Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

"Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26
Our server has been down for nearly 24 hours and this is the first chance I have had to post today's thought.
This week our emphasis is on discipleship.
We have defined stewardship as "godly life management". Stewardship is what you do with your life after you have confessed Jesus as Lord.
Worship is steward of your desires - what you do with your heart.
Fellowship is stewardship of your relationships. Will I unite with like-minded believers to pursue God, will I submit a standard of discipline in order to bring out the best in each other, and will I declare the goodness and glory of God?
Discipleship is managing your life so that you are bold in your faith and unashamed of Christ.
Here is a recent example:
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife) -- A human rights group has expressed concern about reports of wide spread persecution of Christians in rural Ethiopia where at least one evangelist has been killed "for refusing" to abandon his Christian faith, BosNewsLife monitored Thursday, September 22.Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which has close contacts in the region, said it has learned that 34-year old Estifanos Abate, an evangelist of the Assemblies of God church in the town of Jijiga "was shot and killed July 19 for refusing to deny his faith in Christ."In a statement to BosNewsLife News Center, VOMC said news of the killing had been slow to emerge as "communication is difficult and reports of their courage often take several weeks to reach the outside world."
The incident allegedly happened when the evangelist was traveling from Degahabour to Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia where his passenger bus was stopped by Islamic militants. "The militants boarded the bus, demanding to know the religion of each traveler. Of the 45 passengers, five were Orthodox and four were evangelical Christians. The gunmen ordered these nine [Christians] to be separated from the Muslim passengers," VOMC claimed, citing sources in the area.
"The Christians were then ordered to repeat the Islamic creed and to bow three times toward Mecca. Everyone but Estifanos complied with the order and was allowed back on the bus. The gunmen threatened Estifanos, who calmly began to tell his attackers about Jesus, while his fellow travelers begged him to save his life by obeying their demands," VOMC said."The Muslim leader then ordered the bus to continue on its way, without Estifanos. As the bus pulled away, Estifanos was executed," VOMC added. It quoted eyewitnesses as saying that "his body was left on the side of the road for most of the day, presumably as a warning to others."

So, Brad, are you saying that dying for Christ is discipleship?

No, I am not saying that. Dying for Christ is martyrdom.

Discipleship is dying to Christ! Once you die TO Christ you will be empowered to live FOR Him - and if necessary - die for Him. Discipleship is what enabled this dear brother the strength and courage to LIVE for Jesus and to submit to DYING for Him. Discipleship is denying yourself daily - putting Him first - and carrying your cross for Him daily - dying to His will.

Have you done that today?