Soul Revival: A 40 Days' Journey to the Feet of Christ

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 8 Sacrificial Discipleship

Day 8

Sacrificial Discipleship

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
 (Matthew 5:10-12)

Sacrificial discipleship is the 8th Step
Sacrificial Discipleship is the eighth and final step in a believer’s life.
This is it! The previous seven steps were preparation for you to stay on the peak of the mountain, the Most Holy Place—in the presence of God. The devil and unbelievers will try to push you off the mountain; they will try to discourage you, even afflict you.  But you, my dear beloved, hold fast to the cross of Christ.  Don’t depart from the feet of Jesus Christ our Lord no matter what!  The truth is that the Church of God has too often dropped the cross to be accepted in the world, and now we’ve brought the world into the Church. But God is calling us out of this adulterous relationship:
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’” (Revelation 18:4-5)

        Come out from among them
      And be separate, says the Lord.
      Do not touch what is unclean,       
      And I will receive you.
      I will be a Father to you,
      And you shall be My sons and daughters,
      Says the LORD Almighty.”  (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

God is calling us as individuals, all those who love Christ in sincerity, to arise and stand up for the Truth; to stand by Christ’s side no matter what; to suffer for Christ Jesus our Lord; and to stand beside the prophets and martyrs.  Therefore, let us gladly suffer for the sake of righteousness. The Lord Jesus is calling us:
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’”  (Matthew16:24)

Let us pick up our cross and follow Jesus Christ our Lord!  As many as love Christ Jesus our Lord in sincerity, let us have this mind, and turn away from the doctrines of the devil and demons, falsely called ‘’knowledge,’’ telling us to enjoy this present life.  Christ died for us to be truly rich.  Let us turn back to the Gospel of salvation of our souls with all our hearts, minds, and souls, because for this cause Christ died for us.  The Day of the LORD is at hand.  Jesus Christ our Lord is coming.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.  Amen!  The Apostle Paul warned us about these perilous times we are living in:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

And these are the same people Paul talked about in Acts 20:

Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”  (Acts 20:28-32)
These, my beloved, are the people who will persecute those who love the truth, because they do not have the love of God in their hearts. They rejected the truth and hired for themselves teachers to tell them fables, to tell them what they want to hear and to entertain the flesh.  These, unfortunately, are often your church members, your pastors, apostles, prophets, bishops, deacons, your leaders, your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your son, your daughter, other family members, or your friends.  These are the people who will try to discourage you from following Christ.  When you refuse, they will persecute you!  The Lord Jesus warned us:
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”  (Luke 14:26)
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  (Matthew 10:21-22)

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.”  (Matthew 10:16-17)                                                                                                               
This is what is called the HARD MESSAGE.  After Christ told His disciples about the necessary sacrificial discipleship from their part, many walked away.  Even now many are departing from the truth, seeking after the SOFT MESSAGE, the one that does not require suffering. However, no one who chooses to follow Christ with all his heart and to be totally separated from the world will escape persecution.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  (2 Timothy 3:12)

“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”  (Philippians 1:29)
The Lord Jesus Christ has told us why those who love the truth must separate themselves from the world and why the world hates us:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  (John 15:18-19)
Let us, therefore, endure persecution for Christ’s sake, submitting ourselves to God daily that the devil may flee from us; holding fast to our faith; giving glory to God with our lives; fleeing from any form or appearance of evil; abstaining ourselves from worldly lusts; praying daily for those who hate and persecute us; that God may grant them repentance.  And as many as love the truth, let us therefore arise and shine on behalf of the truth, for the hour has come:
“Arise, shine;
      For your light has come!
      And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
        For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
      and deep darkness the people;
      But the LORD will arise over you,
      And His glory will be seen upon you.”  (Isaiah 60:1-2)
The darkness has covered the earth with its counterfeit gospel, but the LORD is arising over us and His glory will be seen upon us.  Stand fast therefore in the LIGHT, where you are called, and be a witness of the TRUTH.  Radiate the true LIGHT: preach the gospel of truth in season and out of season, that you may be counted worthy on the Day of the LORD! Let us therefore preach the truth, and if the truth is rejected, despair not, for:
“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”  (1 John 4:5-6)
Finally my dear beloved, be of good cheer:
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)
Here it is--God’s promise to those who will stand fast in the truth and for the truth:
“So He said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.’” (Luke 18:29-30)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  Amen!

Meditation:  I am here to bear witness of the Truth, which is Christ Jesus my Lord!

Prayer points:  LORD, please help me to bear witness of the truth in Christ Jesus, my Lord.  Please hold me with Your Mighty hand, oh Lord Jesus.  Please help me, oh my God, to be a messenger of the truth in Christ Jesus my Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!

Commitment:  I commit myself by Your grace to be a witness of the Truth, to stand beside Christ Jesus my Lord no matter what! I commit myself to live a godly life and to bear fruit worthy of repentance in this ungodly age, unto the glory of God the Father.  In Jesus’ name, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray.  Amen!

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