A Word for the Week

Many are currently engaged in the 15th lesson of weekly discipleship--D-GROUP. And most are being drawn closer to the Lord through the time spent with Him and with others who have chosen to invest more time in His truth.

The word of God says in Luke 9:23--"then he said to them all, 'whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me'."

Denying oneself is the step that most fail in becoming a disciple of Christ. And for those who take that step, taking up the cross daily seems to be a real challenge that many believe they can conveniently ignore. Such has come to be the accepted normal in what has been called 'Consumer Christianity'.

Author Boyd Bailey writes in his 90 day devotional 'Two Minutes in the Bible with Jesus'--"Consumer Christianity is about me--what I receive from my experience with God, what I gain in the worship service, what I learn from the pastor's sermon, how I will be blessed because I attended church. Consumer Christianity is a receiving mentality, not a giving one. If I am not intentional, I can drift into a totally selfish scenario regarding my expectations in my spiritual life. I place my needs above the needs of everyone else, and I leverage my relationship with the Lord for myself."

Bailey continues--"However, Jesus describes His followers as cross carriers, not consumers. Jesus said the role of His disciples is death to self and life for Him. Christ meets the needs of cross bearers. Therefore, churches need to guard against creating a culture of consumer Christianity. Relationship with Christ is a covenant. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Our trust in Jesus requires our letting go of everything else. Our confession and contrition over sin longs to grow in the grace and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our repentance turns from the old, selfish thinking and replaces it with new, selfless thinking. Cross carrying churches create cross-carrying Christians...We follow hard after Jesus when we have been with Jesus. Therefore, be a cross carrying Christian who challenges consumer Christians to engage in discipleship."

*Boyd Bailey-- "Two Minutes in the Bible with Jesus"--pg. 83-84

Well said, indeed. I pray it will be well read and received.

May the Lord bless His sanctifying work in you all!

Pastor Keith

1 Corinthians 15:58