THE DISCIPLE – THE VOLUNTARY LOVER

The Word: Luke 9: 43 (KJV)

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Dig Deeper: Matthew 8: 34  (KJV)

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Think about it

THE DISCIPLE – THE VOLUNTARY LOVER
Like we said: Our memory verse is from Luke 9: 43 this month. So let’s look into the verse a bit more today. There are atleast 4 basic lessons that springs from that verse of scriptures. Let’s look at the first line.

1. IMPORTANCE OF OUR WILL
If any man will come after me….,
So the disciple is a follower. Think about that for a minute…..
But he is not just a follower. He/she is a voluntary, conscious follower. The voluntary part is key. In other words, anyone who will become a true disciple needs to voluntarily, by themselves desire to know more of God. The Holy Spirit is not really in the habit of forcing people against their will to love the Lord. The first commandment is that we love the LORD with the whole of our heart – happily, voluntarily, of our own volition, not forced. It may sound strange but God desires my love and your love but without being forced.

Matthew 22: 37 – 38
 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

Some of us love the Lord for what he does for us. We love him for what he can give us. In reality, how many of us, if you have a wife who loves you only for the things you buy for her or the money you give her, would you be very happy about that relationship? If you are a wife and your husband loves you only for the sex he can get and nothing more, would you not feel used? If you have a child who only wants you for the toys, shoes and clothes, would you be excited about that child? Am sure God feels used by some of us…. We love him for the miracles and answered prayers but if he was not to answer our prayers, we would ditch him. 

Ideally God can do without us because he doesn’t really need us. Yet it’s amazing that he fell in love with us and wants that love to be reciprocated voluntarily. One of the major things about Christianity is that God loves me. I can say that all day long: God loves me… God loves me…. It is mind blowing because he doesn’t really need me. But that is what it is. I am the object of his love. And if I can reciprocate that love, then we have a fairy tale love story that never ends…

Romans 5: 8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God the father decided to sacrifice Jesus for me. Jesus himself agreed to take my due punishment, I didn’t ask them for this. Love made them sacrifice for me. My sin was credited to Jesus’ account. His righteousness was credited to my account. I don’t have to pay the punishment for sin because someone else paid on my behalf but all these stemmed from the fact that God so loved the world that he gave…..

Where am I going with all these?
A follower is someone who suddenly realised that love was what motivated the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s like when a charming prince risks his life to save a beautiful damsel. And that girl now falls in love with the charming prince for saving her. A follower is someone who is now in love with Jesus after understanding that love was the motivation behind the sacrifice of the new birth. A follower is firstly a lover who has now decided to follow because he / she is in love. In other words, without love, you can’t follow for long. Love is the motivation that makes you a permanent and true follower.

If any man will come after me….., 
The man decides to follow voluntarily, because he has fallen in love with his Lord. He doesn’t fall in and fall out of love. It’s a permanent thing. He has decided to give his life to his Lord in reciprocation of love
 

Nuggets: 
Every follower needs to be a voluntary lover to be a permanent follower

Our memory verse for March 2018
Luke 9: 23

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Let’s take a few moment to learn our memory verse for this month by heart. It can be memorised in 3 lines:
Line 1:  And he said to them all,
Line 2If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
Line 3and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Once you say it a few times it will stick.

Prayer focus: Our next level prayers: 
Lord help me become a true follower of you….

On Grace: 
Masterlife Workbook: The Church is embarking on weeks of discipleship workbook study: Masterlife now on the 2nd workbook: The Disciple’s personality

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