Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Disciples vs. Christians

Well, I have finally returned.  Things have been crazy here with building and subbing and trying to survive in my in-law's basement.  I haven't been totally ignoring God's Word.  I really have been reading quite frequently in the past month, but just normally during a break while subbing on my phone app or in the car as I wait for the kids to get out of school, so the blogging and journaling part has lacked. 

So, I am just going to pick up from where I am today and keep moving forward.

The hubs and I started attending a Sunday School class at our church last fall.  This January we started a new series called "Christian: Its Not What You Think" by Andy Stanley and it is amazing and challenging and I can't wait every week for the next lesson. 

The first week talked about what the title/label/word "Christian" means.  And frankly, no one really knows.  If you asked 20 different people you would get 20 different answers.  He clued me into the fact that the word "Christian" is only used 3 times in the Bible and it is used only then as a derogatory label given from outsiders to the group of people who were spreading the news of Jesus after His death.  The followers of Christ called themselves "Disciples."  He goes on to say how using the word disciples is so scary because it is so clearly defined as a follower of Christ.  Using the word Christian is so much easier because you can use whatever definition fits you the best.  A disciple can't be construed as anything less.

Then, Stanley goes on to share Jesus' last command to his apostles.  Some of His last words to them while He was with them, tells them exactly how to behave as His followers, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35 NLT)

Love is how we show the world that we are His followers.  Love is how we teach them about Him.  Love is how we bring them in.  Love above all else.

So, my word for 2014 is Love.

I have been doing some searching for all of God's words on love.  Of course I started off in the obvious 1 Corinthians 13 and God really showed me some new things as I took these well-known verses one by one.  He even showed me some very specific things that I am dealing with right now as we build our house. 

Today I read 1 Corinthians 14:1a "Love will be your highest goal." I love this since it is my New Year's "Goal" for the year.  Above everything else I hope to accomplish, above anything else I want to do, love comes first. 

It looks so easy written on a page, but our sinful nature makes it so much harder.  So I am journeying on.  Trying to find any way I can make the choice to love above all else.

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