A Disciple is 2013 (Part 4 of 4)

I have been discussing some of what it takes to be a Disciple in 2013.   I shared that you need to be a person of CONVICTION.  Convictions born out of a Biblical World View, based on the timeless teachings of the Bible.  I also mentioned that being a Disciple in 2013 takes COURAGE.  The world does not like people of unchanging convictions.  They like people of matching convictions.

This Conviction and Courage can only be found in a Person of Connection.  The strength that we need to hold to our convictions comes from trusting in the one who gives us our convictions.  Allowing the Living Christ through His Spirit, sent to you by the Father, to encourage, and equip you to live as Disciples.  Jesus could not make this any more clear than when he shares with his first disciples about their connectedness.

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5

As a person of Connection, a growing disciple, you must always be aware that you will NEVER know all there is to know about God.  You constantly remind yourself that you have not completed your spiritual education.

“It is difficult fo learn something you think you already know,

It is impossible to learn something you don’t think you need to know.”  unknown

Last November when I cleaned out my desk after 25 years of congregational ministry I was not packing to put it into a new church desk, I was packing to take it home.  I tried to go though this a little more closely.  Then I came to the dreaded “Junk Drawer.” You know the one, we all have at least  one in our life.  That drawer where things that we know we should keep, but we’re not really sure why end up.  In my drawer I came across an almost 25-year-old letter.  The Letter was to me from my college roommate Ray.  Ray and I had parted when he went off to seminary and I went off to work in the church.  This letter was a unique letter from Ray.  This letter was oozing with excitement and joy.  This letter was the news that Ray was engaged!  I didn’t even know he was dating.  The letter so took me by surprise that I kept it, as a reminder to call him in a couple of days.  I wanted to congratulate him and get more information.

Two days later I got a call from Kevin, also a college buddy – he lived next door to Ray and I.  I was sure he was calling to tell me the news that Ray was engaged.  but he was not.  He was calling to give me the news that Ray was dead.  Ray was killed by a drunk driver one night as he pulled out of the seminary.  The drunk driver was driving with no lights, Ray never saw him coming.

When ever I stumble on that letter, I read it.  It is bittersweet.  I keep it because for me it is a connection I have to the best man in my wedding, my friend, Ray.  That connection is important to me all these years later.  I have another letter.  This letter is even older than Ray’s letter.  I read it also from time to time, and it helps me remember, and connect.  This letter is written by Christ himself.  This letter is not a static letter for a date in time.  It is a living and breathing letter.  It is the very Word of GOd.  It is designed to keep me connected to him.  I value that connection.  I also have grown to understand just how vital that connection is in my life.

What are you doing to stay connected to Christ?  Are you reading his letter?  Are you talking to him in prayer?  Are you listening to him?  Are you trusting in Him.

If we are going to be disciple that make a difference in this world for the Kingdom of God we must be people of: Conviction, Courage and Connection.

I pray that the ministry of GodPonders helps you in your walk of discipleship.  I know that your reaction and comments help give me the courage to continue to hold to my convictions, and encourages me to stay connected.

<>< Craig