Saturday, March 18th, 2017
Matthew 16 (Part 23)
Disciple Qualifications: Following Christ
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.'
Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.
Matthew 10:24-25 (NKJV)
I could write a book on following Christ, but a far better Writer has done it. A saint's job description can't be reduced to bullet points, action-packed paragraphs or any human author's best efforts. No one can improve upon Perfection, and only One owns the right to the word.
In truth, the practice of following Christ begs a lifetime of work, study, prayer and mentorship from the Holy Spirit (unless we have a deathbed conversion, and that's another exciting topic.)
This being said, I confess grave concerns over today's most prosperous preachers: the ones with estates, mansions and fortunes. To me, they're not looking much like Jesus. So if some leaders aren't following Him, and millions of sheep are following them, then where will the shepherds and sheep end up? Or is up the direction they're taking?
'Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit' (Matthew 15:14). 'Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray' (Isaiah 9:16). 'In their greed these teachers will exploit... with fabricated stories' (2 Peter 2:3).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What could following Jesus look like?
1) Humility was His starting point.*
2) He was a simple, plain-looking Man.*
3) He chose to be unremarkable.*
4) His family had no social standing.*
5) He came from a no-account village.*
6) He wasn't groomed like the other priests.*
7) His brothers and kin rejected Him.*
8) His followers rejected Him, too.*
9) His top disciples were fishermen.*
10) He focused on poor, hurting people.*
11) He befriended all kinds of sinners.*
12) He said leaders must become servants.*
13) He washed the feet of His men as proof.*
14) He accepted no glory from men.*
15) He had no home or prized possessions.*
16) He had no fancy ride for travel.*
17) He didn't get into politics.*
18) He didn't complain of ill treatment.*
19) He gave His Life so others could live.*
20) Humility was His final act.*
Actors, Models and Talent for Christ: Following Christ must be your life's goal.
To Be Continued...
*1) 'And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn' (Luke 2:7).
*2) 'He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His Appearance that we should desire Him' (Isaiah 53:2).
*2) NOTE: If God has made you beautiful, embrace it and reflect Him... But don't gild the lily. Don't over-sensualize or get gaudy.
*3) By making Himself 'Of no reputation' and taking on 'The form of a bondservant' (Philippians 2:7).
*4) 'Isn't this the carpenter's Son? Isn't His mother's name Mary, and aren't His brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?' (Matthew 13:55).
*5) 'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?' (John 1:46).
*6) 'By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?' (Mark 11:28).
*7) 'He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him' (John 1:11)... 'For they said, 'He is out of His Mind' ' (Mark 3:21).
*8) 'Many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more' (John 6:66).
*9) 'Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves' (Matthew 17:1).
*10) 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.... (Luke 4:18).
*11) 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?' (Matthew 9:11).
*12) 'Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His Life a ransom for many' (Matthew 20:26-28).
*13) 'Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an Example that you should do as I have done for you' (John 13:14-15).
*14) 'Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew' (John 6:15).
*15) 'Jesus replied, 'Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His Head' ' (Luke 9:58).
*16) 'Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey...' (Matthew 21:5).
*17) 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's' (Matthew 22:21).
*18) 'He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His Mouth' (Isaiah 53:7).
*19) 'The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep' (John 10:11).
*20) 'Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments' (Matthew 27:35).
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Do-Gooders, Associate With The Humble: http://amtcdevotions.org/do-gooders-part-96-associate-with-the-humble
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.