On Followers and Disciples

A seat at the table conjures up many images, most of them pleasurable for foodies.  And let’s face it, most of us like food. We want a seat at the table.  We would especially want a seat at the table if Jesus was there.  Sometimes Jesus said some difficult things at the table.  As I listened to the message and pictured Jesus at the table, I could see him being Jesus, loving and saying strong things at the same time.  Grace and truth personified.  As Pastor Dave said, Jesus is calling us not to just follow Him but to become like Him, and an encounter with Jesus brings real transformation.  Jesus is contrasting being a follower with being a disciple. Followers can be inconsistent. They tend to lose interest or fall away when things become difficult or not to their liking.  Becoming like Jesus, a function of true discipleship, is a lifelong process.  Eugene Peterson describes it as a “long obedience in the same direction."
 
When the task of discipleship seems too difficult I am comforted by Phil 1.6: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  When I first became a believer this was my favorite verse, probably because I was just beginning my faith journey and at times it seemed like two steps forward and three steps back. Eventually that long obedience in the same direction becomes more natural as the Holy Spirit guides, fills and empowers.  However, we can easily become distracted. The John Mark Comer quote “we become what we give our attention to“ rings very true to me.  Regardless of how long we have been walking with Jesus we will never lose our need for a savior. 1 John 1: 8-9 reminds me “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just too forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  In the end it’s never about how good of a disciple I can become, although that’s my goal, it’s always about how good Jesus is.

by Fred Meserall
Fred and his wife Susan began attending Kingsway in June of 2014. They found Kingsway to be a place of refreshment and healing after their previous church experience. Fred is passionate about pursuing God, family, and lifegroups (including his current group which has been meeting continuously for 16 years). Fred and Susan absolutely love the fact that they, their two daughters and their husbands, and grandchildren all attend church together. Fred is a non-recovering “aquaholic” who enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, communing with God, working on his videoblog (aptly titled “Still at the Beach”), and all things surf and family.

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