Jesus commands His Disciples

 

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Jesus spoke extensively to the disciples in private because He wanted to instruct them about how they need to live successful lives after His death and resurrection. Jesus knew it was going to be tough for them and for anyone else who took the mantle of being a disciple of Christ on. Therefore He provided His commandments and HolyGhost to help. Jesus’s commands varied but they were very specific as to how disciples need to lead successful lives; below I categorise His commandments and what He wanted us to learn:

What God expects from us – The calling
What we should expect from this life – The vision
What has been given to us by God – The purpose
The dangers of people – Wisdom
The end times – Discernment
The authority we carry – Knowledge

Jesus was very purposeful and wanted us to be equipped with the above as that is how we are meant to live our daily lives but many struggle with the commands of Jesus because He approaches them from a critical angle. Many Christians today despise criticism and promote positivity, but if we look at criticism the right way, we can draw a conclusion that it is for a positive purpose. Jesus is not condemning His disciples by commanding them with instructions but He ls trying to protect us from the hands of the enemy. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy and Jesus knows that better than anyone so He laid down firm foundations for us to grasp and live by.

Living by these commandments can be taxing especially when life gets tough, but that is precisely why He gave us His HolyGhost. The scriptures say that HolyGhost will comfort us by reminding us of the teachings of Jesus, and it is these very commandments written over 2000 years ago that we need to be reminded of every day. How desperate are you for God’s Spirit to be in your life? How desperate are you to be reminded by God’s Spirit about Jesus’s commandments? Today people love the feel good factor of HolyGhost and attend meetings for emotional comfort and months later there is no change in their circumstances.

The greatest counsellor is HolyGhost, and He is ready willing and able to teach you about Jesus and help you be a light to this world and salt to this earth. He is willing to remind you of your authority and the dangers of the people that surround you. If you want to be a genuine disciple of Jesus, then you will love His commandments and will love to be obedient to Him concerning them. If you find yourself struggling with this, then you must recognise you need God’s Spirit in your lives.

This is what Paul means when He said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The strength to follow His commands, not to go to work, school or if you are having a bad day. I despise those Facebook memes that are thrown about. Of course, Christ wants to strengthen us for life but it is rooted in His commands, and if you aren’t following them then there is no chance you will be fully strengthened for anything else in life.

Love His commands, Love being obedient – Then you are a disciple of Jesus

Disciples stay in the boat with Jesus

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Luke Chapter 8 describes a unique event between Jesus and His disciples and the scene was set with Jesus to wanting to travel to another side of a lake. As Jesus decided to sleep in the boat, the storms and waters decided to become volatile, and this left the disciples extremely nervous and in fear for all their lives. Jesus woke up, calmed the storms and then proceeded to criticise the disciples concerning the lack of faith that they possessed.

Many scriptures are very blunt about the negative actions of people, but if you read in the spirit, the scriptures also show how many people overcame trying circumstances. Too often people read the words but never look at the result and how that result came about. The brilliance of this boat situation despite the lack of faith of the disciples was the fact they were present with Jesus. This for me is a perfect example of God’s Kingdom and the fact that, as His disciples, we need to be in this boat. Even though we aren’t perfect the willingness to stay in the boat with Jesus is imperative.

Many believers never get into the boat, and they miss out on the storms, waves and blessings of God. I want to see Jesus rebuke winds and waters rather than observe it in other people’s lives, and I want to reach the other side of the lake, experiencing the goodness and mercy of God on a day to day basis. Are you willing to miss out on inheriting God’s kingdom because you aren’t prepared to weather the storm with Jesus?

Interestingly the challenge Jesus gave the disciples was to help them understand that with faith they too could have controlled the seas and the weather rather than wait on God because Jesus empowered His disciples with authority. God’s kingdom is very violent, and the violent take it by force which means if we want to be disciples we need to be extremely forceful in spirit to live victorious lives. Get in the boat and stay in it because that is exactly where Jesus is.

Next time someone tells you to get out the boat make sure it is to walk on water!!

Disciples refuse to be defiled

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Jesus was questioned by the local religious leaders on the issue of being clean when it came to food and His response as always was quite cut-throat because He responded by saying the things that are unclean are found in the heart and on the tongue of a person. Proverbs tells us that life and death is in the power of the tongue, and we are also told in the gospels that if we ask for something from God in the name of Jesus (according to His will) He will grant it. Make no mistake here, what you say will have an impact on you life and in the lives of people that you come across.

If you are a believer who struggles with jealousy, coveting, evil thoughts and you allow them to hit your tongue on a regular basis then you cannot be considered a disciple. This seems harsh, and it is because leaders are measured differently to believers even though the call for everyone is to be a disciple. Everyone struggles with something, but it is the fruit of the struggle which counts. You either deal with the struggle or it deals with you and if you find yourself verbalising inner thoughts that are impure then you are most certainly speaking death over yourself and the people that are in your life.

There is no question that in pursuit of discipleship there are going to be many mistakes, and some doubt but the difference between a disciple and a believer is confession. Peter tells us in Acts that confessing sins brings salvation, and I don’t mean the type of confession you see in churches today. Confession means to be open to God and to deal with the impurity that is within you and Apostle Paul was the perfect example of that. He was struggling with a satanic issue and confessed this to God which allowed The Lord Jesus to bring a solution; “My grace is sufficient for you”. Jesus wanted to strengthen Paul in his weakness, thus through confession, Paul was saved from sin and judgment.

So you see yourself giving in? You may ask yourself why. Below are a few reasons why do you allow inner negativity to become outward realities:

You are unaware of your worth in Christ
You are selfish
You are unhappy with God’s promises
Christianity is not a lifestyle but habit

Giving up is easy, it is what everyone else does so, therefore, fighting against these temptations and feelings are unnatural, but a disciple never looks at the natural. The disciple gains a spiritual understanding of what the reasons for impurity are. They dig deep in prayer, worship and reading God’s Word to search out the matter, find the reason and deal with it. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual things, and every thought is a seed, and those seeds need discerning before it turns you or someone’s life into death.

Choose life, because Jesus came to give it in abundance and be totally aware that evil seeds are contrary to God’s Kingdom. There is every chance if you don’t make it into discipleship, then you will not inherit His Kingdom. You have the chance to make a choice today, and that decision means hard work and not accepting anything less than God’s best.

Disciples will die before they allow themselves to be defiled.

Disciples feel conviction

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Conviction is an interesting area which many people fail to understand. The deep rooted feeling within your spirit that something isn’t quite right is regularly ignored however if it is acknowledged there is great freedom to be found. Many Christians usually account convictions as an emotional feeling, but it is a deeply spiritual thing connected to the heart of God the Father. Until we define what conviction is and work out the root, we will continue to ignore the feeling and in return, we will continue to ignore God the Father because avoiding conviction is turning away from God’s heart.

The two examples of conviction that stand out to me from the Bible’s perspective is the case of Peter and the prodigal son. Firstly, Peter was warned by Jesus that He would deny Him during the time of arrest and Peter had time to deal with that prophetic word, but He instead chose to ignore the conviction by turning it into an emotional situation. Alas we have a weakness in Peter and when he denied Jesus the third time as prophesied He felt a deep conviction in his heart, and he wept. I would like to focus on the weeping and the fruits of it because Peter went on to build God’s Kingdom, therefore through denying Jesus, (a severely unholy act), Peter managed to do many great works. Where sin abounds, as does Grace and the key here is that Peter recognised the conviction of doing wrong and repented for it.

Now the prodigal son is a story of a wealthy man who took his inheritance and lived his life to the full in a worldly sense. The boy liked to party, eat well and you know the rest, but when his money ran out, he found himself working in a piggery eating pigs food. Sin does lead you to a form of poverty (emotionally, physically and spiritually) after all but it was at his lowest point he decided to recognise the conviction in his heart which was entirely different to Peter’s. Deep down this prodigal son had a conviction that His Father would accept him back despite living a sinful lifestyle. Hope that hits your spirit hard.

Peter felt the conviction of denial and then went onto to pioneer the first church and faced many tribulations for professing Christ and the prodigal son found ‘acceptance’ through his convictions. When you are being convicted, it is God trying to get a message to you, but if you aren’t walking as a disciple, you will never understand this conviction. Disciples see opportunity, grace, mercy, forgiveness in conviction whereas nominal believers see guilt, condemnation and abandonment.

Stop avoiding conviction and deal with what God is doing within you. David sinned, felt convicted and moved on with God’s will as did many other great disciples in God’s Kingdom so I guess it’s on you now to show you have the faith to do this.

Through faith alone, by His blood.

Disciples know their authority

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Knowing authority is a highly important virtue for a genuine disciple of Christ because it will define how successful your walk with God will be. In the book of Matthew, Jesus called the 12 disciples and empowered them to have authority over unclean spirits and diseases, and the disciples then continued the work of Jesus’s ministry. Below I look at the three things that happen to a disciple who knows and understand spiritual authority.
Disciples know the calling of Jesus – Responding to the call of God is the first step of walking and knowing what the authority God is in your life and without response, you cannot receive. Disciples never question God, His Will, His way because all they want to do is please Him through Faith and build the Kingdom. Those who do not know their calling are those who are happy to piggy pack off from other believers hard work. God isn’t in the copy cat business, but the devil is, so take the time to understand what God desires from you as a disciple and take what He has to say seriously. He gives, and He takes away, and your enteral rewards are at stake.
Disciples know what authority means Disciples know their authority – When Jesus gives authority, it is for a purpose. Today so many who receive this unique authority from Jesus underestimate their capability and never use what has been given, and this can have devastating effects on many peoples lives. Authority for a disciple means to operate in the spiritual realm and cause breakthrough on earth. Behind every blessing is a demonic force trying to kill, steal and destroy and the natural believer won’t even notice something being taken. Knowing authority means to take back what the devil has stolen or prevent what the devil is trying to steal. Open your blind eyes, heal the sick and take authority over principalities and powers.
Disciples execute what Jesus gives – Jesus wanted His creation to be doers of the word and not just hearers. Many Christians struggle with hearing God’s Word and this has brought a unique imbalance in God’s kingdom which He predicted. He said that the workers are few but the harvest is great, and the said many are called, but few are chosen. Disciples are busy executing what God has commanded them to do, and that is what sets them apart as leaders compared to the believers who are busy sitting in their pews in the church. There is so much work to be done and the time is to be sent out into the field and the challenge is on you to perform signs, wonders and miracles in your life and the life of those that surround your atmosphere.
Preachers are too busy mocking the apostles and disciples for the mistakes they made, but they choose to ignore the level of authority that was being operated in. You wonder why signs, wonders and miracles are on the decrease?