This is reality


Soul Survivor LIVE Feat. Tom Smith & Guvna B | Reality Video (Full Song)


There is a reality that I need to assume exists and I need to act on it.

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[a] free; but Christ is all, and in all.. – Colossians 3:11  ESV

I believe God is breaking down the barriers that exist between those who follow Jesus but especially among our churches and their leadership. I believe that what I have been seeing more and more is a growing realisation that what really matters is not the divisions but what we have in common.

The love that I demonstrate as a disciple of Jesus to others without any prejudice is one of the most powerful witnesses to the world that I am indeed His disciple. The tragedy is that so often those professing to be disciples of Jesus have allowed pride, prejudice and racism to split and separate ourselves from each other.




No reputation


Man of No Reputation- Rick Elias


That cuts to the heart of everything – Jesus in Nazareth, continuing in the tradition of His father’s work, working with wood, helping to raise the family.  He had no reputation.

But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. – Philippians 2:7  ESV

But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. – Philippians 2:7  KJ21

It would seem that since we fell by pride we can only be raised up by humility.  In the beatitudes, was not the first one being poor in spirit. As a disciple, I need to learn from Him who was the example of being meek and humble.  Hard to imagine that Jesus could display the highest values of dignity and conduct Himself with such humility. Humility in Jesus looked like self-denial, patience, forgiveness, gentleness, submission, and self-control.

I know that in my walk as a disciple of Jesus I have to be careful that in my strategies and struggles, I do not lose sight of God and His purpose. As I am tempted to come up with some kind of shortcut for success, I come to the realisation that there are no shortcuts. Maturity in my faith and discipleship are lifelong pursuits. I grow through the Word, prayer, spiritual disciplines and godly relationships. Those are still tools. He is the means.

By being more dependant on Him, I have a better attitude that creates better actions. Yes, I still ask myself from time to time why I should be willing to give up a great salary, comfort, fun and even friends to follow Jesus as His disciple. Jesus gives me things that are eternal while those things are limited and temporary.

Jesus is worth following because no one is like Him. He is unique, stands in a class all His own. When I was far from Him, He came looking for me. As I received Him and acknowledged and worshipped Him, He gave me life.


God’s Word


Word of God by Brenton Brown


The Word of God is given to us by God that we might feed on it and draw life from it as one would rely on daily bread.

Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
    Lord, God of hosts. – Jeremiah 15:16  ESV

Look at the effect God’s Word had on Jeremiah – I have to check my own response to receiving God’s Word in my own life.

Paul challenges Timothy and us to be ready for the “end times.” There will be difficulties, there will be a choice made to further ourselves from God and be disobedient and there will be so many false teachers nipping away at the Church’s weakest members.  Though many of these false teachers who think they have bested God in knowledge and power, they will be exposed in the end. I have to stand firm and I must hold fast to God’s Word if I am to be found as a faithful follower of Jesus.

I, in fact, believe that God’s Word – spoken and written – changes lives. It changed mine. A disciple has purpose.

 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness. – 2 Timothy 3:10  ESV

Here is another opportunity to see how important it is to disciple children -parents are the primary disciple-makers. The way I live matters.

And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 3:15  ESV

Daily engagement with the Word of God is the greatest single change factor for spiritual growth.

 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. – 2 Timothy 3:16  ESV

Think about this growing factor as if it was a project – like planting a garden. What steps were involved? Was there a definite start and finish? How significant was the order of the steps ( what would happen if I tried to change the order)? What resources were needed? What kind of effort was required? Did anything hinder the process, or negatively impact the result?

That the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:17  ESV





Do not learn the way the world does it


Lauren Daigle – Trust In You 


Jeremiah gives me this warning. In fact, he might have been saying that I should not be a disciple of this world.

Thus says the LordLearn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them. – Jeremiah 10:2  ESV

Paul stated in Timothy what it means to disciple God’s way.

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,  and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,[a] who will be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:1-2  ESV

What does “entrust” actually mean?  I think it means a relationship that has intentionality to it. It is not just a transfer of information but there is a loving appreciation of each other, spending time together where time is not only spent in being discipled but also real life.

They hung out together for the purpose of advancing the gospel and for the purpose of multiplication. Paul wanted Timothy to know what it looked like to disciple another. I mean, look at all the relationships in the short verse above – Paul, Timothy, faithful men, others also. I think this is how discipleship works – entrusting the gospel from disciple to disciple, generation after generation.

I am pretty sure there is no formula for discipleship. This chapter in 2 Timothy does give some key characteristics though.

Be strengthened: The Christian life is not easy and disciples need down-to-earth resilience. Not our personal strength but strength in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. It is important for me to remember where my strength comes from.

Able to teach: Down through history master craftsmen have taught apprentices, who then became master craftsmen who taught apprentices. If the chain of teaching had been broken, the craft would have been lost.

Be a soldier: How easy it is for me to think that there will only be blessings and happiness for me as I follow Jesus. With Jesus there was suffering and death. There is no easy road in following Him. I have to be tough.

Do not be entangled: It is pretty clear, obedience matters. There are no debates, distractions or compromises. As a follower of Jesus, I am expected to listen to only one voice – Jesus’.

Follow the rules: Why do I think I can live and walk with Jesus my own way? If I want the prize, I have to know God, His rules and then follow them.

Hard-working: This is the one who receives the first harvest and the largest portion. It involves having a sense that I must be dedicated to loving Jesus, learning about Him and serving Him as a disciple.

Think things over: I know it is not common to take down notes these days. Maybe the sermons are not making a difference. But there has to be some gems in there and if they are there, I need to reflect on them, see the truth and apply them to my life.







To be like my teacher


Teacher, Do You Love Me?


I am challenged with a statement that Jesus made about being a disciple. He said these words:

 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher. – Matthew 10:25  ESV

Is it not true that the root, stem, bud, flower, fruit and seed are each constructed on the same type as the tree itself? No matter how diverse they may be in form or function, the nature of that tree is essentially there. So every leaf is a miniature of the tree on which it grows – trunk, branches, and foliage are each patterned in it. Every branch is but a reproduction, on a smaller scale, of the whole tree. What miniature lives of Christ are Joseph, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Timothy and even myself.

My reading of Jeremiah revealed his own thoughts of being called as a very young person.

 “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”  Jeremiah 1:6  ESV

Do I answer in the same way, do I have the same fear Jeremiah had when it comes to delivering the gospel message? I am not able to accept the same promise to address my fears?

The same goes for Timothy who was called as a youth into ministry. Look at the people he was called to face.

He is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. – 1 Timothy 6:4-5  ESV

Am I like my teacher? My feeling is that if I want to know what is in my heart and mind, I need to put the mirror of God’s Word before me and see what is reflected back. As a disciple of Jesus I will repent when needed and obey the truth when it is presented, humbly rejoicing in God my Saviour. If I oppose God, I will react negatively and even violently to the Word of God.



Jesus’ prayer


Jesus’ prayer in John 17 presents, extremely well, what my life in the Trinity is supposed to be like. It allows me to understand better the relationship the Trinity has with one another – they do not care anything about their status. There’s no subordination in the Trinity because the members of the Trinity will not put up with it – simply will not have it.

As I look at Jesus as the ultimate of disciple makers, I can draw a conclusion from this prayer of what my relationship looks like between a disciple and disciple maker, what characterizes the heart of a disciple maker and what my ultimate purpose is as a disciple maker. I believe they are all found in one verse.

 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. – John 17:4  ESV

What I am glad to hear in His prayer is that He prays for me to keep my faith firm.

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. – John 17:11  ESV

By that I mean – “keep them in your name” or “keep them in loyalty to You” or “keep them in full adherence to Your character.”

Why? Because I am supposed to be different than the world. So many times in His prayer Jesus outlined the differences between disciples of Jesus and the people of the world.

This prayer has so much – even the great commission shows up here.

As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  – John 17:18  ESV

As a disciple of Jesus, I am on mission. It means in the broadest sense possible that I am a missionary. I am envisioned and empowered to step into this world (not of it, but sent into it) as His witness.

Here are some things I did and questions I asked as I looked at this prayer:

  • Marked the words – disciple
  • Where was Jesus going and where will the disciples be?
  • How did Jesus get His disciples?
  • What does Jesus pray for His disciples and list them?
  • What did I learn about the world and what is my relationship, as a disciple, to the world?
  • If “sanctify” means to be separated from profane things and dedicate myself to God – what will sanctify me from the world?
  • At the end of the prayer, what does Jesus state that He has and will do for His disciple?






Characterized by faith


By Faith by Keith & Kristyn Getty


There is a verse in Habakkuk that would probably rate in the top ten verses in the Old Testament only because it was quoted three times in the New Testament and twice by Paul.

“Behold, his soul  is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith.” – Habakkuk 2:4  ESV

It is our faith that enables us to live in the tension between what we believe and know about God and what we see day in and day out. I think I see the church generally getting the idea of faith being involved in connecting with becoming a disciple of Jesus. I get the sense that most of the church agrees that we do not become right with God by works – by doing certain things. There is nothing in our hands when we come to the cross – there is nothing we have to exchange for our soul. I come to the cross because I believe I am separated from God and that I am called to repent of my sin – those acknowledgments reveal my belief that what Jesus did on the cross is sufficient to pay the penalty for my sins. I become right with God not because of what I have done, but because of my faith.

My Bible has a footnote on this verse. Another word that could be used in this verse instead of faith is faithfulness. It would seem that the Hebrew word used means both.  My relationship starts with Jesus by faith. Then by living every single day being faithful to Him I find faith permeating my life day in and day out even through the messy stuff of this life, that I may not even understand, I continue to be faithful to God. That makes sense when the verse is quoted in Hebrews for the book was written with a concern regarding apostasy – with people leaving the Christian faith and that because of persecution.  The practical theology is trying to make sure I persevere, endure and continue to live a faithful life.

 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  For,

“Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. – Hebrews 10:36-39  ESV

The Hebrew author quoting Habakkuk indicates that there is more here than the initial issue of faith. I am to let it permeate my life day in and day out, to persevere, to hang in there, to keep believing God, to keep the faith and to not give up on it. Is this what Habakkuk was getting to later on.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places. – Habakkuk 3:17-19  ESV

I love what Habakkuk is relating to here – he is a man of faith, has honest questions and wants to understand the connection with life in the midst of evil people doing evil things. So he waits because God is going to do something and he believes what God has said He will do – he responds in faith.