The Glorious Power of True Discipleship Christianity
BY Pamela Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-
For the true disciple of Jesus the Christ, there is nothing more exciting and fulfilling than living in TRUE DISCIPLESHIP. Far more then mere traditional "churchianity," true Discipleship steps out into the churning waves of life with Jesus Christ, to take His mighty hand, and to walk by faith where no man has gone before.
What IS "churchianity"? It is sadly what Christianity has, in so many instances, slowly evolved into in America over the past several hundred years. From the arrival of fervent Pilgrim and Puritan Christians on our shores, led by God's Holy Spirit and filled with a desire to form a nation under God and for His glory, America's beginnings and her great men and women and early leaders were inspired by the Word of God.
Churches began to slowly spring up across this nation as her population increased throughout this continent. Revivals came to various regions of America throughout her past, bringing Americans to conviction and repentance and deliverance from sin.
Religious institutions formed nationwide as churches of various denominations were brought forth.
However, as the years have progressed, Christianity in America has gradually moved from the vision of the Early Church and the Word of God's definition of true Discipleship,walking in Biblically defined LOVE, BEING the true Body of Christ to one another, and following Jesus Christ completely.
Many Christians in America have expressed to me their dissatisfaction with the state of the churches in America today. True fellowship and Body of Christ relationships of depth and love have been replaced by the traditional one-two hour church service. In this service, hymns are sung, a sermon preached, tithes collected, and the people dismissed until the next Sunday.
And while there is nothing wrong with this of itself, what becomes troubling is when this is all that Christianity has become for many who call themselves "Christians." The pastor and church staff have certainly fulfilled their role in true Discipleship in serving the church and their congregation. But what about all the others attending every Sunday?
Many families find themselves rushing to get dressed Sunday morning, struggling to get there on time. They sit through the service, often with their minds on other things. "How will we get the bills paid? Will I get home in time for the football game this afternoon? I can't wait for this service to end, so I can go to the all-you-can-eat buffet this afternoon with my friends..." And so on.
Some even glance nervously at the wristwatches during the service.
In such traditional "churchianity" services, all too often, the essence of true fellowship with the Body of Christ is lost. There is not enough time to LOVE and to express genuine compassion with others. Many then leave the service, to go their ways and pursue the cares of this world without any real thought about true discipleship, wherein GOD AND JESUS CHRIST AND HIS PRIORITIES COME FIRST.
Sadly, for some, the act of putting money in the collection plate on Sunday is the sum and total of their service to God each week. Yes, tithing is important and has it's place indeed. It is important to support your church and it's laborers, and to support Christian outreach as well.
However, for many, this act of giving money is all that their service for God and His kingdom and to others consists of. My friend, God does NOT primarily want your money! God already owns everything in heaven and earth! America does not even have the gold in Fort Knox to back up our paper currency any longer. America is bankrupt, both financially and sadly in many other ways as well.
God wants much much MORE than what the Bible calls "filthy lucre" or money: HE WANTS YOU! And that is where TRUE DISCIPLESHIP can differ from mere "churchianity" in out nation today.
TRUE DISCIPLESHIP begins with acknowledging that "JESUS CHRIST IS LORD" of every aspect of our lives. And then taking the time to prayerfully study God's Word, to discover what it really means to follow the Lord Jesus Christ intently, becoming HIS DISCIPLE.
TRUE DISCIPLESHIP is exciting, fulfilling, exhilarating, enlightening, and brings us into depths of eternal riches and understanding of eternal truths that are far beyond the scope of the unregenerate to comprehend.
TRUE DISCIPLESHIP understands what it means to deny yourself, to hate your life in this world, to embrace the cross, and to serve the Living God 24/7. When we purpose to walk with Jesus Christ in a living relationship through true discipleship as spelled out by His words, we soon find that nothing He calls us to remains impossible for us, and that His promises prove true every single day.
I have been a Christian now for 40 years, ever seeking to walk with Him in a deeper and more meaningful, sincere and committed way. It is actually impossible to put into mere human words the power and the grace that I experience every time I spend hours in prayer, fellowshipping with God through Jesus Christ, spending time in worship and praise, and seeking Him in humility for the grace to BE LIKE JESUS CHRIST.
Because the closer you long to be with Him, and the more you want to be like Him, the more your human frailties and weaknesses and shortcomings become apparent. And then, the more you must come to Him for grace and forgiveness, and the power to become His disciple.
But His GRACE is indeed sufficient! For in spite of all our weaknesses, all our needs, all our shortcomings, Jesus is able to reach down and lift us up into His presence, and to teach and then use each one of us for His glorious purposes in the earth today.
DISCIPLESHIP is rewarding, eternally. And through our walking in it, Jesus is able to reach out to our lost and dying world all around us. Purpose therefore to go BEYOND mere traditional "churchianity" as it has evolved throughout our nation, and go BEYOND into the riches and depths of TRUE DISCIPLESHIP CHRISTIANITY. And see the difference!