Thursday, November 07, 2013

Disciple Not Replacement

Good Thursday morning! Jesus worked for too much to be simply replaced. That is why the command from our Lord was to disciple. Faith in Christ comes to us from a long line of disciples. Yet, we are tempted to feel today that somehow our Christian faith has been diluted, managed or perhaps even corrupted. Such things are to be expected if each generation of Christ followers replaces the preceding one. However, we do not replace; we are disciples of those who have gone before us. There are those who would corrupt our faith, and we are warned in God's word to beware of them. When we are saved by Christ and given His own Spirit in us, who do we accuse of watering-down, mismanaging, or even corrupting our faith? Yes, that could be a very serious accusation indeed.

Today, we have grown in the faith. We do stand on the shoulders of giants. We look back to the account of the first outpouring of the Spirit in Acts and feel a bit of envy. I don't recall a tongue of flame settling on my head and so I question what I should believe. Do I require an obvious sign like that to believe in Jesus? No, then what am I worried about? Do we doubt one and all that the Holy Spirit can grow the faith? No, then why do we think we need more signs? The church in Acts did start with quite a show, but that does not mean our dear Spirit of Christ is somehow exhausted, diluted, or just busy elsewhere. Perish the thought!

The early apostles received the command to disciple, and a new generation of Christ followers came without quite so many signs. Timothy, Barnabas, Luke, and many others took up their cross and followed. Centuries later, we do the same, but don't feel left out because we do not see the same physical signs. Faith has grown. We don't need the sound of a mighty rushing wind to know the Spirit lives within us. Faith tells us the good news. Does the church as a whole seem soft to you? Maybe your heart is still too hard. We must not ask God for guidance and then doubt our direction. Let us instead trust in our Lord and follow where He leads. Do you doubt where you are in life? Bah, perish the doubt and have faith, man!

Your friend in Christ,

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