Tag Archive: disciple


The Big Picture – Part 13

Servants, Disciples and Sons

The ultimate and final goal for every child of God is that we grow, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Eph. 4:13-15.

God never planted a seed except that it might produce a good crop, enriching and nourishing the lives of others and then after growing going on to reproduce, multiplying itself to create many more like itself. Christ was the first fruit. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom. 8:29.

We are here because the seed of Adam has been faithful to produce a natural crop. Christ is here in God’s children because His seed, the Holy Spirit, in us has been faithful to produce a spiritual crop, being fruitful and multiplying.

Hows your crop? My wife enjoys the hobby of scrap booking. They have intense weekend encounters in which many scrappers get together and work hard at making progress in their books. The event is called Crop till you Drop. I think we Christians should crop till we drop too. Don’t you?

Go back and look at the progression for the journey that God has in mind for us. That we move from “children tossed to and fro”, to completion or full maturity “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”. This doesn’t occur overnight. Think about our natural children. Do they go from a child to a fully mature adult without stages of progression? Neither do spiritual children.

Just as a natural son goes through many stages: newborn, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, teenager, youth, young man, man, adult, etc. and then eventually on to being a father himself, so goes the spiritual.

There are quite a few different Greek terms that we have interpreted as “son” in our Bibles, each with their own respective and unique meaning for that phase of the maturity process. I will not go into these although they make a fascinating study themselves. Instead I want to look at the manifestation, what we can see and experience of the maturity of the inner process going on.

There are many subtle nuances of degrees of manifestation besides these three but I want to focus on the hallmark divisions as the Bible has, namely — servants, disciples and sons. There are many references to the types of relationships we have with Christ in each of these roles.

I believe that each has to do with a maturing process in our own hearts. God is always our Father and his heart is always perfect toward us. It is our heart that is growing toward Him in Love and Truth. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron. 16:9.

Our heart is not automatically perfect toward
God although it could be at any time. We can even waver in indecision in our hearts which is the situation when they are not perfect toward Him. It is a matter of our willingness to die to ourself and live to Him. It depends upon our being living sacrifices. It is all bound up in the statement, “Not my will but Thine be done.”

Servants serve out of a sense of duty, because they believe they must. In their hearts there is a fear of punishment or loss. “If I don’t obey, I will have to suffer a consequence.” It is true that being disobedient carries a natural consequence but that is not the right reason to do God’s will.

A good way to explain the heart of a servant is: “I will do your will because I must.” This servant gives the right result with the wrong motive.

Disciples choose to do His will — and make no mistake, it is a choice of the will. They see that there is reward and benefit to doing God’s will. They take note and realize that the law is good and right. They follow Christ with a part of their heart, the part that is interested for what Self will gain. Remember that Judas is labeled a disciple. Remember also the rich young ruler. He kept the law, but when asked to make a personal sacrifice he went away sad. The heart is involved for sure, but why?

A good way to explain the heart of a disciple is: “I will do your will because I see that it will be good for me.”

Now each of the roles of servant and disciple are not wrong or bad they just are not best. They are not revealing the that heart that is well pleasing to God. That is the heart of a son. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17. Remember God is looking for those whose hearts are perfect toward Him.

God uses even our wrong motives to move us along the path to sonship. We are moving from faith to faith one step at a time, precept upon precept. Servanthood and Discipleship are steps to becoming the sons of God.

Now the heart of a son of God is the heart of THE Son of God. God sent us Christ so we could know Him and so we could be like Him. The heart of a true son is grounded in love for the Father. It is not interested in it’s own will. It only seeks to please and do the Father’s will with no strings attached.

That is where God is bringing those who will follow and stay their course, trusting Him, depending on Him. He does not promise that every child of God will be a son of God. He gave the power, not the promise. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.

He did not even promise that every child of God would be a disciple. Throughout it is a choice you must make. Here are some supporting verses:

Luke 14:26: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33: So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

No all along it is a choice. It is a matter of your heart. Do you want to be a servant, a disciple or a son? There is a progression on the Way. Get on it and stay on it!

A son says, “Not my will, but Thine be done”. The motive is the love of the Father. We know Him because we have served Him and followed Him. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

Job reveals the heart of a son when he is tested. Remember the scene?

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” Job 2:1.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15.

That reveals a motive of love, not fear, not gain… a perfect heart — a son’s heart.

Listen v4.12 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
A Gulf That Cannot Be Bridged To be a disciple of Christ, one must renounce all he has. He cannot hold on to the world with one hand and with the other hold on to the Lord. Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
The Trouble With Peace If thou be despised loving Christ in His gospel, remember that when David was thought base for dancing before the ark, his way was to be more base. “The more thou troublest thyself, or art troubled by others for Christ, the more peace thou hast in Christ.” Quote by John Donne from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon, abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Take Eat I say that the ineffable speech which Paul heard spoken in Paradise (2 Cor. 12:2-4) was the eternal good things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived (1 Cor. 2:9). These things which God has prepared for those who love him, are not protected by heights, nor enclosed in some secret place, nor hidden in the depths, nor kept at the ends of the earth or sea. They are right in front of you, before your eyes. So, what are they? Together with the good things stored up in heaven, these are the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which we see every day, and eat, and drink. They, we avow, are those good things. Outside of these, you will not be able to find one of the things spoken of, even if you were to traverse the whole creation. If you do want to know the truth of my words, become holy by practicing God s commands and then partake of the holy things, and you will know precisely the force of what I am telling you. Symeon The New Theologian – The Ethical Discourses – circa 1000; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Failure to Launch I had a vision of a life of prayer yes, and limitless power, which I saw depended on two things only faith and prayer. For the moment I was thrilled. I fell on my knees, and as I bowed before my Lord what thoughts surged through my mind what hopes and aspirations flooded my soul. God was speaking to me in an extraordinary way. This was a great call to prayer. But to my shame be it said I did not heed that call. Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
Relationship, Not Knowledge, is the Ticket People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do God s will. But the idea is strange to them that they may and must each day have this blessed fellowship with God, just as a father and his child on earth have pleasure in fellowship. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
Letting Go is the Hardest Part Pray for strength and faith enough to trust yourself completely to God. Follow Him simply wherever He may lead you and you will not have to think up big plans to bring about your perfection. Your new life will begin to grow naturally. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Little Steps Lead to Bigger Leaps The things most readily to be done those that lie not at the doorstep but on the very table of a man’s mind are often the most neglected and overlooked. Can a man become strong in righteousness without learning to perform ordinary acts of kindness for his neighbor? Will a man climb the last flight of the stair when he has never set foot on the lowest step? Could it be that the Lord, who demands higher virtue of us, tests us first in little tasks before he entrusts to us bigger ones? George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
Lacking Evidence of Life If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we do not live the lives of Christians. But yet though it is thus plain that this, and this alone, is Christianity, a uniform, open, and visible practice of all these virtues, yet it is as plain as there is little or nothing of this to be found even amongst the better sort of people. You see them often at church, and pleased with fine preachers; but look into their lives and you see them as just the same sort of people as others are that make no pretenses to devotion. The difference that you find betwixt them is only the difference of their natural tempers. They have the same taste of the world, the same worldly cares and fears and joys; they have the same turn of mind, equally vain in their desires. You see the same fondness for state and equipage, the same pride and vanity of dress, the same self-love and indulgence, the same foolish friendships ad groundless hatreds, the same levity of mind and trifling spirit, the same fondness for diversions, the same idle dispositions, and vain ways of spending their time in visiting and conversation as the rest of the world that make no pretenses to devotion. William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, circa 1728; Random House Inc. © 2002
Unlimited Supply of Water Not personal benefit but community benefit. All who come to me to drink shall be benefited by the Water that is Living in Me and poured out through you. You are a source of the Source. The same water that satisfies, only a smaller, yet not limited, representation. The Water in you is unlimited for it is Living and Active. It has this effect of satisfying the soul of them who hunger and thirst for righteousness. You have become a Well of Me. Tom Van Hoogen
The Very Essence Of Sin We are staggered at immorality, but Jesus faced those things in the most amazingly calm way (see Matthew 21:31 ). When He was roused to a state of passionate indignation it was by people who were never guilty of such things. What Our Lord continually faced was the disposition behind either the morality or the immorality. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin . . . ( John 15:22 ). Any man would have known without His coming that it was wrong to take life, the law is written in him; any man would have known that immorality was wrong; but no man apart from Jesus Christ would believe that my right to myself is the very essence of sin. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
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