Devotions (中文)

Taiwan Day 73 – Are you a true disciple of Jesus? (在台灣的第73天─你是耶穌真正的門徒嗎?)

on
January 16, 2011

Luke 14:25-27 – “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and returning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.'”

I think that Jesus can’t be any more blatant than this: there will be a cost that will incur on our behalf if it is in fact the discipleship of Christ that we sell ourselves out for. Following Jesus means the shedding of our very own blood and enduring sacrifice of everything in trade for a journey on His narrow road to a life of eternity. This is a highly unpopular route that many who are self proclaimed Christians or followers of Christ will truly take.. I recall a pastor once mentioning that, “You’re either all in or not in at all.” The perceptions of our minds trick even the most avid believers as.. sure, it’s easy to be in agreement with how Jesus lived, what He commands, and how He died for us for what in the end was a gift and benefit for all of humanity. We as a society and culture will easily gravitate towards all the attractive things of the Gospel which will benefit our lives minus all the rest of the things which directly deal with suffering, sacrifice, and surrendering.. Many are worshipers of the gifts and blessings rather than the giver and blesser. Jesus sums it up very simply here in Luke.. is that we must give up everything which include our families, prosperity, and our very own lives. It’s a hard concept for many to swallow, especially when all the things we firmly grasp onto usually are connected deep down to root of the very nature of our commitment or lack thereof to Christ.

In order to really gain more understanding of what Jesus is saying through these scriptures, I choose not to focus or judge the lives of others, but rather put my very own underneath a spiritual microscope. I must then ask myself, “Am I a true disciple of Jesus?” or even another way of wording it is, “Have I truly given up everything for Christ?”.. The concept of family and marriage have always been held up for me as false idols in place of Christ coming from a past of a lot of inner brokenness, rejection and abandonment. It was easy for me to be able to shun away from that darkness through my life pursuit of thinking that a new marriage and family would eradicate my past struggles.. and is in some sense something I still hold onto to this very day. I even had tried so hard to obtain these things in the past which my own inner torment would be the very demon which would destroy the temples and higher places I had established for myself. Does that mean that God doesn’t want to gift me a wife and family someday to serve and help bring redemption to a lost generation? Absolutely not.. and with all my heart, I am in firm belief that He has all these things lined up for me and wants to bless rather than curse me.. but with that truth, first thing is first.. where Jesus is personally convicting me and telling me, “Follow me.. not family, not fame, etc.. but me.. because I love you and want to disciple you.” Its more of the matter of building an heart of integrity to move forward in absolutely trust serving Him first knowing that His promises are great in my undying obedience to Him.

Thank you Father, for releasing unnecessary pressures in my spiritual valve that You already have planned in Your timing. Though I admit that its hard and challenging at times, I’m down to pay the cost.. I know that there is still more and more that I need to let go of, but this is my true pursuit of You. I am grateful how You have already taken care of everything, so that when the time is right, I will not be centered around these but in reverse they will be Christ centered.. Thank you for using this heart check to realign my purpose, my motives, my heart and behavior that flow in and through every area of my life.. I desire more of Your Holy Spirit, that Your presence and Your word goes from my head, into my heart, out through my hands and bled for the sake of You and others.

路加福音14:25-27
有極多的人和耶穌同行。他轉過來對他們說:人到我這裡來,若不愛我勝過愛自己的父母、妻子、兒女、弟兄、姊妹,和自己的性命,就不能作我的門徒。凡不背著自己十字架跟從我的,也不能作我的門徒。

耶穌非常直接地指出:成為基督的門徒是要全然擺上自己的,是要付上代價甚至犧牲利益的…跟隨耶穌意思是指:流下的每一滴血和忍受的任何犧牲都是為了換來一趟旅程,一趟走在祂那狹窄道路卻通往永生的旅程。這條路真的沒什麼人想走,即便是那些自稱基督徒和跟隨主的人。我想起一位牧師曾經提過:「你們若不是完全投入,就是完全沒投入。」這就是我們的心思意念,甚至連最渴慕神的信徒也是這樣…沒錯,只是要同意以下說法非常簡單,像是:耶穌如何為我們活、他有哪些命令以及他為了讓全人類受益並且得到禮物(聖靈)而犧牲(釘死在十字架上)。福音上能使我們受益的部分很吸引人,並且容易被我們的文化和社會所接受,但若談到受苦、犧牲、降伏的這部分就很難了。大多數人所敬拜的是神給的祝福和恩賜,而不是那位賜與和祝福的神。耶穌在路加福音簡要地做出總結:我們一定要放下所有的東西,包括家人、產業和我們的生命。對大部分的人來說,這是很難立即接受的概念,去探就我們緊抓某事物的最根本原因,往往是因為我們對事物的承諾責任或因為我們缺少耶穌。

為了真正了解耶穌要透過這個經節所表達的,我不將焦點放在別人的生命上也不批判他人,而是將自己放在屬靈的放大鏡下方檢視。我必須問自己:「我是耶穌真正的門徒嗎?」或「我已經為耶穌放下一切事物了嗎?」…婚姻與家庭是我一直深深抓住、很難為耶穌所放下的部分,因為有太多過去的破碎、拒絕和拋棄在我心中。理所當然的,我覺得要一掃過去陰霾最好的方式就是展開新的婚姻與家庭,唯有如此才能根除所有過去的掙扎…這部分仍是我每天緊緊抓住不放的。在過去,我甚至一直努力著抓住這些東西,讓內心的痛苦摧毀我為自己所建立的聖殿和高位。難道說神不想要賜給我妻子和家庭,使用她幫助我一起救贖這失落的一代嗎?當然不是…我全心堅信我所經歷的一切,都是祂給我的祝福而不是詛咒…但伴隨這個真理,最重要當前的是耶穌親自對我說:「跟隨我,不是去追求家庭、名聲等…而是跟隨我…因為我愛你並且想要建造你。」重要的是,有一顆正直的心往前踏出每一步,完全相信祂,將祂擺在服侍的第一位,並且知道祂必以偉大的承諾回應我對祂的忠心順服。

天父,謝謝祢從屬靈的閘門中釋放出我那不必要的壓力,因祢已在祢的時間為我預備一切。雖然我承認這很困難,我對於所付上的代價感到沮喪…我知道我該放手的東西還有很多,但我對祢的追求是真實的。我很感恩祢正掌管我的一切,當對的時間來臨,我不再以這些東西為中心,而是以祢為中心。謝謝你洞察我的內心,以重新調整我的目的、我的動機、我的心和行為…我渴望更多祢的聖靈、祢的同在和祢的話語從我的腦中進到我的心中,為了祢和他人,背起十字架。

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Honolulu, HI

Unseen is an online experimental sandbox of Alex Cheng where he will be discussing the Word of God, personal experiences and thoughts. He is the Media Director at C4 Christ Centered Community Church, founder of instaMERSION studios, Wealth Coach at Tardus Wealth Strategies, and serves on the board of directors at Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

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