Being a Disciple

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV

What does it take to be a disciple? First you need to know what a disciple means. This is someone who is a pupil or a student learning the principles and disciplines of another. Not just an interested bystander or a follower. You have to become a student. Learning to be just like your teacher. Following all their ways.

Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived on this earth. Can you think of anyone else worthy to try to be just like? He told us while he was here on earth that he was here for one reason. That was to do all God told him to do and say. Can there be anything more important.

None of us will ever be perfect. We have all sinned. No matter how hard we try we will still make mistakes. God knows that but he still loves us. He just wants us to try. We do not have to do it alone. He has promised to be with us always. Never will he leave us or forsake us. He has promised to send his Holy Spirit to live in us and to help us.

We need to read his words regularly because these are his ways. How can we keep his commandments and what he thinks is important if we do not read what he has said in his written word. What would Jesus do? This is what we need to ask ourselves every day of our lives.

If you want to know in every circumstance this question can direct you back to his words and his ways if you ponder that question. While he was here on earth, Jesus was a living example of what God is like. He showed great love for everyone he ever met. They were very important and so were their problems.

We should act the same way. Loving others more than ourselves and seeking to help others in any way we can. He saw those with sickness and infirmities with great compassion. He never worried that he might get sick or that their problems might rub of on to him. He just wanted to help.

When Lazarus died he knew the outcome of what he was about to do. He was planning to bring him back to life. He still wept when he saw the grief and pain on the faces of his sisters. He had more compassion. The more you follow his words and his ways the easier it becomes and the more you have that same compassion.

I know myself I get emotional over the simplest things when God is involved or someone else is hurting. Being a disciple is not attending church or reading your Bible just so you can check them off your to do list. An obligation done. We do it because we truly love him.

God is Good

“For God So loved the world that he Gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son in to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16&17. NIV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans’ 6:23. NIV

These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. He soooo loves us not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He wants to save the whole world. He gave us his one and only son to be born just so he would be condemned to die a horrible humiliating death so nobody else would ever have to die.

That is love. He is a perfect and holy God who can not dwell among sin. They made a way for us to live with them in paradise forever. But they also gave us free will to choose what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their words written out for all to discover.

Even if something is Gods will, and it is the very best thing for us, he will not force it on us. It is totally our free will to decide on our own. By doing nothing and making no decision we have decided the answer is no. “I do not want your gift God.” Even though saying yes has made me happier than I can ever imagine. At one time in my life I said yes.

They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something we can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promise of their help. This is not all us but we have help.

Once we believe we need to practice what we believe and turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin and the way to death but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible that they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true it is to be believed. All of it.

If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us. Knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us what not to do. Sin is not just wrong it is not good for us if it brings our eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over.

We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. We do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want but not doing his will puts it on us not him. He is a very loving and just God.

He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us how to live a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy. Bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every good parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe. They will discipline them and at times say no if what they want is not best for them.

They don’t serve ice cream for breakfast and candy for lunch. If we ate like that we wouldn’t live to see our teens. Running free in the streets is not allowed because it’s not safe. We expect those things even though eating our veggies is a drag we want to be healthy. So we do things we dislike.

Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that bring joy, happiness, and blessings. We want a good happy life? Right.

Cast your cares

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
God tells us to cast all our cares on him because He cares for us. How much he cares for us we will never totally understand. Image the best parents in the whole world. Loving, caring, protective, giving, respectful and all good characteristics. That is only 5%, if that, of what our God is.
He is love and he teaches us to love as we should. There is so much love in him that we will never know, but remember this he gave up his right in heaven, that awesome perfect place to leave it and come to earth.
To be born as a helpless little baby to a poor, struggling, very young and inexperienced, couple, born in a stall with dirty animals, with people against him from the very beggining, just so he could die a horrific death beaten beyond recognition, and nailed to a cross with common criminals.
What love he has for each and everyone of us. That says it all.
With his arms open wide he says “ come”. It is a choice. We have been given free will. One of the very dear things he has given us. It sets us above every creature he has created. He has created us in his own image. Able to think, and reason, to discover great and wonderful things about our world and all he has created.
Look at all the knowledge he has given us to create, great inventors and scholars have taken us so far but that is a tiny amount compared to his all knowing and all powerful greatness. He has everything but the most precious thing to him is relationship with us.
He never meant for us to do life on our own. Actually he knows that we can not, at least not if we want his best. We need his help. Oh but we are a proud, proud people. “ I will do it on my own.,” we say. Stubborn and proud. We are a very messed up bunch of misfits. Why does he put up with us.
He knew in the very beginning Eve would eat that apple and that we would separate ourselves from him. He even had a plan to make it possible for us to be restored to a right relationship with him. Where he sees us as perfect again. And as his perfect heirs he wants to give us everything.
Perfect lives full of joy, peace, love. If we will only come to him.He is more than able to help carry are burdens. Give them all to him he loves you. He is not coming to take away from us, as some people assume, but to make our lives better and more fulfilled.
This Christmas season see all he has for you by trusting that perfect love. Cast all of your cares on him. Let him know just what you need.

Child of God

“ Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 NIV

“…so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life.” John 3:14 NIV

The great and mighty God. Creator of heaven and earth, everything that ever was or will be wants to be our father. The most perfect dad that ever was has given us the opportunity to be his child. He is a perfect father who will never let us down.

Some people may not have had an earthly father or one that was very dependable. But this father is not limited by Earth. Nothing is impossible for God. His will will be done in your life and you can take that to the bank.

All we have to do is believe that he is. The one who died to set us free and rose from the grave to ascend into heaven to prepare a place for us. Eternal life with him. This is ours and it is free. Nothing we will ever do will make him love us any less or any more.

We can do great things for him and bring others to him. Feed the sick and hungry. Be almost perfect or we can be bad doing all kinds of awful things. He still loves us.

With him he makes the impossible possible to us in our lives.

We need to come to him just like any father. Love him and respect him. Obey him. Share our lives with him. Get to know him personally. He is not just the ‘Man upstairs ‘, he is Daddy. He wants to be there for you, and with you always. Holding your hand.

It wasn’t till I was actually almost fifty that I realized that. I lived my whole life knowing of God. I knew he was there but was doing life pretty much on my own. My way and didn’t think much about him except Sunday’s. What a waste of time.

I can now say I know him intimately and it has made such a difference in my life. I have more joy, I rarely get mad or upset. I have eternal hope. I am full of peace. No fear.

I could not have said that years ago. I still have trials and hard things to deal with in my life but I have someone to always lean on. Someone to help me through them.

I didn’t have to do a thing to get him to love me. I do lots of things now for him just because I love him and love being close to my him, my dad.

His Family

I have a beautiful Pandora bracelet that my daughters got me several years ago. I always have it on. Over the years I have added charms for all of my daughters, their husbands and their children. It means so very much to me.

Each charm is special. I have different color beads for some of my grandkids, each one represents someone very dear to me. I have a coffee cup from my youngest daughter because she knows how important my coffee is. The one for my middle son-in-law has turquoise. He is a native Arizonan like his parents and proud of it.

My daughter designs and makes jewelry. She made me a little replica of our towns courthouse. Each charm and each person has so much meaning to me when I look at them. I see family when I look at each charm.

God sees all his children in the same way. We are his pride and joy that he delights in. He sees us as very special and unique charms. No two alike. He can remember each one over thousands of years and all over the world.

Today he took one of his charms home to be with him as my roommate past from this life to the next and I had to smile for she waited so long for this day.

He smiles as he thinks about each. Some thoughts he has:

Angels rejoice over us, demons flee from us. James 4:7

God dances over us with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

We are the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

We were predestined by God for success. Romans 8:28-30

We are placed and seated with him, a king and priest, part of a chosen generation, a peculiar people. 1 Peter 2:9

We are blessed coming in and going out. Deuteronomy 28:13

We are equipped with the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:13

Just a few of the things he has said about his children. Rest in the confidence we have that he cares for us. We are all very greatly loved.

Take every thought captive

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

What goes on in the human mind most often should stay there. Even the foolish look smart when they keep their mouth shut. The tongue has the power of life and death. This week I was witness to people say whatever was on their mind no matter how ugly and it really ate at me.

How can people be so hurtful. They tell themselves I have always been treated poorly so they deserve it. Nobody deserves to be treated poorly but we are all imperfect people. This is a messed up world we live in. Hate is prevalent.

We should however weigh all our thoughts, especially before verbalizing them. Is what we are thinking Christ like, will it hurt someone, would you want to hear it.? Once out of the mouth damage has been done and it is very hard to undo.

Something I always try to remember is that God loves us. This is a greatly cherished child of God I am speaking to. How would God want me to talk to them. This has helped me see others with so much love and respect. I could not hurt them intentionally.

I love people, all people and that is one reason why I love life. So many unique and different people all around me. I really like to get to know them. I also love to help others anyway I can even just encouragement.

You also need to consider thoughts about yourself and how you feel. I know we can really make ourselves down just by the things we feel. I tell myself every morning that this is the day God made for me and I will rejoice in it. I will be happy even if I feel sick , I don’t like breakfast, or someone says something harsh.

I always try to have a smile to share. My face muscles are weak so I may have a frown but I am always happy. I can get emotional at times and get touched in my heart easily. These are good kinds of sad though. This shows compassion. Hurt someone I love and it hurts me.

Things we think about ourselves can be destructive too. I’ll never be able too…

I can’t do that, bad things always happen to me, and I’m no good. We should always speak things we want as though they were. That will make them happen more times than not.

Share words of life when you speak. Do all you do as unto the Lord. These are ways to always be Christlike in action.

Praise

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4. NIV

We are a passionate country and find praise in so many things we love. Singers, home sports teams, our children’s teams, all things that bring joy of which we are passionate about. Especially when they are successful in their endeavors.

We wear team colors and makeup to display our passion. Buy the new tee-shirt of the local artist or band. Have Super bowl and tailgate parties. All these things bring joy and just being excited and joining in is what makes life worth living.

Our Heavenly Father has done so much for us. He made this great world we live in with all the adversity and uniqueness around us to enjoy. He sent his one and only son to lived a perfect life with all the same things we go through so he could understand. He lived and died a criminal’s death just so we could be redeemed.

One day we have the true hope that we will be with him in a perfect place that has no sin, death, pain, and no problems. An awesome place for all eternity. Because God loves us all so very much and wants what is best for us he has called us to delight in him.

In doing this we are complete. The satisfaction we find in him as we get excited about all he has done for us makes us long to praise him and our joy has come full circle. I know the more I think about him I get excited. Praise is the way we express that joy. And by sharing that joy with others,

Try joining in to the excitement that being a Christian can be. For more info just comment on the contact page. I love to share my joy.