This is a word to disciples; disciples are wise servants of the kingdom who have been cleared for glory. They are those who have an understanding of their kingdom position making wise use of what has been given to them to produce garments of praise. Be careful in your journey or you could be missing the way to into the kingdom. In Luke 17:11, there is an important message about faith. You will remember the story of the 10 lepers Jesus cleansed. When they ask Jesus for help from their torment, He responded by telling them to show themselves to the priest for a testimony. The word indicates they believed Jesus in faith by doing as He said. It was in the going they realized they had been cleansed of their condition. However, only one realized his healing was more than an outward cleansing by turning back to give glory to God. The literal rendering of the greek words here indicate two distinct events, one which left a mere outward cleansing fit to satisfy the ceremony the law required; the other, a deeper healing that could make a man whole. All the lepers who were cleansed believed Jesus in faith, but only one found the deeper healing on his face with a loud voice of praise. Jesus would note this man’s faith made him whole, saved him and rescued his life. When Jesus asked where were the other nine, they were getting their life back by showing themselves to the priest who could then certify they were clean to return to society. The Spirit of Christ would say to you if you want to be His disciples in these days, you must find yourself in pursuit of His glory and accept your place there on the fringe of His garments. They are garments worthy of glory and most deserving of your praise. These garments are meant to make you distinct as His disciple, so much so that you begin to fill out your proper role as His agent managing well all the resources spiritual and otherwise that He has endowed you with. He says, ‘display a faith that comes to my glory and settles for nothing less, so that you will be careful not to squander the things I give you by touching lives now for eternity.’ ‘Comfort others with the comfort that you have been comforted with–that is not mere cleansing, but in a healing that goes deeper than skin to touch the heart and change the condition of men’s souls.’ He says, ‘My return is immanent; don’t squander my glory on yourself, come to me and I will produce a splendor that will surely touch souls for my kingdom.’
Here’s the take away for you today: Is your faith cleansing you e.g.g., making you ceremonially fit, religiously clean, just so you can get your life back, or is your faith making you whole by giving you a garment that affects your worship bringing you to find your life of glory facedown at His feet?
Jesus is in the making and what it takes to make disciples of men by way of His cross. I recently saw some youth bound in hand with their bibles in a local coffee shop, and it blessed me. We live in an age where many are seeking for a real expression to relate to this Jesus and His Lordship in their lives. It is a great thing we would aspire to do. It is however, important to remember in this new age where the music seems to lead the discourse, it has always been about the word of the Living God. Here is a thought to add to this modern age perception of all things as Christian. Jesus is not in the hairdo, or in sporting the new tattoo; He is not in the anti-establishment, or in being different for different sake; He is not in strange for strange sake. He is making His mark on men as aliens and strangers because they find a place for humility and brokenness because they are working out their common salvation through the living breathing Word of God. The music, and I love music, should lead me to brokenness, thanksgiving and praise as I walk as His disciple enslaved to nothing in this world, it’s thinking or culture. The music alone will not produce disciples, only a relationship with the Living Word can do that. Is the word you are hearing making you more like Jesus, or are you being defined by the pop-culture you are living in? His cross is not a new concept, but a clear command of the word; it is timeless rugged thing that leaves one strangely following the movement of the Holy Spirit keeping in step as His disciple, shedding the mantle of worldly influences to be uniquely His–He was pierced for a different cause and that will likely leave you more persecuted than popular because the way of the cross will always be the defining mark of real Christianity.
Sometimes I am wanting to find the application of this word into my life, but I’ve got no aptitude for it. To that I would say, “God give me a mind for what you think, so I could be effective as your disciple.” I came across this scripture the other day taken from Isaiah 50 which says; “The Lord has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Often, we look for ways to apply this word in our lives only to find the simple truth is not merely conveyed with great oration or vivid illustration. The truth however is best understood by what Jesus said in Luke 14, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” While men often go here and there to find great preaching looking for that one great illustration, nothing connects me to Jesus like the cross. Jesus is affirming the cross as a means of application but more importantly as a means of identity. When by taking up our cross we deny ourselves, we are saying no our thinking and to our own reasoning and even our own cause. When we do that, we are identifying with the thinking that had Him at the cross for us in the first place. Taking up my cross aligns my life with the cause and thinking of Christ. Presently, most Christians know more about God than they are able to apply for lack of the cross. All of us have a cross to be sure, but is yours currently out for repairs? Paul said in Galatians 2:20; “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Paul saw himself as crucified with Christ because He’d taken up His cross. There was with Paul a death to this world and its thinking, but also the applied ability to actually live as Christ would because he had nothing else to live for. Full faith in Jesus had taken over his mind to actually comprehend the height and depth of Christ’s love for him. That is ultimately what Jesus is saying in Luke 14, namely this: that as long as you have something else your living for, you won’t carry your cross. Jesus is saying, ‘nothing can come ahead of me, so get square with me and I will order your thoughts aright and connect your head with your heart and you will live and speak as my disciple.’
1 Jn 2:27 says, ‘You have an anointing you have received from the Father which abides in you.’ Think with me…this is the single most powerful concept that John reminds us of to combat the work of deception which daily presents itself to you. Just think, an anointing that instructs, promotes, and supports the work of your salvation in this present hour. What are you doing with the anointing? How are you treating it? Recently someone gave me an article entitled, “The Man God Uses” (He most surely has an anointing). You have an anointing, I urge you draw near to its application by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and find a balm which can sooth, heal and restore your life exchanging your weakness for His strength. To every true believer there is given this anointing. It is an anointing that activates truth by informing me of His thoughts toward me. It elevates my relationship with the Father by seeing myself as a son with a rightful place at His table. It covers my life with His power to conform me to His image and enables me to practice victory rather than defeat. It is an anointing that actuates love in my life identifying me as His disciple. The Word says, by this love all men will come to understand that you are identifiably changed and uniquely His. I don’t know about you, but I need such an anointing that can take my feeble “want to” and make it a living reality for His glory to the restoration of others. You want the anointing? Ask for it and don’t stop asking until He gives what He has promised to every son who believes.