Discipleship is Messy…

-Book Four -Chapter Nineteen -Many years ago my wife and I went out to dinner with a visiting Presbyterian pastor and his wife. They had a couple children younger than ours, and the topic was brought up on how to reach the lost of this world for Christ. Without realizing I was broaching a subject […]

Discipleship Involves Earnest Love & Hospitality…

-Book Four -Chapter Eighteen -In the Apostle Peter’s first letter, he talks quite graphically of how those outside of the church live and what they, “want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same […]

Discipleship is For Misfits…

-Book Four -Chapter Sixteen -One of the early recollections I have of church sermons as a youth, was a message given by a pastor about the type of disciples that Jesus chose; instead of choosing men who were part of the popular crowd, Jesus literally chose young men at the bottom of Jewish society. There […]

Discipleship That Bears Burdens…

-Book Four -Chapter Fifteen “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:1-3] The Apostle Paul’s admonishment to the church in Galatia […]

Sometimes, Disciples Commit Suicide…

-Book Four -Chapter Fourteen -Embedded within Christ’s commission to His followers to “Go out into the whole world and make disciples of all men” is a difficult reality; sometimes, our disciples will do awful things. No where is this more reticent than in Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and eventual suicide. Judas was one of the […]

Discipleship is NOT Psychological Counseling…

-Book Four -Chapter Thirteen -The American Civil War divided the nation unlike anything before. In the years preceding and during the war, all of the major Christian denominations experienced massive church splits due to slavery and the politics involved; the Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches experienced North-South division. When the war finally ended, the […]

True Discipleship Unites the Church..

-Book Four -Chapter Twelve -According to the Apostle Paul, it is not God’s will that Christians group together in competing factions where we worship God in a spirit of disunity. Preserving the unity of the church was central to the mind of Paul’s vision for the gospel. He writes, “I appeal to you, brothers, by […]

Abandoning Retirement to Make Disciples…

-Book Four -Chapter Eleven -For nearly twenty years, Pastor Pohly made an indelible mark on my life. Though he was fifty-two years older than me, I could never imagine wanting to spend time with someone else, more, than I wanted to spend time with him when he was alive. I was sixteen when I met […]

Disciples Need Room to Roam…

-Book Four -Chapter Ten -One of the more dramatic moments during the night that Jesus was betrayed, occurred when Peter drew his sword and struck the ear of the high priest’s servant. Of all the disciples, Peter was often the most outspoken and first to put his foot in his mouth. Rather than upset Jesus, […]

True Discipleship is Immersed in the Culture

-Book Four -Chapter Nine -I’ve made a habit of regularly visiting Latin America throughout my adult life. In those travels I’ve learned a LOT about how different people are from one another across the globe. Just as Americans who live in the rural South are vastly different than Americans who live in Urban Chicago where […]