Tag Archives: discipleship

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”  (Mark 8:38, NLT)

In today’s reading, Jesus illustrates for us the following principle: The relationships and values that we esteem in this life are the relationships and values that we shall inherit in eternity.  In other words: If we are ashamed of Jesus and all that He stands for here in “time”; we shall forfeit Him for all of eternity because He will be ashamed of us in heaven’s eternity for us having been ashamed of Him during our time on earth.

The Christian disciple’s challenge in these “adulterous and sinful days” is to be faithful to Jesus and to His message in all that we say, and in all that we do.

This means that with joy, we love our enemies — all of them — as He did.  This means that with boldness, we seek reconciliation — always — as He did.  This means that with confidence, we pray for those who abuse us — as He did.

May we be as Paul declared to the Christians in Rome: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God to bring salvation to everyone that believes.”  (Romans 1:16a)  – Luther

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“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:1-4, NIV)

To live in the kingdom of heaven (also called the kingdom of God) is to live under the authority of God.  That is, to obey God, and to have faith in God’s goodness.

As a vestige of our corrupted nature, all of us have a problem with authority.  If we do not, it is because somewhere, sometime, we made a change against our nature.

Today’s scripture reminds us that entrance into the place where God rules requires that we first “change and become like little children.”  A true child is humble, obedient, trusting, inquisitive, and in the moment.  In the kingdom of heaven, the last are first; and the least are the greatest.

The kingdom of heaven is the Christian disciple’s true home.  – Luther

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“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.  For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”  (1 John 3:1, NASB)

The scriptures tell us that a pupil is not above his or her teacher.  If the teacher suffers the slings and arrows of ignorant people, the pupil should expect nothing less.

Jesus is God in human flesh, blood, and bone.  He came because God loved the world; but the world did not return His love.  The world preferred its ways to God’s ways.  The world preferred its gods to the one true, living, God.

The evidence of God’s love is the gift to us of His own name.  As His children, we are His heirs; and as His heirs, all that came to Jesus has also been set-aside for you and me.

With this in mind, always live a life worthy of the Name you’ve been given.  Our heavenly Father’s good name may not always be honored on this earth, but the mere whisper of it anywhere in the universe makes available to us every blessing and gift from heaven!  – Luther

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