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Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's all about Jesus: Calling His Disciples (Pt.3)

(Part 3 of 3)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”-John 13:34-35.

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 4:8 that whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. According to this passage love is who God is, not simply what He does. Knowing this we can surmise that those who consider themselves to be disciples will, like Jesus, be recognized by their love one for another.

This type of love is characterized by a devoted concern that sacrificially seeks to promote the highest good of others. It not as much an emotion as it is a decision. It is a decision to seek the best interests of those around us. Loving one another, however, does not mean that we must embrace immorality or be silent regarding it. Often times, the most loving thing we can do for someone is to acknowledge their sinful behavior in order to promote the greater good in their lives.

Another hallmark of a true disciple is found in Luke 6:40:

A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

True disciples become like their teacher. They want more than to be knowledgeable about Jesus, instead they want to be like Him; bearing a strong resemblance to their teacher in attitude, values, and actions.

This pursuit to become like Jesus will ultimately lead a disciple to become a disciple maker. Matthew 28:18-20 states:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

True disciples make disciples! At any given time Jesus was surrounded by curious crowds, who did not last when the teaching became difficult; followers, who made a profession of faith but only followed at their convenience; and the committed, who were willing to leave everything, take up their cross, and follow him daily.

Jesus was clear from Matthew 28 that he is not seeking to gather a crowd or build a following; He is looking for disciples.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's all about Jesus: Calling His Disciples (Pt.2)

(Part 2)

“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”-Luke 9:23-24.

As we continue to evaluate what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, Luke 9 teaches us that there is a cost for those who choose to follow Him. Before we even begin the journey; we must understand that to follow Christ means that we must die daily to sin, endure persecution, and reject conforming to the culture.

Jesus teaches that this is a daily pursuit. It is much more than showing up for a Sunday service and giving in the offering plate. Disciples eat, breath, and live Jesus! They strive every day to worship the Lord, deny their flesh, resist temptation, embrace the Scriptures, and demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ. Disciples are willing to lay down their lives (dreams, ambitions, desires, and plans) in order to advance the cause of Christ.

Taking up our cross means more than having a willingness to die for our faith, but it is having the determination to die every day to self in order that Jesus may be glorified.

Another indication that a person is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ is seen in their adherence to His teachings:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”-John 8:31-32.

The wording of this passage is very significant. Jesus instructed His followers that it was not enough to simply listen to Him speak; disciples were required to hold to his teaching. This means that we must not view Scripture as just a piece of fine literature that is to be appreciated for its moral value and historical authenticity.

Real disciples see the teachings of Jesus Christ as the Words of Life! They hold to the Scriptures and apply what they have learned. Jesus’ disciples demonstrated that they had a firm grip on Jesus’ teachings. They did not pick and choose which parts of God’s Word they would follow while ignoring those they found displeasing or too difficult. They understood the gravity of adhering to God’s Word because Jesus went as far as to say; that it was through obeying His teachings that we demonstrate our love for Him:

If you love me, you will obey what I command.”-John 14:15.

Obedience to the Word of God and the teachings of Christ distinguish the disciples from the mere fans.


Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's all about Jesus: Call His Disciples (Pt.1)

(Part 1)

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son o Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”-Matthew 4:18-22.

Upon returning from the wilderness, after being baptized and tempted of the devil, before he launched out into his earthly ministry; Jesus chose twelve men to follow him. Scripture refers to these men as disciples.

A disciple, simply defined, is a follower or a student of a teacher. Nevertheless, the implications of being a disciple, according to Scripture, were far deeper than what is generally accepted as being a follower in today’s culture. Today we can follow athletes’ statistics online or follow friends, family and celebrities on social media without any real connection or accountability to that individual; however becoming a follower of Christ requires more than merely scrolling through a litany of tweets on our smart phones. To become a disciple of Jesus Christ we must embrace the same expectations that Jesus had for the men he had called to follow him.

Discipleship of any kind always begins with an invitation. Jesus called out to twelve men and invited them to join him. The first step in becoming a disciple of Christ is that we must respond to his invitation and then determine to follow him. This requires a definitive decision on the part of the disciple to acknowledge one’s allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to the one leading. Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33:

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

Becoming a disciple of Christ is a very public decision that should be reflected in our thoughts, attitudes, and lifestyle.

The decision to respond to his invitation was then followed by yet another difficult decision. The disciples were a rag tag bunch of guys; fishermen, tax collectors, and social activist. They had virtually nothing in common except one thing:

So they pulled up their boats on shore, left everything and followed him.”-Luke 5:11.

Although they came from different social strata and upbringing, the one thing these men had in common, that made each of them great candidates for discipleship, was that they were each willing to leave everything to follow him.


Matthew 19:23-30 tells us of a story of a rich young ruler who came to Jesus to ask what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to obey the commandments, to which the young man replied that he had kept them. Then Jesus told him:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”-Matthew 19:21.

Scripture tells us that the young man, when he heard this, went away sad, because he had great wealth. This young man received the invitation to join Jesus’ band of disciples, but because he was unwilling to leave everything, he walked away from God’s calling on his life.


Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church


Monday, February 9, 2015

It's all about Jesus: The temptation of Jesus (Pt. 2)

(Part 2 of 2)

“The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”-Luke 4:3-4.

The very first thing Satan did was attack Jesus when he was weak. Jesus hungered and Satan, recognizing this, attempted to cause Jesus to mishandle and misuse His authority and position, as the Son of God, for His own personal gain. Jesus could have easily produced a loaf of bread to meet the desires of His flesh; but he would have been doing so outside the will of God.   

Satan will always attack you in your weakest area; whether it’s mishandling money, pornography, promiscuity, gluttony, lying, laziness, or idol worship. You name it! Where you are the weakest is where he will test you. He understands our fleshly nature and will wait for an opportune time to respond. It could be when you are at your lowest point or when you are full of pride and self-confidence.  

How then are we to respond when tested by the lusts of the flesh? The Word of God! Jesus was steeped in Scripture. This enabled the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance Deuteronomy 8:3:

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

Jesus’ grasp of God’s Word caused Satan to have to change tactics! He then led Jesus up to a high place and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. Satan told Jesus that he would give to Him everything He could see if He would simply bow down and worship him. The lust of the eyes is the desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal including the coveting of money, possessions, and other physical things. Satan told Jesus worship me and all this can be yours.

It is amazing what people will give up to possess something! Satan will dangle it in front of you like a carrot and it will only cost you your worship! Jesus recognized this as the lust of the eyes and immediately responded with Deuteronomy 6:13:

You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name.”


When he saw that Jesus could not be tempted by the lust of the eyes, he pulled out one more trick: the pride of life. He led Jesus to the highest point of the Temple and told him to throw himself down. Surely, as the Son of God, He was too important for God to allow to plummet to His death. He would surely send his angels to save Him. Satan attempted to get Jesus to exalt Himself in His own mind. The pride of life seeks to elevate self above others.

Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16: “Do not test the Lord your God.”

In every instance, Jesus quoted the Word of God to ward off Satan’s attacks. Jesus modeled for us how to use God’s Word to defeat and overcome temptation. However, the Holy Spirit can only bring to your remembrance during those times of trial the Word that you have hidden in your heart. If you are going to win the battle against temptation, you must daily fill yourself with God’s Word.


Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church