What Is a Disciple? (Luke 14:33)



What is a disciple?  Is it merely a person who is a believer in Jesus?  Or is it a person who is mastering principles and practices of life?  Many times in English, the word disciple can refer to a person who is disciplined.  Is that a disciple?

In this passage, a disciple is a person who is a pupil or learner.  He or she is a person who is learning about Jesus.  Learning information is one thing, but a disciple of Jesus is a person who is learning about Jesus.

We all have learned about somebody. Whether it be a spouse, a child you are raising or even a close friend.  The more we spend time with these individuals, the greater the opportunity we have at learning about them.  

As with everything in life, there can always be hinderances.  The hinderances to learning about Jesus occurs when we fail to yield our lives to him.  In this passage, he speaks about forsaking all.  Forsaking all means to say adieu to what you think you have control over in your life.  Remember in Matthew 11:29, when Jesus admonished us to take his yoke upon us and to learn of him?  It is at that time of yielding when we learn of Jesus.

When we fail to yield to him or we refuse to submit our lives to his care, we fail to learn of him and we fail to grow.  Do you want to grow in Christ?  If so, say goodbye to controlling your life and when you do, Jesus can begin to reveal things about himself to you.

Trauma (Psalm 27:1b)



Trauma is a terrible thing.  It reaches deep into the resources of the soul and damages everything that it touches.  Only now are we beginning to understand the effects of trauma as we help soldiers returning from war, but trauma isn’t something new.  We have been battling trauma on the domestic front for years.  Even though many lives have been destroyed by it, there is hope.

Hope for those traumatized can be provided by those whom they can trust.  Please let me illustrate.  This morning I woke up to the sound of rain.  I looked next to the bed and sure enough, the Shepherd was under the chair.  Our rescue had been traumatized by gun shots, being hit by a car and taunted by passers by as he remained tied to a fence with a broken hip.  It doesn’t take much to trigger fears and even reenactments.  So while he was terrified to go outside and do his morning business because of rain and the potential for thunder, I went out into the yard and called him to me.  As he approached, I gave him the repeated rhythmic shsh, shsh, shsh, shsh, shshshshshshsh that I give to soothe him when he is overcome with anxiety.  He recognized my call of caring and came next to me.  He practically knocked me over to get close enough to feel safe.

Jesus provides the same type of care.  He recognizes our fears and calls us to him.  As we hear his voice and get close to him, he provides comfort and security.  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1b). In this verse, the Psalmist declares that the Lord is his defense or fortified place.  He was that for him and he wants to be the same for you.  Will you hear his call?  Will you run to him for comfort and security?  He is waiting and ready to aid you in your trauma.

What is being spiritual?



What is being spiritual?

Is it knowing the bible very well to where you can quote large amounts of scripture or at the least scripture to pertains to life’s problems?

Is it demonstrating a faith attitude while in the midst of life’s dark circumstances?

Is it being separated from the world so that you don’t look, act, or speak like them?

Are you spiritual when you overcome the hurts, fears and abuses of life?

I am glad to say that the answer to all of these questions is, “No!”  Satan memorized scripture and then quoted it to Jesus, so that knocks out the first.  The outward appearances of man are not nearly as significant as the inward.  Just because a facade of faith is demonstrated on the outside does not mean that it is possessed on the inside.  Being separated is not an indication of spirituality because countless cults around the world, who deny Jesus Christ, have stringent guidelines for conduct and appearance, yet these people are not spiritual.  In fact, they are still lost in their sin.

Finally, we will look at the overcoming of hurts, fears and abuse.  I know many spiritual people who have not overcome.  This may surprise you, but it is true.  Many may state, “What about greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world?”  I John 4:4 is a good verse.  My reply to that is a question.  How can it be expected for people to overcome in Christ if they have not been given instruction in truth or have been given an incorrect manner of going to God for deliverance.  It is just like countless millions who have been told that they must serve Jesus with works in order for him to save them. These individuals may work tirelessly for years and never obtain salvation.  

In like manner, what victory would be obtained for those who have been hurt and abused if they were given the following advice.

If you want to get victory, sell out for Jesus, live holy, give, separate from the world and pray.  

What a legalistic approach.  How much selling out will be enough?  How can I know when I am holy enough?  Is tithing enough or should I give more? If so, how much?  Hair, clothes, words, actions, entertainment: I am separated…should I turn off my electric too?  After all this, there is no victory.  And then we wonder why people only stay in churches for five years.  These hurting people have done everything they were told to do and came up empty.  No wonder they leave…no wonder they give up.

It is time for us to be spiritual and make a difference.  Let us start with Galatians 6:2: Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Being Hid (Psalm 27:5)



Many years ago, I went to visit an Aunt and Uncle in Tennessee.  During the daytime hours, my sister and I stayed at the grandparents’ house and played with the neighborhood kids.  On one occasion, we were playing hide-and-go-seek and I frantically ran into the kitchen and asked grandmother to help me find a place to hid.  I remember she opened up the cabinets under the sink, took the contents out and told me to get in there.  Moments later the kitchen was filled with the voices of those seeking to find me.  They never did, because I was safely hid.

God is much the same.  The Psalmist learned that when he faced trouble, the Lord would hide him in his secret place. The trouble may be present, but he was hid safely from the harm that the problem could cause.  God wants to do the same for you and me.  He wants us to run to him and seek refuge from the harm that we face.  He will protect us, but at the same time reveal himself to us as we hide in the tabernacle of his care.

Psalms 27:5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Trials and troubles are inevitable, but what we have is a God who will care for us as we seek refuge in him.

Can’t You See? (Psalm 119:18)



Open your eyes!  Can’t you see?  These are common phrases that we use when we speak to people as they struggle either to see something physically in front of them or to recognize a truth or principle.

What stops people from being able to see?  It isn’t always their eyes.  Sometimes people can’t see something because they are focusing in the wrong direction or their ability to see is blocked.

“Open thou mine eyes”, means to denude the eyes.  The psalmist is asking God to remove from his eyes what is causing him not to see things from his law.  

If you can’t see what God is doing in your life, ask him to make your eyes nude or completely uncovered.  Hurt, sorrow, fear, bitterness, confusion and worry can block your spiritual eye sight.  We cannot remove what causes these emotions, but God can strip them from our eyes and show us truth that we need to gain victory.