Discipleship II

Colossians 3:9

Do not lie to one another, since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices.

This is in keeping with yesterday’s Word of the Day on discipleship. We said yesterday that discipleship has a great deal to do with transformation. Transformation is the process of letting Jesus reform us into versions of ourselves that reflect his image. We are still us, but a new and improved model, if you will.

If we have stripped off our old selves, then we have replaced them with our new selves. These new selves are not compatible with lies. Face it, we live in a culture which embraces lying. Frankly, I find that most people accept lying. At a minimum people think it is okay to lie on their tax forms. I don’t see how Christians are convincing themselves lies are acceptable in any form. One person I know claims to be born again, but even when he “tells the truth” he chooses words which taint the truth. That is not okay. His speech is colored in such a way as to mislead. Followers of Jesus are, of necessity, followers of the truth and, therefore, speakers of truth.

Another person I know lied about her health in order to qualify for her booster shot. She gave herself a malady so as to get the shot earlier. First, I doubt she truly had to lie. The truth is what sets free. She has a sick husband which would have likely qualified her, but to speak negative words about your health is to call Jesus a liar and a hypocrite because he is the healer. Never pronounce negativity about your health, even if there are facts which support it. In no case should you claim ill health when Jesus has blessed you with good health. That is just crazy, really, and an insult to the healer who is also the truth.

If we are disciples of Christ, then we shall have embraced transformation. Transformation strips us of our old selves in favor of a new self, redeemed in the blood of Christ. The redeemed self has put away evil practices. The author, Paul,, identifies lying as a symptom of the corrupt old man. We cannot be both renewed ambassadors of the Messiah and liars. Choose! If we are to be disciples of Christ, then we must allow ourselves to be transformed by the power of his grace. In this transformation Jesus helps us to strip away the deceiving old man and put on the glory of God’s goodness. As seen from today’s verse, Jesus does not do this work on his own. Transformation and true discipleship can only be accomplished through our will and God’s grace. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and put aside the evil practice of lying.

God of Comfort

2nd Corinthians 1: 3 – 4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Do you wish to be a disciple of Christ? Do you want to be a person that God can use? If so, then you have to make yourself ready. You have to receive the comfort which you will need for others.

Most of us want to be soldiers for the Lord but we fail to understand that God’s soldiers don’t carry swords, they come with healing. They come bearing good news of the Kingdom. Jesus said he came to set free those who are downtrodden (Luke 4: 18). This statement he quoted from a passage in Isaiah, which reads, “to bind up the brokenhearted.” This is such a big part of the ministry of the gospel. People are hurting. In many ways most of us have broken hearts. Jesus came to heal those hearts. As Disciples of Christ, we are to continue his work. Here is the thing though, most of us are so injured and scarred that all we bring is judgment and criticism. If we are going to be useful to Jesus, we must first get healed ourselves.

Why does this frighten people so? We walk around badly injured but do very little to receive healing. Do we delude ourselves that if we just let time pass, we will heal. Observation suggests that just the opposite is true. Our wounds fester rather than heal. Then the hurts of our hearts make it not only impossible to carry out the works of the good news but instead we go about hurting others. You cannot give what you have not first received. We cannot comfort others with the good news of the gospel if we will not first receive the comfort and healing that we promise to others. Our words will not ring true and our testimony of our fruit will scream, “Hypocrite!” I realize we are all trying our best but success isn’t in trying alone. We must be equipped with the right tools, the first of which is our own healed heart.

There are plenty of methods, modalities, tools and mechanisms for healing. Our big brother is THE great healer and he got all of his skill and anointing from our Father. Healing is in our house. Is it even rational to think that God has not provided the means by which we are to be emotionally and mentally healed? Did we think healing was only for our bodies? We are three-dimensional beings. Do you think God did not know that and provide for wholeness for every aspect of our lives? That seems an unreasonable speculation.

It is high time the body of Christ stopped going around as the walking wounded. It is time we cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the healing of our hearts. It is time to let Dad repair the damage of our past and of just living in the world. Won’t you trust Him with your heart, with your wounds? Will you reach out to receive, not only the comfort of God, but also the myriad of tools and methodologies He has provided for our healing. Bless the Lord and trust Him with your heart.