Study from God’s Word… Acts, Chapters 3 – 6: 7 as the new Church grew in Jerusalem … Passage for Reflection: Acts 4: 13 … NIV When they [the Sanhedrin and Priests] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
My Journal for Today: The Jewish religious/political leaders in the 1st century, as the Church was established and grew in Jerusalem after Jesus’ crucifixion, were befuddled by the astounding wisdom, Scriptural acumen, and powerful preaching of these the two men whom they knew had been common fishermen. However, now that Jesus, the Galilean rabble rouser was gone from the scene, the only identification that they could/would give these fishermen, who called themselves “disciples” of The Christ, was that they had been schooled “with Jesus.”
These men were not to be called “Christian” until much later under the mission work of the later Apostle, Paul; but now those who were sharing the good news of the crucified Messiah and were leading the new followers, whom we know of as the early Church, had walked with Jesus for three years; and now they had seriously taken up His banner and commission and call to become like The Lord and to really be DISCIPLES of the risen Lord.
Are you a “DISCIPLE” of Christ? It’s one thing to be a believer in Jesus as The Messiah. Even Satan’s demons believe that. But to be Christ’s disciple, one must be committed to that part of the great commission [Matt. 28: 19-20] which states, ”teaching them (i.e., new converts) to obey everything I have commanded you.” Well, then, … a disciple, in order to teach others what Jesus has commanded, must first know and live what The Lord commanded. The disciple must become like the Apostle Paul did when he was teaching converted followers in the Church of Corinth, when he declared (in 1st Cor. 11: 1), Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
And I think you’ll agree that following – and teaching – the example of Christ is not an easy deal, is it? BUT … it’s the commission Christ gave to all of us who call ourselves – and are truly, born-again, as - “Christian.” Dr. Smith, in his daily probing way, asks this compelling question today: ”Isn’t it time I moved beyond merely being a Christian to being a serious DISCIPLE of Jesus?” I’ll let you grapple with that one as I must, from the inside out, here this day.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to receive Your enabling/empowering grace to be YOUR disciple; and let others see me shining YOUR light of truth; … AND … help me to help others do the same. Amen