Renew the commitment daily.

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23And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Luke 9:23-26

Waylon Moore is one of the influencers in my discipleship journey. My professor and friend, Dr. Bud Fray, introduced Waylon to me. Here’s an excerpt from Waylon’s book, Multiplying Disciples, on being a disciple before you can be a disciple-maker.

Do you want to be his disciple? Then you have to bear the cross. This is the instrument of death to self we are to take up each day. True discipleship calls for an attitude of commitment to the revealed will of God—one which views everything that comes our way as something sent from his hands. Rather than clinging tightly to earthly things, we should be willing to drop them (bear the cross) for his cause.

Paul, the Christ-centered missionary, understood that there must be a commitment to Jesus who bought the right to be our Lord with his own blood: “And that he died for all, that stye which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Christ must have preeminence in our lives and ministers.

A.W. Tozer said there are three characteristics of one crucified with Christ: “He has no plans of his own, he is looking only in one direction, and he isn’t coming down.”

If we want to enjoy an exciting, living relationship with Christ daily, we must be willing to pay a price: personal discipline will be required. There may be loneliness. There may be a lack of popularity as we progress from the death of our dreams and plans toward the glorious resurrection of living through his indwelling life. Many Christians move toward the goal of cross-bearing in their identification with Christ, but quit too soon. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10), wrote Paul about a disciple who started the journey but gave it up too early.

Christ insists that he must be our exclusive focus in life. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Making an irrevocable commitment to Christ as Lord is essential for biblical discipleship, but it is not enough. This commitment must be renewed daily.

Reevaluate your walk with Christ in the light of these scriptural definitions of discipleship, for before you can disciple others, you must first be a disciple yourself.

Waylon Moore, Multiplying Disciples: How to Multiply Your Life, p. 24-25.

Live like an exile: Live Sent!

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4“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon…  Jeremiah 29:4

The Israelites having been dragged from their homes in Jerusalem and force-marched to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar were longing for home. Their itching ears grasped hold of every voice that promised a quick return. But Jeremiah basically tells them to let it go. God has sent them.

God sent them to Babylon.

In Christian discipleship the theme of “exile” challenges us to live sent. We are longing for a home where all goes well. But now we are what Peter called “sojourners and exiles.” (1 Peter 2:11) We could just bide our time and tread water, taking what we can from the world. But Jesus will not have it that way. God always has His exiles formed with the word, “sent.”

I sent you.

If God sends us into a wilderness, a city, a difficulty, a workplace, a church, a nation, a campus or even our hometown, He sends us with a purpose. There we can get to know Him. There we can see Him form our heart and character for His purposes. There we be a part of His plan for people. There we can announce the extraordinary good news of God. Its at this point that we must have a proper view of the One who sends us.

Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

We’ve been sent as servants of the crucified King, the Lamb of God, the Shepherd of our souls.

Live like an exile; live sent.