Deliver the hard message


MercyMe – Even If


The big idea from Ezekiel that I am picking up today is that sometimes God calls upon us to deliver the hard message– the message that is difficult to deliver. Perhaps we must confront a friend or admonish someone. A part of what it means to live the disciple’s life is having the courage not to put off these responsibilities when they come. Ezekiel is a good example of someone who was willing to deliver the hard message.

And he said to me, “Son of man,[i] stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. – Ezekiel 2:1-3  ESV

So what is the hard message about being or not being a disciple?

This was one of my readings today.

 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,  and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,  and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. – Hebrews 6:4-6  ESV

It would seem that the Hebrew writer is giving me a pretty hard message. It would seem that holding Jesus up to contempt could be my crime. By contempt – meaning that I would be nailing Him to the cross again.

“they tear him out of the recesses of their hearts where He had fixed His abode and exhibit Him to the open scoffs of the world as something powerless and common” [BLEEK in ALFORD].

As a disciple of Jesus, I abide in Him, hear and obey His voice. There is not a falling away to the point where the branch is dead and needs to be broken from the tree. Imagine if I were though. Even so, if I became like the fig tree that did not produce fruit, God’s grace can reclaim even such a hardened rebel. The impossibility is more in line with me knowing once the power of Jesus’ sacrifice and then rejecting it, I could feel that I have past by hope, except by a miracle of God’s grace.

This hard message reminds me everyday to be walking in all the experiences God has given me and to not cease in abiding in them. By abiding in them I will not fall away.





Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) – Hillsong Worship


King David was such a great warrior and it is hard to believe in his earlier days that in fleeing Saul, his rough and broken beginnings made a difference.

David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.  And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul,[a] gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. – 1 Samuel 22:1-2  ESV

Here are broken men fleeing for their lives and many of them became great warriors and giant killers, just like David. David discipled these men, and they became like him. When I disciple people, I can teach what I know, but will reproduce who I am.

“God must love common people. He made so many of them.” – Abraham Lincoln

The same could be said of many of the disciples who later became apostles – they were fishermen and there was even a tax collector.

No matter where I stand, one thing that is common to all of us is that we are called to imitate God. God uses marred and imperfect vessels and that should give all of us hope. It is a way that ensures that none of us can boast about ourselves and He gets all the glory.

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.            1 Corinthians 6:17  ESV

No words could more vividly express what happens between our relationship with Jesus as His disciple.

It is the essence of my identity. It would be interesting, in a small group setting, to have everyone write out what they believe is a job description for a “Disciple of Jesus Christ.” With that identity comes responsibility of life and we have some strategic instructions that will enable us to navigate the increasingly murky immoral waters of our post-Christian society. We are not called to live in a corner somewhere, immune to these noxious and defiling influences.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own. 1 Corinthians 6:19  ESV

While I am very familiar with the call of purity from the first part of the verse, I can say that I have been missing the latter part of this verse.

The missionary is one in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought this realization — “Ye are not your own.” To say “I am not my own,” is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not that I might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He had done for them. It was not until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said “Go.” – Oswald Chambers