This is a small teaching from a book I'm writing about discipleship and brokenness. They both go hand-in-hand. Christians are to quick to call themselves disciples, and most "discipleship" classes are nothing more than getting believers to do what they should have been doing the first day they were saved.
Just because we read our Bibles, witness, pray, tithe and regularly attend a church does not qualify us as being disciples. Just because we do the basic commands and expectations of being a Christian does not make us a disciple. This first study from the book should show us that one of the first traits of being a disciple is learning how to be a pupil, a student, a learner of the Word. Being a good denominational student and knowing and walking out its creed and code of faith also does not qualify one for being a disciple.
What we will see in this book on brokenness and discipleship is that being a disciple is not the things done outwardly, but what we allow God to do to our heart inwardly.
There are four Greek words for disciple.
The message of John the Baptist seems to have been lost in this "fast-paced, have it your way, get all you deserve" society.
John 3:30 ESV He must increase, but I must decrease.”
From our restaurants of all you can get buffets to store ads promising more for less, or by one get one (BOGO), the cry for "more" echoes across our land and within the walls of our churches.
The same message came in the Scriptures as some of our Lord's disciples wanted not to just be in heaven, but wanted to sit on His right and left side in glory.
Mark 10:35-37 ESV And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” (36) And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (37) And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
Our Lord asked James and John an important question concerning their request.
It was a question relating to death. Would you die for the sake of the gospel?
Mark 10:38 ESV Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
Then our Lord taught them what we would call an oxymoron. The way up is down, the way to be exalted is to be abased, the way to be a master is to be a servant, and the way to life is death.
Mark 10:43-45 ESV But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, (44) and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. (45) For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Christian life is not a life of consuming, but one that should be broken and poured out.
Philippians 3:20-21 ESV (20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (21) who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Philippians 3:10 ESV that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
John 12:24 ESV Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
In a world of instant-self-gratification brokenness is not a happy buzz word. BROKENNESS is not a one-time event. We cannot go around saying "Praise God I am broken."
BROKENNESS is a life-time event that happens one day at a time. Paul says, "I DIE DAILY." Therefore, when we think that we "have arrived," we had better take another look at our hearts. God will not put more on us than we can bear. Since He knows where we are in our spirit and flesh walk, He also knows what to use to bring about an opportunity of BROKENNESS in our lives.
Remember, you do not have to be broken. God creates the opportunity for us to lay down our lives, but we can chose to live a life that is consumed by the love of self or things. We can even be deceived about this. We can think that we love God and that we are in a state of Brokenness but be in love with the world and our own desires. The test is to see how we react if something we treasure is taken away.
We are to throw ourselves on the rock (Christ) to be broken, lest the rock crushes us, (die or be killed).
Matthew 21:44 ESV And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.