits on God and does not pursue his own lust of the eyes or pride of life
  • A disciple is one who does not just know Jesus as Savior but can call Him an intimate friend

What does discipleship look like to you?  Who is the authority in your life?  Is it God?  Does your time, your talent and your treasure affirm that?

How can you be Christian and not do the will of God and obey his words.  Not just hearing the words, but doing what they say?

Left on our own devices, we fail.  BUT with God and His Son and His Spirit – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

Who do you trust?

Blessings,

Dante