Christ’s call to discipleship is a call to self-death, an absolute surrender to God. … From the world’s perspective, Christ’s frankness in caling people to follow HIm appears to be extreme. But Jesus is honest and direct: to share in His glory a person must first share in His death… Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings. And the Lord of the universe commands every person to follow Him. He never pleaded for someone to follow Him. He was embassaringly straightforward… Jesus expected immidiate obedience. He accepted no excuses… Obeying Christ’s command, “Follow Me,” results in self-death. Christianity without self-death is only an abstract philosophy. It is Christianity without Christ.
Dr. Keith Phillips, The Making of a Disciple (Fleming H. Revell Company: New Jersey, 1981), 16-17.
My child, you cannot have perfect liberty unless you completely deny yourself.1
Those who only seek their own interests and are lovers of themselves are in chains – they are coveteous, curious, wanderers who always seek things that appeal to them and not the things of Jesus Christ, and often devise and plan things that will not succeed.
For all that is not of God will fail.
Keep this short and perfect word: “Give up everything and you will find everything.”2 Give up every immoderate desire and you will find rest.
Consider this well, and when you have put it into practice you will understand all things.
O Lord, this is not the work of one day or the sport of children – indeed, in that short sentence is all the perfection of spiritual people.
1 Matthew 16:24-25
2 Matthew 19:27-29
Kempis, Thomas A. “Book III: Internal Consolation.” The Imitation of Christ. Trans. Harold J. Chadwick. New Jersey: Bridge-Logos, 1999. 174. Print.
Christians, especially ministers, so often think that they must always contribute something when they are in company odd others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a gadget service than speaking.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But [the one] who can no longer listen to his brother [or sister] will soon be no longer listening to God either…. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York : Harper and Broadway., 1954), pp. 97-98.
I became extremely conscious of my need to cultivate the Christian virtue of humility when I first went to the mission field. I met people who were different from my socio-economic background, traditions, culture, race, ethnicity, and language. Some were very humble than other Christians I met at that time, but some were too harsh that I felt literally nauseous to deal with them. However, I am compelled by love of Christ to love them and share the Word of God to them. It was not possible to deliver the message of justification by faith through grace of Christ unless I demonstrated the Christian character of humility while preach, distribute the gospel tracts, or sell the gospel packets and the New Testament Bible. Continue reading Monday Devotion: Celebrating Service →
The discipline of service brings great liberty.
The spiritual authority is only can be achieved through voluntarily serving others.
True service comes out from the personal relationship with Jesus.
True service does not announce in public for reward but serve in covertness and be contended.
True service is a lifestyle which serves friend and foe without discrimination and does not calculate the results of serving.
True service builds community by listening others quietly, tenderly, and patiently as well as caring for the needs of others.
The discipline of service brings humility into the life.
The risen Christ has called us to the ministry of voluntary service. Continue reading Monday Devotion: The Discipline of Service →