By: Tim Sader
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Last week we learned what Jesus said about us hating others He wants us even to love our enemies because there is no reward in only loving those who love you back. God loves everyone and He cannot hate us He shows His kindness to the evil and good so to be like our Father we must learn to love even those we want to hate. It is obvious we are in the end times since many believers are turning from the faith because of hatred, betrayal and false teachings. These believers have let their love grow cold and they too are spreading hate like the world but if we are truly saved we will stand firm in love until the end. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord so when we hate we hate His family it is like we are stumbling around blindly in the darkness of hate when all we have to do is switch on the light of Gods love so we can see. Hate if not dealt with is murder it often makes people kill and no one gets away with murder it ruins them by consuming their mind, locking them up or killing them. We cannot hold on to a murderous spirit of hate if we hate others and say we love God we are liars because we can’t do both. When we hate others we cannot love God who we haven’t even seen and if we had seen Him we would know how much he loves us all and we wouldn’t want to hate anymore.
To be a disciple a devoted follower of Christ we cannot hate either we must show His love and follow a few simple steps to properly serve Him. In Mark 8:34-38 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” To be a disciple we must be willing to sacrifice and carry burdens the way Jesus carried His Cross and sacrificed His own life to save all mankind. We must be willing to sacrifice it all for the higher calling of the Lord we cannot put anything before our relationship with Him because He is in control. Nothing we hold onto besides Him can save our life but if we will sacrifice our life to follow Him and His word it will save us. If we believe in Him we are called to serve Him and only He can save our soul if we will not follow Him we forfeit our own souls for whatever cannot save us. In this perverse and wicked world if we are ashamed to follow the Lord really what is greater to follow so if we are ashamed of Him we should be ashamed and will be when He returns. Luke 14:26-27 says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.” Here in the Amplified translation we see that we are to hate even our own families in comparison to how willing we are to serve the Lord. No relationship, nothing we are, we gained or nothing we have should come between our relationship with God and our willingness to follow Him. Sometimes in following Him the burdens and sufferings seem to pile up on us well Christ carried a cross and suffered much first so when our burdens seem to be too much remember He had to die before there could be a resurrection and we must be willing to die to ourselves so He can be raised up in us.
In John 15:8-10 Jesus says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” To be good disciples we are also commanded first to love and also we are to bear much fruit in doing these things we show that we are following Christ and that He is alive in us. The Lord is not asking for us to do anymore than what the Son has already done He came to the world to love us by showing us the Fathers love just as we are to show Christ’s love to others. Christ’s command is for us to remain in love like He showed us Gods love by taking upon Himself the burden of sin and carrying it on the cross He sacrificed it all so we could understand how we are to love. Love is one fruit we should be bearing in ourselves so the world can taste and see the work of the Lord and what He has done for us so we can share it with them. John 15:16-17 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” If we believe in and follow Christ we did not chose Him, He has chosen us to follow Him and be His disciple so we could bear much fruit and share His love with others. We are to bear good fruit that lasts it lasts by us spreading it around to others and once they have taken hold of Him and spread fruit to then it will last because we did not keep it for ourself. If He has chosen us because He wants for us to bear fruit and if He loves us then the Father will give us what we ask for in Christ’s name. To be a disciple ultimately we must love each other in doing this we will be a good disciple and will enter into true life when Christ is raised up in us.
I will be working on transitioning this study into both the written format on Tuesday and adding a spontaneous group discussion at my house or church if you’d be interested in attending let me know. The church I attend is MorningStar in Fort Mill, SC you can view meetings by going to www.morningstartv.com where you can register for free then watch Friday School of the Spirit at 7pm EST and Sunday at 9 and 11am EST by clicking watch live at the top of the web screen. Let the words spoken and the messages spread into your area share it with friends, loved ones and local believers to spread revival across the nation and around the world. Also for those who don’t already forward the torch to others feel free to forward it to everyone on your buddy list, lets reach more people than ever before with its message. Share it with your churches if you feel lead to. Thanks I pray the Lord will continue touching each of your lives. All of what Christ did he did so we would believe in who he said he was. He told us not to take his word for it but to believe in what he did according to the will of his father who showed him what to do.
I pray that this message will sink into your hearts and minds this week and if anyone is not a believer my prayer is they will meet the Lord. If it’s on your heart to make Jesus Christ your Savior send a message to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you do that.
Look out for next Tuesdays Torch found on www.myspace.com/trippy91 or sent from email@example.com this study is written by Tim Sader inspired by The Holy Spirit.
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—from God’s house we bless you! God is God, he has bathed us in light. Psalm 118:26-27