How to sacrifice my way of doing things to follow the way of Jesus.
I love to believe something that isn’t true in the world of following Jesus. Of course it is sad. Many times I don’t even realize what I am doing. Jesus confronts me to make it real. Jesus cuts through all the cultural lies I hear and read all the time. I can’t help myself.
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)
Am I a Christian or a disciple of Jesus? I need to think this through. It is an important question. I think it is fine to use the term Christian. I am concerned that it is confusing to non-believers. That is why I personally favor other terms like disciple or follower.
I am a slave to Jesus. Jesus is my King and Master. Now that is some good news. I have been freed from being a slave to missing God’s goal for my life (aka sin).
Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian. The first instance of the word Christian is found in the book of Acts: “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
Most Bible scholars agree that it is unlikely that the believers themselves thought up the name “Christians.” The early church had other names for themselves, such as “disciples” (Acts 13:52; 20:1; 21:4) and “saints” (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1; Ephesians 1:1) and “brothers” (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Peter 3:8).
Lance Lambert speaks on how to change the world. Everyone who has changed the world has been a living sacrifice.
The essential question from Jesus is “What have you done for me?”
Consider Nikolaus Ludwig, Reichsgraf von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf (26 May 1700 – 9 May 1760). He was a German religious and social reformer, bishop of the Moravian Church, founder of the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine, Christian mission pioneer and a major figure of 18th century Protestantism.
He played a role in starting the Protestant mission movement by supporting two determined Moravian missionaries Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann to go to the Danish colony of Saint Thomas via Copenhagen to minister to the enslaved population (see Moravian slaves). Zinzendorf was critical of slavery and supported the first Moravian missionaries who in spite of Danish royal support from Charlotte Amalie of Denmark faced discouragement from some Moravians at Herrnhut (including Christian David), the Danish West India Company, Saint Thomas planters, the risk of getting malaria and the slaves themselves.
Born at Dresden, Zinzendorf was often influenced by strong and vehement feelings, and he was easily moved both by sorrow and joy. He was a natural orator, and though his dress was simple his personal appearance gave an impression of distinction and force. His projects were often misunderstood. In 1736, he was banished from Saxony, but in 1749 the government rescinded its decree and begged him to establish within its jurisdiction more settlements like that at Herrnhut.
He was notable for providing shelter for the German-speaking Moravian exiles at Herrnhut. This settlement was influenced by his Pietist ideas from the Lutheran faith he was brought up in. Nowadays, the Moravian Church remains heavily shaped by Zinzendorf, in addition to its Hussite origin. He was called Ludwig or Brother Ludwig by his intimates. He is commemorated as a hymn writer and a renewer of the church by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on their Calendar of Saints and on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 10 May.
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