Wednesday 12 February 2014

Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them

In the early days after Christ had died several of his pupils found it necessary to continue the work of their master. Like their rabbi they wanted to get to know their Father in heaven and worship Him. They, as their teacher, were students of the Word, “proving all things”, that they may be able to comprehend with all those who were set apart, like them, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passed knowledge, that they might be filled with the fullness of God; and so understanding what is the will of the Most High.

English: Jesus Christ, polychromed and gilded ...
Jesus Christ, polychromed and gilded woodcarved relief by Martin Vinazer (* 1674 in St. Ulrich in Gröden; † 1744) signed MVF (MV Fecit) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They came together in their houses to be together as brothers and sisters in Christ. In him, they found that they were united and one in spirit. For them, Jeshua (Jesus Christ) was the former of their faith. In him, they trusted and were assured he would come back again one day. For them, it was not necessary to have any other leader than Christ Jesus. They all considered themselves equal in the family they wanted to see growing.

For them, it was important that they helped each other to stand strong, to face the heathen or those who did believe other things than what their master had taught them. Having the desire to receive the love of Christ they all wanted to share that love of Christ and help each other to grow closer to their master and the Great Master of the master. they not only wanted to be a disciple of rabbi Jesus they wanted to be a disciple of the Word of God.

Coming together in each-others houses, forming housechurches as a church of disciples they also were an assembly of learners. We too so many years later should be like them a church of Christian disciples and an assembly of persons who believe the things of the Kingdom of God, and of the name of the lord Jesus, and, thus believing, have been immersed into Christ and patiently continue in the faith and well-doing of their vocation, reading, marking, learning and inwardly digesting all things revealed in the scriptures of truth.

Brother John Thomas wrote about those ‘Christian Disciples’:

“Such were the disciples first called Christian at Antioch. These Christian disciples shone as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life. They counted not their lives dear unto them: but hazarded everything, reputation, liberty, wealth and friends, for the Word’s sake. Their treasure was in heaven; therefore their anchor was within the veil. The icy coldness of their old nature was thawed into the genial sympathies of the new man by the benevolence of God. Heart clung to heart, and hand joined in hand, the expressive symbol of unity and love. We want to behold a Church of Christian Disciples such as these; we fear that such an one is yet a stranger in our world. When such a community of churches is restored, we shall glory in it as a Reformation in verity and deed.”(The Faith in the Last Days, p. 237.)

The love of Jesus for God, and his willingness to do whatever God asked him to do, whatever the cost, was the inspiration of the first followers of Jeshua.Those who want to call themselves Follower of Jesus or Christian should be aware that Jesus did not want to do his own will but always did all efforts to do the will of his Father. (Luke 22:42) We too, should give ourselves to the Most High and should try to do the Will of God and not ours, but also should not be bounded to do the will of certain men or women who want to control everything in this world. It is not by human persons that we do want to be directed and moulded to their liking.

By the mercies of God, we should not present our bodies to one person in power of an organisation, but should present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Those avoiding or taking care that the willing can not meet with each other, are more concerned about worldly goods, material gain and power. Power belongs to God and not to man. Therefore we should know under whom we would like to stand. We should choose if we want to have a worldly leader or a spiritual leader from heaven.

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

When we choose to become brothers and sisters in Christ we should choose not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, thanks to the offer of Christ and the Grace of the Most High. Willing to be under the Law of Christ we shall have to be willing to act accordingly. Jesus asked his pupils to come together regularly and to go out into the world, showing that they are one in spirit. Jesus his followers had to take on the right attitude proving what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Those who are under Christ and in Christ should not consider themselves more or better than any other in the community.  We are all equal under the Grace and should all be happy that the grace is granted to us. Being aware of that we should, like the apostle Paul, know that every man among our community has his or her value in the Body of Christ and that none may think more highly of himself than he or she ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgement, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

In early Christianity the few people tried to get members of their family and friends into the faith.  They were not afraid to invite others to come and listen to each other and to listen together to the Word of God. Those who were baptised were invited to share the symbols with each-other. wherever they might have gone to, they could find houses where they were welcome to join the gathering of believers in Christ.

The apostles did not want that the individuals became personal followers of themselves. they were not interested to have more followers than another apostle or other brother. In the Acts of the apostles, it is shown to us that they like us also were just human beings with their own peculiarities and that some of them could feel happier with one or the other. It is human to feel more for one person than the other, and nobody would object to that, but in the community of followers of Christ every body should try to accept each other for what they are and for what they feel, as long as it does not go against the Will and commandments of God.

Their concern was to spread the faith in the Gospel of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. They were aware of the different personalities and allowed their members to go with one or the other to take up the task given by Christ. They were always there to help and defend each other who wanted to be part of that Body of Christ. As they knew we also should know that we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:5)

We should be pleased when we received such gifts from God, but should not boast about them as if they are our own. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:5-8)

Avoiding that people can come together and meet with like-minded is not an act of love. The love God demands from us is one without hypocrisy. It should and may not be a love for personal gain, but should be a submission to the Law of God in the submission of the welfare for all. It should be putting the self away for the better of all. Everybody of us in the community should try to make the best of the community. Everyone in the community should try to build it up and should take care no evil shall be able to destroy the goodness of the community, where everybody shall try to cling to what is good and to devote to one another in brotherly love; giving preference to one another in honour; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Most High Elohim Jehovah. (Romans 12:11)

The beginning nor the end of the ecclesia should be one or the other person. God is the beginning, because all created things began with Him, including fundamental attributes of existence, such as space and time. We are now living in this world bounded by the facts of this world and by the time of this world, but it should not mean we should be of this world.  We should be of the world of God and not of the world of man.

Those following Christ Jesus (Jeshua from Nazareth) should be honoured that they may walk in the footsteps of those men and women who have seen Jesus or heard from first witnesses what he had done. We only do have the books which can tell us what had happened in the last centuries. together we should listen to those stories from the old days and learn from them.

God communicated His purpose through the prophets and His beloved Son and wanted to be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). As God’s Son, the lord Jesus shares God’s eternity, and so he also says,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).

In him we should put our hope, and not in any other human being. He should be our high-priest and mediator by God, not any other human person who wants to be The leader. Jesus should be our leader, because he is the cornerstone of the Church of God.

Having found Jesus we should share our love for him and his Father with others, with whom we can rejoice in hope, persevering in tribulation, and be devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the ones who are set-apart of this world. All those who claim to be Christian, and as such to be a follower of Christ should share the same love and hospitality. (Romans 12:12-13)

Our thoughts should not so much be concerned about ourselves but about all who are willing to form the community of followers of Christ, Christians, and would like to live in the city of Christ (Christadelphia) as brothers in Christ or Christadelphians. Sharing each other’s life we should bless those around us, but also those who persecute us; bless and curse not.  (Romans 12:14) we should come together in peace to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15) And what is most important is that we show our love for God together in the same spirit of love. The gathering should be considered one of the important elements of our community, showing to the world how much we love to be with each other and how much we love to concentrate on the Word of God and remember the actions Jesus undertook for us all.

For us, it is important that we be of the same mind toward one another. Having the love of Christ we also have the love of sharing with each other everything which can bring the other also closer to God and create easier ways to enter the Kingdom of God. Therefore any attitude against making it possible to share time with each other is unaccepted. Those who are haughty in mind are not the right persons to be in an ecclesia and certainly not to become leaders of the ecclesia. All those wanting to be a Christadelphian or Brother in Christ should share the love of Christ and be willing to share with everybody and associate with the lowly. None of us may think higher than the other or may be wise in their own estimation. (Romans 12:15-16)

Trying to make more than one community in a region we should take the Bible as our source of  our inspiration and working on it that as many as possible can come under the spirit of God His Son. (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:15). Remembering that the Kingdom of God should be within us (Luke 7:20-21) and that Jesus gave us only two commandments, namely to Love God and our neighbour (Matthew 22:36-40). We should be fully aware that God’s Kingdom equates “to Love”.  And love is an act of “giving” more than of ‘receiving’.

Those loving God should remember that Jehovah God Himself is Love (1 John 4:16). Being followers of Christ, taking heed of his wishes, we should create places of love. We should create places where all men and women would be loving each other as Christ first loved us. All would be willing to lay down their life daily a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God for each other.  They would sacrifice desires and wants to edify and give into the happiness of their fellow man. All would pray for those who spitefully used them and never say a cross word about anyone.  We would give all we had to the poor and never worry about our own needs. (1 Corinthians Chapter 13 and Matthew 6:33)

Those who want to be honoured as the leader, are not the right ones for the Church of God. when a man prefers him to be the focus he forgets that Jesus should be the focus of all and that all should have a love that does not manifest itself in the world because if it did, we would have heaven here on earth, and we would have no teacher.

All have to work on it to show each other equality and love. We can show God’s love from within and teach others what Jesus has taught us. Though it is not to judge, we should be careful who we allow speaking and guiding members in the ecclesia. Though we should not condemn, and to be not condemned, we should be careful to not allow false teachers or people who want to harm the community of followers of Christ. We always should believe in the people, but as soon as they have given enough proof that they are not worthy to be edifiers of the community, we should protect the community of believers. We always should pardon when something went wrong and the person shows remorse so that we also will be pardoned. But when the wrongdoer does not show to the community he regrets what he or she has done and still does not want to do the best for the community, we should distantiate from that person and leave him or her to go his or her way.
But we may not leave him to go on his/her own. We always should keep an open hand to receive him/her again in the community, as soon as he/she showed to repent and proves he/she has changed his/her life. But we always should stand ready to receive the person back in the community and show him or her our love.

We always, also in bad circumstances should be ready to give and to be of good measure. Even when pressed down, shaken together, run over, we should allow them to pour into our lap. For by our standard of measure it will be measured to us in return. (Luke 6:37-38)

Those who want to have a leading function should also remember that they themselves may not be blinded by the desires of this world.

“he also told them a parable: “can one blind man lead another blind man? won’t they both fall into a pit?” (Luke 6:39 CJB)

Let us therefore make sure that we measure the right way and that we try to create heaven here on earth by being Jesus’ ambassador and acting on His behalf. Acting as he would act. We all know the saying “What would Jesus do” (WWJD). Let us always keep that in mind.

When we become older and more considerate we know we can take the lowly place and allow others to sit in the place of honour. We know then it is not important so much who is in front as long as he is telling what has to be told in accordance with the Will of God. As we mature in Christ, we see his teaching manifesting itself in our daily lives.  We grow and consider others, looking to please God and His son Jesus and emulate their actions and teachings.

We do know not all Christians can have the same knowledge. Not all of them can have the same competence. One can be capable of being a good administrator but awful in social actions. One can be very able to see everything is in place and ready for service. Another might be gifted to welcome everybody whilst another is efficient to let everybody feel at home. We should recognise the skills of everybody and give them duties accordingly, but also may not forget to praise them for their work, so that they to can fele that whata they are doing is good for the ecclesia and is appmreciated by the members of the community.

I do agree that is one of the weaknesses we all have, that we sometimes need a tap on our back, to know we are doing good. Everything we do we should do in honour of God, but everything others do we should respect and give honour to them and to their leader Christ, because of their Christ like actions.  All people on this earth are in some form of growth. This earth is our school and we are learning how to be sons of God.  Some people are in the first grade and some are in college, never the less, we are all learning from adversity and overcoming through obedience to the Word of God.

Through Grace, we are saved… Through adversity, we are learning how to be like Christ.

Rev. Sawyer presently assisting Pastor Emmett Gagnard with Brother’s Keeper aftercare program for men returning to society from prison in Marshall Texas, Teaches Understanding Prayer and Intercessory Prayer At Bradshaw State Prison in Henderson TX wrote:

act of kindnessImagine if we would carry this attitude of love all the time and with all people whether they deserved it or not.  If we act as Christ ask us to act then the rewards of His Glory will rest on us and no man or action on this earth would move us.  I know many great Saints that are not much to look at, do not have great stature or wealth, but are treated with much honor and love because of their Christ like attributes. They do not want for much and have many church members looking to serve them simply because they are attracted by the Godliness within.  True wealth is not personal appearance or riches, rather the kingdom of our Lord dwelling inside.

Putting away our own self, applying God’s laws to our lives, we will be considering others before ourselves, looking for a way to be a blessing to others and not worrying about our own desires.
Randy Sawyer continues:

This concept of living has been advocated by great men for from the very beginning because it was commanded by God in Leviticus 19:18. The kingdom of God does not come to us by observation but by action. Once we start practicing these laws and principals then the kingdom principals become a habit and produce a personality in Christ.  God’s laws and principals were place here on the earth to guide us and show us the way to the Kingdom. They cannot fail, just like gravity, when you turn loose of an object, it will hit the floor, works every time. As God made gravity, He also made other laws to govern our existence and lead us into His kingdom. They work everytime.

We know that the world and its laws are contrary to God’s kingdom and are an enemy of the Lord (1 John 2:15).

We war within ourselves with the lust of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).

Those who preclude the possibility that those who want to follow Christ could come together are the adversaries of God.

“Satan is the anti-Christ and is set against mankind (1 John 3:7-10).” writes Sawyer.

The writer of the article “Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”” tells us that:

If we can do one simple thing, we can beat Satan in the spiritual world, Paul told us this very simple task in (2 Corinthians 10:5)” casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.   Bring every thought into subjection to the Word of God, then we can enter into the Kingdom of God right here, right now.  We can have this kingdom if we are willing to sacrifice ourselves daily, holy and acceptable to the Lord. This sacrifice comes from giving up what we want to do and focusing on what God wants us to do and serving our fellow man within His love.

argueThere is no way you can control the world and the people in it. Think about it, you can’t even control your neighbor’s dog. How are you going to affect the problems of this world without the Lord?  You can affect your arena and the people therein.  You can influence those who God has put into your sphere of influence and share His Love, Light, Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding with them. You can bring the Kingdom of the Lord into their lives through your actions.

We should believe in the words of Christ or on account of the works by Christ themselves. Jesus did not do anything by his own. (John 5:19) How dare we than to think we could do something out of ourself? We should be happy that we may offer ourselves as an instrument of God and that He wants to use us. We should be grateful for that but also subservient and humble.

We should be pleased that we may be ambassadors for Christ and for God, being receivers of the Grace of God, accepted as His Sons.

If we are going to be a son of God in the Kingdom of God, then we want to be one now right here on earth.

It will take some time before we are there.  Our desire should be not to please man but to please Him, who is the Most High Elohim. We should all be willing to help each other to reach the goal and to finish the race together. this can only be done by the preparedness and willingness to show each other the necessary love to work together as one unit in union with Christ.
together we should all work together towards all He has for us.

Sawyer puts it this way:

Never-the-Less Lord, I don’t want the less, I want the most you have for me.  Mold me Lord, teach me and show me how to become as Jesus is, now.

We are all working towards perfection in Christ. So let us all band together and try our best to be His children by obeying the Lords commands to us.


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