Hello friends. Well, didn't Christmas pass really quickly! It's hard to believe we are approaching the end of January already. I hope that you all had a peaceful and joyful Christmas time and that you didn't eat too many mince pies...
In our church we have started a series on the subject of 'Intentional Discipleship' - you can listen to the teaching on the 'Welcome to the Word' page of this site.
It concerns me sometimes that Gods church is so fragmented - there are so many denominations and even sub denominations - churches splitting from others and division establishing itself in what should be a united church, full of intentional disciples, with Jesus at the head.
I think that often the problem lies within the denominationalism itself, the real danger being that the denomination or the church becomes the god rather than the church being a body of believers who has Jesus as their head.
God clearly illustrated this point when I arrived at church a week past Sunday to conduct the evening service. I was going to bring the same teaching as in the morning service but as the worship started the Holy Spirit dropped, what was for me, a revelation into my heart.
I guess most of us have heard sermons on Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:35ff), I have mentioned this subject and preached on it a number of times. But this revelation pointed me to a part of the text that it is quite easy to read over. Found in verse 36 it says 'And other little boats were also with Him'.
So the scenario is that Jesus has His disciples in the boat, and there were other folk in small boats following along crossing the Sea of Galilee. When the storm blew up the disciples who were in the boat with Jesus were able to awake Him and ask Him to take action - which He did.
Now the people in the boats that were following did not have that privilege because whilst they were in the same predicament they could not summon the help of Jesus because they were in separate boats.
However, they would have benefited from the actions of Jesus in the sense that they were in the same storm and now in the same calm.
Intentional disciples are always in the same boat as Jesus, they understand the importance of that relationship and would never be satisfied with 'following in another boat'.
I suppose in one sense it defines the disciples from the fans of Jesus. If we are just fans of Jesus it is always going to be easy to let denominations become gods because fans simply do not have that relationship with God through the Saviour.
Fans will always be in the small boats perhaps even seeing what Jesus does but having no more than a second hand faith.
The question is, when Jesus says to us 'let us cross to the other side', are we willing to come aboard knowing that salvation is free but discipleship costs everything.
With much love,