“In 1937 Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave the world his book The Cost of Discipleship. It was a masterful attack on ‘easy Christianity’ or ‘cheap grace,’ but it did not set aside—perhaps it even enforced—the view of discipleship as a costly spiritual excess, and only for those especially driven or called to it. It was right to point out that one cannot be a disciple of Christ without forfeiting things normally sough in human life, and that one who pays little in the world’s coinage to bear his name has reason to wonder where he or she stands with God. But the cost of non-discipleship is far greater—even when this life alone is considered–than the price paid to walk with Jesus.
“Non-discipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, it costs exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10). The cross-shaped yolk of Christ is after all an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it with him and learn the meekness and lowliness of heart that brings rest to the soul…The correct perspective is to see following Christ not only as the necessity it is, but as the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities and as life on the highest plane.”
-Dallas Willard, “The Spirit of the Disciplines,” as quoted in Devotional Classics
Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny. These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site. Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.
Last week I talked about some of the other media out there that I’ve been thinking about including. I had some good response on some of the content that I added, so I will continue to add more as it becomes available. I also thought it would be a great idea to let you (the reader) suggest other material of similar content out there for us here at the blog to use. If you have suggestions, leave them in the comment section. And now to this week’s links:
How does the reality of Jesus’s death on the cross and His call to us to die to ourselves affect our idea of God’s mission on the planet? Kieth @ Subversive1 reposts this transcription of a fantastic message by Jackie.
Vision, Intention, and Means is the topic of this post on how human beings change. While spiritual growth is always a work of the Spirit, it’s amazing how many Christians ignore the human fundamentals of change that allow them to cultivate the working of the Spirit. Len takes snippets from a Dallas Willard article to look at the process.
Barney’s “commandments” are methods of human change applied to the subject of evangelism. If you really haven’t thought about what practical changes you need to make in becoming someone who reaches lost people, check out this post.
The five-fold ministry is designed by Jesus to reproduce an aspect of Jesus into His body. Felicity is right on in this article. Many of us cling to only one or two of these giftings which greatly hinders our transformation into a Kingdom people.
This is an audio recording from 2005 where Shawn Bolz discusses the nature of heavenly encounters and their worth in transforming the body of Christ. If you’ve never had a lot of exposure to prophetic encounters, this will be a wild ride for you.
I was over at Alan Knox’s blog, the Assembling of the Church, where he was commenting on a post by Geoff at “My Blog.” The meat of the article focused on a definition of “disciple” by Dallas Willard. In the article Willard said,
“We need to clear in our heads about what discipleship is. My definition: A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in their life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do. A disciple is not a person who has things under control, or knows a lot of things. Disciples simply are people who are constantly revising their affairs to carry through on their decision to follow Jesus.”
When I first read this quote, I was incredibly excited. In a lot of ways I’ve come to revise my life around the pursuit of Jesus and the mission He has called us to. However, the longer I stewed on this thought, the more something didn’t sit right with me. And I think what didn’t sit right with me is the fact that there is some more “constant revision” that needs to happen in my life. Check out this quote I stole from Jesus about discipleship:
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it,” (Mark 8:34-35).
So while I believe I am revising my life to follow Christ (and that is something seriously worth rejoicing in), I think there’s more to go. Laying down your life has serious implications that “revising your life” doesn’t always include in our typical Western mindset. But it’s something we must embrace, pursue, and in the pursuit continue to revise life so that it submits to Jesus. He is worthy of a body of people who are not just believers, but disciples.
So, are you a disciple? What does it look like to lose your life for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel?
(Stay tuned Friday for an interesting thought that occurred during this post.)