For The Sake Of The Call

For The Sake Of The Call is a song by Stephen Curtis Chapman. God has used that song in many ways on many different occasions to lift me up when my circumstances weighed me down.

 

~ Here are the lyrics ~

Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them
He said “Come follow me” and they came
With reckless abandon they came

Empty nets lying there at the waters edge
Told a story that few could believe and none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

CHORUS
We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

Drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea
No turning back for the water cannot help but flow
Once we hear the Savior’s call we’ll follow wherever he leads
Because of the love He has shown
And because he has called us to go we will answer

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die

BRIDGE
Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we’ll obey

That song is a very good description of discipleship. The word discipleship is made of up of the two words ‘disciple’ and ‘ship’, A disciple is a disciplined learner, student, and follower. One that adheres to the tenets, teachings, methods and mission of their teacher. A ship is a vessel larger than a boat that transports people or goods on the rivers, oceans and seas.

Salvation is a free gift!

It does not cost the one receiving it anything.

It cost the One giving it everything!

Discipleship on the other hand costs the one chosen to be a disciple everything if he or she accepts the invitation to be a disciple.  According to education.com the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word disciplina meaning, “teaching to correct, strengthen, or perfect.” So a disciple is one who is committed to be corrected, strengthened and perfected [made mature]. Trust is a prerequisite for discipleship because the disciple must have it settled in their heart that the instructor has their best interests in heart, especially when they are being corrected.

A true disciple of Jesus surrenders their right to be right. They surrender their way of doing things. They come humbly wanting to be taught by the Master. They learn His words, His ways, and His will. A disciple of Jesus Christ does not enter the school of the Spirit with their own agenda. They come to be taught, to learn and to leave a changed person, one who can now represent the Master.

Does this mean a disciple of Jesus has no say in the process? Jesus is not a cruel teacher. He allows interaction from His followers. But a true disciple must come to the place where they understand that when all is said and done, what Jesus says and does will win in the end.

Jesus made some straightforward statements concerning discipleship ~

  • Matthew 10:24 – “A disciple is not above his teacher.”
  • Luke 14:26 – “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
  • Luke 14:27 – “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
  • Luke 14:33 – “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

These are fairly straightforward wouldn’t you say?  Let’s look at each one of these individually.

Matthew 10:24 – “A disciple is not above his teacher.” The word ‘above’ means “over, beyond and more than.’ A disciple does not exalt himself above his teacher. A disciple does not project himself beyond his teacher. A disciple does not show his teacher up by trying to trick, trip or prove them wrong. A true disciple is there to learn, not to teach.

Luke 14:26 – “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” A disciple is not forced to come, surrender, submit or learn. They are invited and they respond or they don’t respond. But if they come then they must be dedicated, committed, and surrendered. They must love Jesus Christ above and beyond any other person, place of thing.

Jesus is dead serious about discipleship.

Luke 14:27 – “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” I believe this is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Jesus did not say we must carry His cross. Jesus said we must carry our cross and follow Him. His cross was unique in that He was the only One who would ever be able to carry that cross. Our cross is unique to us but at the same time it common throughout humanity. By that I mean it is the cross of discipleship and along with it is our unique call, mission and mandate from Him.

Our cross is why we are on the planet.

We are to carry our cross and follow Him wherever He leads us, daily. We must decide to get up, pick up, perk up, move up and move on in what our mission on the planet is. No excuses for the disciple. When we don’t feel like it all we have to do is look at His cross and our perspective changes.

Luke 14:33 – “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” We own nothing. He owns everything. We are stewards, not owners. Ten percent looks pretty good right now doesn’t it. This is why tithing is the doorway into stewardship not the ceiling. Tithing is about trust, not money. It is a test to see if we are His disciples.

By the way, Jesus is not happy just being a person’s savior, even though He came to save people. Jesus wants it all. He demands to be our Lord. Nowhere in Scripture do you find a verse that says if you say the right prayer you will be saved. Jesus is looking for complete surrender to His Lordship. Nothing short of total surrender works for Him.

Churches are filled with people who are happy with their Christianity until someone starts making demands on them. That is when you find out who are the true disciples.

For the sake of the call is a call to dying to self and surrendering completely to the One who is calling. Have you received your call?

For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury

A Hisstorymaker

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