Three Following Jesus Principles
In Mark 9:14-50 Jesus established basic discipleship principles that apply as much to the twenty-first century as to the first. The first is that your faith enables you to overcome difficulties.
Jesus, Peter, James, and John returned from the mountaintop experience of the transfiguration to find the other disciples and scribes arguing. The disciples couldn’t cast a demon out of a man’s son. Jesus was upset at their failure. The problem wasn’t a lack of education or experience. Their education and experience may have been hindrances. Mark 6 indicates they’d already cast out many demons when they were sent out two by two. Perhaps confidence in themselves had replaced their previous confidence in God.
The same thing can happen to you. At first you know you have to depend on God to teach a lesson or whatever. You experience some success. You feel like you’ve got this now. Not so. The most polished presentation of the gospel can save no one. Apart from trust in God, your best ministry efforts can do nothing (John 15:5).
They brought the demon-possessed boy to Jesus. The disciples’ failure had severely shaken the fathers faith. He said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us" (Mark 9:22, NIV). You can probably identify with his mixture of faith and unbelief. I know I can. Jesus responded to the man’s doubts, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV). Faith is your grasp on God’s highest willingness to help you.
On one hand, you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. On the other hand, you might think you can’t talk about your faith with someone else. You can’t do some difficult task God is leading you to complete. Through Christ who strengthens you, you can (Philippians 4:13)! When the disciples privately asked Jesus why they failed, He explained that believing prayer is the way to spiritual victory. You can progressively strengthen your faith by spending more time in God’s word (Romans 10:17). There’s a second following Jesus principle.
Serving others promotes you (Mark 9:33-37). On the way to Capernaum, the disciples argued about which of them was the greatest. Wanting to be number one is natural. But Jesus’ prescription for greatness is the world’s standard turned upside down. The greatest in the kingdom is the one who serves the most people. Pursuing the best for yourself hurts the effectiveness of your Christian life and the life of your church. Serving fulfills and elevates you. There’s one more following Jesus principle.
Giving Jesus what you value purifies you (Mark 9:38-50). It frees you from the paralyzing grip of material things. Eternal life is unimaginably valuable. It’s worth sacrificing your most prized possessions to obtain it (Mark 9:43-50). Jesus didn’t mean you should literally cut off your hands or feet or pluck out your eyes (Mark 9:43-48). He meant you must use radical means to counteract sin. The cutting off of an offending member is carried a step further in verse 49. Every disciple is to be God’s sacrifice. That’s your daily, moment-by-moment assignment. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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