We had special speaker, Dr. David Ferguson, visiting with us last Sunday. He shared with us God’s hope for Spirit-empowered disciples.
Col. 1:27 “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The Bible is the story of the glory of God – shekinah, the presence of God.
What does it mean to follow Jesus or discipleship?
Illustration: On 9-11, David was sitting in an airport watching the events unfold. We saw airplanes hit buildings. We saw things change in a day that couldn’t be changed. I remember the Spirit of God remind me of Heb. 12:27-29 “Yet once more I speak and the speaking denotes the shaking of things that can be shaken, in order that things that cannot be shaken remain.”
We saw that day things shaken that we did not think could be shaken. He’s shaking us loose from man made things, man made religion. So, only those things that cannot be shaken remain.
- Followers of God know more than most people – knowledge can make us arrogant. We can follow Jesus by our might, our power. It’s not about my might, my power, but His Spirit.
- Followers of God are ones who do more than most people. They do stuff. If people show up to most of our weekly meetings, they are devoted followers.
God’s shaking what it means to follow Jesus.
God is shaking/deconstructing our discipleship paradigms:
- Disciples, are not simply those who know more.
- Disciples, are not simply those who do more.
- Disciples, as we will see, are those who walk intimately with the Lord – encountering and expressing the glory of God.
A typical interaction between parent and child on a Sunday afternoon…
- What did you learn at church today? (a rational inquiry)
- What did you do at church today? (a behavioral inquiry)
Imagine what it might sound like to hear a more relational response…a Spirit-empowered disciple say…
“Here’s what happened at church today:
I heard God tell me to better love my brother…”
Spirit-empowered discipleship is all about relationship. It’s about “walking in the light” of His Son, His Word, His people.
John 12:35 “Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you.”
Darkness is always chasing us. The darkness will overtake us if we stop walking! We can define following Jesus as walking in the light.
Three Sources of Light
– walk in the light of His Son. John 8:32
How long has it been since you’ve had a transforming encounter with Jesus?
– walk in the light of His Word. Ps. 119:105
What does it mean to walk in the light? Walking in the light of Scripture? What Bible verse did I experience today?
– walk in the light of His people. Matt. 5:14
Some of God’s light is in His people. That’s why fellowship is so important, home groups are so important.
During this time together, we’ll experience some transformative steps…as we walk in each of these 3 sources of light!
Spirit-empowered disciples move only when the glory moves.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!” Col. 1:27
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
God’s “shekinah glory” was shown throughout the Bible:
- Adam fellowshipped with His glory
- the burning bush
- the cloud/fire for the Israelites, when the glory moved His people moved
- when the ark was captured, the glory departed
- 400 years, from the close of Malachi to the start of the New Testament, the glory of God was gone but the religious people continued going through the motions.
We are called to be good stewards of the shekinah of God, to both encounter it and express it. If God moves, you move. If God stops, you stop. The only explanation of why we are doing what we are doing is because the Spirit of God has spoken.
When Jesus healed the ten lepers, this is what He said.
“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice.” (v. 15)
“Were there not ten – where are the other nine?” (v. 17)
“Has only this foreigner come back?” (v. 18)
How many of us has He healed? Accepted? Forgiven? Graced?
In my meditation each morning, I am bowing before Him with that one leper. The glory is here. It wasn’t in the temple with the priests.
Spirit-empowered disciples wait on the Lord as a priority and privilege. This word “wait” is a relational word like the waiting a father does in the waiting room expecting the birth of a baby.
- It’s in waiting where we learn to say, “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.” (I Samuel 3:8-9)
- It’s in waiting where we learn to “serve the Lord with gladness.” (Ps. 100:2)
- It’s in waiting where we have our “strength renewed.” (Isaiah 40:31)
You’re waiting expectantly on a person!
It’s in our waiting, that we truly experience the Great Commandment love of God – which empowers our Great Commission passion.
Does Jesus just pray (intercede) for people named Peter? (See Luke 22:32) Does He also pray for me?
Matt. 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Meditate on Romans 8:33-34
We need to be free from condemnation, self-attack or self-accusation. We have a big God. Who can bring charge against you? Only one person can and that’s God. He has given that to Christ who died, was raised and is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for you.
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
While God justifies us, Jesus intercedes for us!