Followers of Jesus become mature disciples as faith is applied to everyday life. This is unlike a New Year resolution that a person may try for a while, fall behind and then give up. Discipleship is about a growing relationship of trusting and obeying Jesus. It’s a revolution, rather than a resolution! This relationship with Jesus overflows into all dimensions of life.
The idea of whole life discipleship runs throughout the Bible. The message is like the words in a stick of rock – wherever you cut it you find the same message! So, the books of the Law teach: ‘You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you’ (Lev 18v3). The Wisdom literature commends godliness: ‘blessed is the man who does no walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers’ (Psalm 1v1). Prophets call for faithfulness: ‘Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him’ (Isaiah 55v7). Jesus said: ‘when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full’ (Matthew 6v5). The Apostles wrote about the costly redemption paid for by the Lord Jesus and the response we should make: ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will’ (Romans 12v1-2).
We are not in this alone as the Lord Jesus provides us with instruction, helps us face life’s challenges and the gift of his Spirit enables whole life discipleship.* I hope that you can join us each Sunday in 2015 to learn how to follow Jesus and bring every aspect of life under his Lordship.
*Our special service on Sunday 4th January will be on this topic, led by Andrew Belfield
A few words of self-description of Andrew from the LICC website.
“I have had the privilege of working for over 25 years in full time Christian work. My love for culture has taken me to over 60 countries where I have worked both as a speaker and a creator of various projects mainly focused at serving children and young people. I am at heart a connector of people and their dreams and love to see a tangible expression of the Kingdom of God appearing in our world.
I have had the privilege of helping to lead a large church community as well as helping to launch at least 7 charities. I have accreditation as a Life Coach and love to spend my time listening to people and their stories and helping them to shape and focus their hopes and dreams.
Married for 27 years with 3 grown up children and now a grandson I feel I am gaining new insight and fresh wisdom in the passing of many years.
I have this insatiable appetite to learn all that is new and relevant as well as having a strong sense of what has gone before.
Imagine what could be…”