Chrysalis

“A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher.” -Jesus, Luke 6:40

There is a certainty that Jesus alludes to, that all of us will be like our teacher. It begs the question though, who is our teacher (or what)? Jesus assumes a relationship between disciple and teacher that we are simply not accustomed to, not in the formal sense. We would never describe the teacher/student relationship in this way; the student is interested in knowledge not transformation. But Jesus is saying something different. Whether you are aware of it or not your life tends towards transformation, to become like your teacher. If your teacher is the world, then you will become like the world. If your teacher is the baggage you carry from childhood experiences, then you will embody the very experiences that weigh you down.

Jlightstock_99209_full_mikelesus was inviting his disciples into a relationship that would catapult them towards transformation. He was inviting them into a commitment to follow, to love, to listen, to be transformed. He was inviting them to a commitment to one another to follow Jesus together.

So, where or to whom are your commitments? Who is your teacher?

AND FYI, committing to coming to a place every so often, i.e. the church building, or a room where you gather with other people for Bible study, does not lead to being like Jesus, only committing to follow Jesus and to one another will do that.

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Eternal Perspective

Re:Verse reading—Luke 6:17-45 (day five)  It’s a hard lesson to learn,  children and teens experience it too- the rejection and tension that living like Christ in the world causes. We often times believe that living with purity, integrity, and holiness will guarantee a life that is stress free, applauded, and encouraged. Scripture says that God will reward these, but not necessarily man. Jesus teaches/warns that this kind of life on earth is often painful and filled with hardship. “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.” As parents we must encourage our children to “keep the faith”, because we know that the real reward, the greater reward is an eternal one. As adults, we too desire the approval and applause of people. We must tell the truth and live and share the gospel, no matter what the consequences. We must keep an eternal perspective. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

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Good Treasure

Re:Verse reading—Luke 6:17-45 (day four)

The crowds were growing…people were coming from, all over the region.  Jesus’ followers recognized His power and authority.  His disciples likely were pretty impressed with themselves.  Here was this popular, charismatic teacher with great popularity and they were His chosen followers.  Their importance should bring some reward, shouldn’t it?  Jesus addressed His disciples…things were not going to be as they expected.  The blessings they would receive were much different than material reward.  To be like their teacher, they would give up the things of the world and would respond completely opposite to what the world taught.

These responses that Jesus taught were not our ‘natural’ responses.  We want to gain, to preserve, and to protect.  What was the difference in what Jesus taught?  It was the heart’out of the good treasure of his heart.’  What we fill our heart with overflows into our lives!  Jesus said that we must fill our heart with heavenly responses.  What is your heart filled with?

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Favor

Re:Verse reading—Luke 6:17-45 (day three)  

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”  The getting of our goat consists in the favor that God lavishes on other men—that we cannot be the arbiters of the Lord’s grace.  Those without any learning, any power, any influence were esteemed by God?  Surely this was novel theology.  Jesus repeatedly declared, however, that his detractors hadn’t listened to the very prophets they accused him of misrepresenting.  Even Jesus’s own disciples boasted that they had shut down others who acted in the name of Jesus because they weren’t part of the Twelve.  But God’s grace will not be held hostage to our spiritual poll taxes.  The disenfranchised are right at the center of God’s attention, and should be at ours.  If the lowliest aren’t blessed in your presence, in whose presence will they be?

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Well Done

Re:Verse reading–Luke 6:17-45 (day two) 

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way. vs. 26

Words of affirmation. That has always been my greatest love language. More than time, touch, gifts, or service; I have always responded best to words of affirmation. The older I have become, however, I see the danger in putting too much stock in what others say. Luke’s account of Jesus’ sermon is a clear illustration of this. If we only ever seek approval from men then that will be the end of it.

Can you see the danger inherent when we seek men’s approval or justice alone? At best, we will be judged by human standards. We will receive the praise of men. Is that really our highest aim? Is our standard only that of this world? Surely we have been shown a higher aim, a sweeter reward, and a greater goal.

It is great to hear ‘job well done’ from others, and that affirmation can be a great motivator, but take great care that this isn’t all you hunger for. The sweet ‘well done’ of Jesus will far out shine any award or praise we get from others.

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LIFE Lessons

Re:Verse reading–Luke 6:17-45 (day one) 

“I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it abundantly.”–Jesus (John 10:10)

Twelve apostles (something new) had been prayerfully selected (v 12-16).  Large numbers of disciples were gathered around Jesus (v 17).  Instruction was needed.  Jesus began to teach them A NEW WAY TO LIVE.

His words/rules/priorities (often called “The Sermon on the Mount”) are not the way to receive LIFE.  A vibrant, real relationship with Jesus is the source/secret of LIFE.  The disciples were already joined to Him by faith.

His words/rules/priorities are the way to live the LIFE of God.  To experience it.  To see it deepen into blessing and fruit.  These are the words Jesus referred to in John 8.  “If you CONTINUE in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine.”

An attitude of hope. . . non-judgemental love. . .a generous heart. . .active obedience.  Not how to be saved, these are lessons from Christ for abundant and productive LIFE!

You interested?

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May I Borrow Your Boat?

Re:Verse reading–Luke 5:1-11 (day seven)

It’s impossible to know all the specifics, but Jesus seems to get into Peter’s boat without asking.  It is almost as if Jesus is commandeering the boat for the Kingdom of God.  Peter surely thought it was going to be a long day.

What if Peter demanded that Jesus disembark immediately?  How would the course of Peter’s life have changed?  How would church history have changed?  Looking back on the whole scene I imagine Peter realized he made the best decision of his life when he allowed Jesus to do whatever he wanted on that boat.

That boat was Peter’s livelihood.  How are you going to respond when Jesus steps into your life and asks to borrow your boat, to commandeer your livelihood?  I hope we don’t end with the first half of verse 5, “Master, we worked hard all night…”  The temptation of a busy life is to hesitate, and tell Jesus that we’ve had a long day.  Peter didn’t hesitate.  His willingness to let Jesus borrow the boat brought jaw-dropping abundance into his life.

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Limits

Re:Verse reading–Luke 5:1-11 (day six)

Simon answered, “Master,we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.” Luke 5:6

The experts were done, spent. They had worked the whole night through with nothing to show for it. Not to mention they were exhausted; their bodies ached, and they were likely very disheartened. They had reached their limit. But Jesus pressed for more.

When Jesus presses us for more (passed our limit)we often experience the extraordinary. We see God do a work we otherwise could not do on our own. We experience blessings we could not have foreseen. It is in moments like these that we realize we should have been following and listening to Jesus the whole time, not just when we’ve pushed ourselves to the limit.

That’s the lesson Peter, James, and John learned. They left everything and followed Jesus. Have you? If not, don’t be surprised if he nudges you passed your limit.

 

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Humility

Re:Verse reading–Luke 5:1-11 (day five)

The world has it wrong…  It says “Meekness = Weakness”.  Our current culture has distorted humility to mean that “I am lowly, insignificant, and incapable of being productive in any facet of life”.  What Jesus does with Peter after the miraculous catch is to define what biblical humility, true humility looks like.  Jesus immediately speaks hope, mission, and confidence to Peter. Verse 10- And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”  Note, Jesus removes only the fear out of his humility, and replaces fear with courage, trust, and boldness.  An encounter with the power and grace of God makes the human heart humble- reverent, submissive, hope-filled, and obedient.  Identity and opportunity become clearer.  Look at these first disciples’ response.  Verse 11- When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

In their humility, they trusted and followed their new Master.

Does your life reflect that kind of humility?

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What’s Your Response?

Re:Verse reading–Luke 5:1-11 (day four)

It is a principle taught in Scripture…Paul told us about it in Philippians.  “And my God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  (4:19)  Simon witnessed it firsthand.  Jesus provided a catch of fish that was overwhelming.  It was impressive, but it was not the miracle that awed Simon.  Simon recognized that only the creator God could do what Jesus did…he recognized Jesus for who He was.  The amazement of Simon quickly resulted in his recognition of his own sinfulness.  In the presence of the glory of God, our sinfulness is magnified to its reality.

Simon’s response was to repent and worship…what is your response?  Everyone responds to the gospel, one way or another.  Some respond like Simon, some reject the truth.  When we recognize our sin and know the consequences of our sin, what we do next is critical to our eternal life or death.  We are without excuse…God has made it plain…how will you respond?

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