Discipleship: You Can Do It

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All apostles are disciples, but all disciples are not apostles. In fact it is possible for you to be a disciple of Christ. And you can learn to multiply the number of disciples in the kingdom church of Christ. I will explain what we mean by discipleship as we progress through today’s message.

All Apostles are Disciples

                Before He ascended in a cloud to Heaven, “the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18  And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:16-20).

We know that these eleven disciples were specifically the eleven remaining apostles after Judas had betrayed Jesus, because we read this in Acts 1:2, 3: “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”[1] So we can conclude at this point that all apostles are disciples. But we need to dig deeper and ask, “Are all disciples apostles?”

Discipleship takes Bible study and Gospel teaching.

The Eleven Join 120 Disciples in Jerusalem

Having returned from the mountain to Jerusalem, the eleven join with other disciples of Christ. These disciples are not apostles. They do not have the special task of revealing the mystery of the Gospel by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit in their ministerial leadership. Follow as I read about the replacement of Judas as the twelfth apostle is selected for the first revelation of the Gospel on Pentecost Day. I will begin in Acts chapter one verse fifteen.

Acts 1:15-26

15And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren and said (and there was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty), 16Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered among us and received his portion in this ministry. 18(Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms,

Let his habitation be made desolate,

And let no man dwell therein:

and,

His office let another take.

21Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. 23And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. [2]

The Apostolic Disciples Compared With the 120 Disciples

The twelve apostolic disciples have a special office apart from the other 120 disciples. The 120 are Christ followers. And we may say they are all disciples. But only the 12 are apostles at this point in the history of the New Testament. Both will preach the Gospel. Both will make disciples. The difference is only the apostles will reveal the system of faith, the Gospel power of God to save souls from Heaven as the Spirit gives them utterance. The church of Christ will be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 3:20).

In comparison, all other disciples are students of the received God. For example, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Ti 2:15 KJV). And to become trained in God’s grace the common disciple must be educated in the Bible. Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”[3]

Discipleship: Learning from the Master Himself

Definition of a Keyword

2218.        ζυγός zugos; (to yoke); a yoke: —pair of scales (1), yoke (5).[4]

Compare 2 Passages:

Jesus says — “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:29 ASV)

A religious expert says — “One of the experts in the law answered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.’ 46 Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.’” (Luke 11:45-46) [5]

You cannot get any plainer than comparing the two outcomes. The religious elite. The scholars. The scribes, pharisees, lawyers, anyone with the power of say-so-and so. The so-called experts in the law load the average person of faith down with burdens they can hardly bear, without so much as an at-a-boy, you can do this. Have you ever met an elder, minister, preacher, a pastor, or kookie religious guide like this?

So, Jesus comes along and says my pair of scales are fair. I will help you carry your own load. I will teach you how to carry one another’ burdens (Galatians 6:2). All you must do is learn of me. That, my friend is discipleship.

What Discipleship Takes

  1. Absolute Surrender of the Mind, Philippians 2:5
  2. Obedience to the will of God, Philippians 2:13
  3. Constant maturation of knowledge and discernment of Scripture Hebrews 5:12-13
  4. Willingness to admit our faults, we turn to Jesus as our advocate in Heaven (1 John 2:1)
  5. Always abounding in faith, 2 Corinthians 8:7
  6. One capstone verse is (Col. 2:6-7) “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”[6]

Christian Disciples are Obligated to Reproduce

The only imperative in Matthew 28:19 is to “go and make disciples.”

Reproducing more disciples is the very definition of discipleship we are working with. The question must be raised, “Is the Church of Christ amenable to Matthew 28:19?”

  1. The immediate context is the command was given directly to the apostolic disciples before the ascension.
  2. The gospel has already been preached to the entire world as it was then known, Colossians 1:6.

To answer this we must first include Mattew 28:20.

 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

  1. The apostles were to teach the new disciples whom they had baptized to observe everything that Jesus had commanded them.
  2. Therefore, the Great Mission of Matthew 28:19 is to be included in that observance perpetually until Judgement.
  3. Hence, the conclusion with a promise of our Lord, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Example of the Disciples in Acts

The kingdom church was firmly established in Jerusalem in Acts 2. Converts have risen into the thousands. A young scholar named Saul gained legal authorization to persecute Christ’s church. The result of this maltreatment scattered members everywhere. This did not stop conversions to Christ. It further enabled it. We read in Acts 8:4,

“They therefore that were scattered abroad, went about preaching the word.” (ASV)

This is direct fulfillment of Matthew 28:19 seen in action. The apostles revealed God’s Gospel. They taught and baptized disciples. Then they educated the new disciples to mature them into observing everything the Lord had commanded. The result? A massive discipleship movement that will become a major world religion. The movement that dominated Western civilization for two millennials. The movement that is now a major religion in 62% of countries south of the equator.

From Apostles to Disciples of Christ

The church is in a unique position. Only the church has the mystery of the Gospel to share with the lost of our world. Only we members of the Lord’s Church have the knowledge of God to make disciples. Carefully reflect on this reading from Ephesians 3:8-11. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians,

8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things; 10to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (ASV)

He is talking about you. Grace was given to the apostles, to preach to the lost the unsearchable riches of Christ. That is, you could not find Jesus on your own. Somebody. Some Christian who knew the Bible told you about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in such a manner that your heart was pricked (Hebrews 4:12). Someone discipled you for Jesus.. And now you understand the way of salvation. You know how to worship God. You understand the grace of life. You perceive the sanctification of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.

Discipleship: The Purpose of Your Life

Most importantly, you know the purpose of God in your life. It is an eternal purpose. The most important purpose of your life. It is to be a disciple of Christ. And that requires making more disciples by teaching them and baptizing them and teaching them to fully observer all things Jesus has commanded. The solitary meaning in your life is to glorify God and practice discipleship.

Personal Preparation

We know that we have a great mission. That is our calling. Let us talk about how to get started. The first word in Jesus’ instruction is “Go.” It is not a command to go across the planet like a missionary in a far away land. You could do that. Or you could walk across your yard and talk to your neighbor. I like to go to a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant because people seem more open to me there. You might feel more at ease talking to a coworker at lunch. Your hairdresser or somebody waiting at the hairdresser’s shop. You fill in the blank on where you go. The instruction to go is more like “as you go.” It is a leisure command. “As you go through your day, week, life…make disciples.” Our primary objective is to make the effort and leave the converting to God. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through the Word of God to convict the souls we teach, convert them to obey the Gospel, and sanctify their souls. In other words, prepare your self for discipleship by being a strong disciple yourself..

Importance of Baptism to Making Disciples (Discipleship)

It is impossible to fulfill Matthew 28:19 without baptizing. A separate article and podcast will go into more depth into the nature and necessity of baptism for salvation. Nevertheless something must be said here before closing.

Mark’s rendering of the great commission is, And he said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16 ASV).

The formula according to Mark’s account is belief + baptized = salvation.

But no belief = no salvation, regardless of baptism or not.

According to Acts 22:16, baptism washes away sins. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.” (ASV) If your sins are not forgiven by God’s grace, you are not yet a disciple of Christ. Discipleship includes baptizing those who believe. When the Ethiopian eunuch was taught by Philip in Acts 8, he wanted immediate baptism as soon as water was available. We cannot practice discipleship by neglecting baptism Scripturally. To learn more contact a church of Christ in your local area.

Donny Weimar

November 6, 2021

[1] King James Version (WORDsearch Edition). (n.d.). (Ac 1:2–3). WORDsearch.

[2] American Standard Version. (1995). (Ac 1:15–26). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] King James Version (WORDsearch Edition). (n.d.). (Tt 2:11–13). WORDsearch.

[4] Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries: updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

[5] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Lk 11:45–46). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Col 2:6–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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Pray the Lord’s Prayer: Be Satan Free

More Prayers That Move God

By Donny Weimar

Learn Three Ways To Overcome Temptations and Stop Satan in his Tracks.

“Let us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13)

Continuing the battle in our spiritual warfare is reliance upon the Captain of our salvation. Remember, the kingdom belongs to the King. The power is His and the glory is His. Thus, the Lord Jesus has all the power in the cosmos to rescue us from the sly Serpent who deceived the first couple in the perfect Eden’s paradise. He has the authority to save. The Modern Literal Version reads, “And do not bring us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”

The evil one is none other than the Devil himself. No doubt, he is out to get you and me. His rebellion against God’s goodness made him the prince of darkness. Jesus is the light shining in the regions and shadows of the world’s despair.

“Be sober! Be watchful! Your* adversary, the Slanderer, like a roaring lion, is walking around seeking whom he may swallow up, 5: 9 to whom you* withstand, solid in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your* brotherhood which is in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8 MLV)

Three Ways How to Overpower Evil

1. Prepare Ahead with Prayer – Satan is a Constant Nag

“So-then, the one thinking of himself as to be standing, let him beware, lest he might fall! No temptation has taken you° except common human temptations, but God is faithful, who will not be permitting you° to be tempted beyond what you° are able to undergo, but together-with the temptation, he will also make* an outlet.” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 MLV)

Know what your temptations are and what Scripture passages help you stand strong when faced with the evil. Satan will use any malevolent tool at his disposal to deceive. Extreme illnesses, financial losses, deaths in the family or any other harm that we might suffer. The Adversary will use them to twist us. When we are faced with these tests, we have the choice of moving in one of two directions. We can either push away from God and fall into worldly-sorrow or draw closer to God and find a peace that surpasses human comprehension.

 

2. Pray During Temptation – Satan Knows How to Lay a Snare

We have a sympathizing Savior. The way we people can be saved is if the Goodness of God be incarnated in the virgin’s womb. Live a sinless life. Die the death on behalf of us sinners. Then rise to sit on the throne of righteousness. The wonderful thing about Jesus is He is our perfect High Priest who atones continually on our behalf. This makes it possible for us to go directly to God’s throne of grace to find mercy in our moment of need.

“Therefore having a great high-priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone through the heavens, let us hold-fast the confession. For* we do not have a high-priest who is unable to sympathize together-with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted according-to all things according-to our likeness, yet without sin. Therefore let us come near to the throne of grace with boldness, in-order-that we may receive mercy and may find grace *for opportune help.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 MLV).

When we face the traps of the Evil One, it’s time that opportune help. Jesus Christ was tempted in every fashion as any other human. What tempts you? He’s been there. He’s come through it sin-free. And He can set you free too.

3. Praise God in Prayer After You’ve Succeeded – When Satan Fails, He Runs Away to Hunt Some Other Day

Temptations can be challenging. Challenging is an understatement when it’s rooted in a feeling. Here’s the sum. Knowledge can last. Character can last. Principles can last. But feelings do not last. So then,

“Count [it] all joy, my brothers, when you may fall into manifold temptations, knowing that the proof of your faith works endurance, and let the endurance have a perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 LSV)

By placing God and His will ahead of our feelings, we surrender our carnal tendencies. Temptations are common to all people, but the Christian has the ability in Christ to endure. We press on as God completes His work in us. Recounting his conversion, Paul wrote Timothy about how God had counted him faithful and put Paul into the apostolic ministry. Even though Paul regarded himself the worst of sinners, God’s grace compelled him to teach the pattern of belief leading him and us to life everlasting.

God saw sincerity in the pre-converted Saul. He knew the passion of this man who when he became apostle Paul will do monumental successes for the kingdom church. The faithful saying is a humble one. To admit to God that we are sinners in need of a Savior, is the first step to being free from Satan.Let Jesus Take The Helm

Trials are the Devil’s Work. The Spirit of Christ Is the Solution. 

To remove yourself from temptations while Satan puts you through trials, remember to change your thinking, so that feelings may change. When your feelings turn into godly inclinations, you are more capable of walking in faith with the Son in light. When we can see the Spirit of Jesus through the lens of faith, at work in our heart, a battle fought victory is already won. The Spirit of truth uses His special revelation in God’s Word to set us free from sin that we tangled in so. Pray for deliverance and become Satan free. As always remember that you and I “can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” (Philippians 4:13).

 

 

————–

Christ, Jesus. Modern Literal Version New Testament (Kindle Locations 14196-14199). Kindle Edition.

God; Bible, The King James; Holy Bible, The; Bible, The. The Holy Bible: Authorized King James Version KJV Holy Bible (ILLUSTRATED) (King James Bible – Churches Authorized Version | Authorized Bible Book 1) (Kindle Locations 42152-42160). Christian Miracle Foundation Press. Kindle Edition.

Press, Covenant; Coalition, Covenant Christian. The Holy Bible: Literal Standard Version (LSV), 2020 (p. 739). Covenant Press. Kindle Edition.

 

 
 

Is Sincerity Enough? How to Make God Happy.

by Donny Weimar

To please God and neighbor, sincerity is a must. “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5.” Only a pure heart can biblically be sincere in faith. Timothy’s sincerity was learned from his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). These were wise women who did a great service for the Lord. Biblical sincerity is pure and peaceable; it is gentile, rational and full of mercy producing good fruits (James 3:17). While this is sound doctrine, is it also possible to be sincere and yet be wrong?

Saul consented to Stephen’s murder “in all good conscience” (Acts 7:54 – 8:1; Acts 22:30-23:1). Scripture says the murderous Jews who threw stones at Stephen laid the preacher’s clothes down at the feet of the young man Saul. “And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1). Then in Acts 23:1, the same man who had become an apostle out of due season made a defense. “And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” Paul/Saul had persecuted Christians in all good and sincere conscience! He was sincere but extremely wrong. Later he would write to Timothy that he considered himself to be the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

Another example is the baptism of Apollos’ converts. Apollos taught accurately the truth of God. However, he only knew the baptism of John. In Acts 18:24-28, two Christians by the names Aquila and Priscilla explain the truth to him more accurately. The very next chapter Paul is introduced to some followers of Apollos’ doctrine. When Paul asked them whether they had received the Holy Spirit when they were baptized, they replied “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2). When Paul explained John’s, baptism was one of repentance and that the people should believe on Jesus, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5). You see, Apollos was sincere but only knew the truth partially. Partial understanding of the Gospel is not enough.

Sincerity is vital to our Christian walk. According to 1 Peter 1:22 sincere brotherly love is what motivates us to obey the truth. “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall you free” (Jesus, John 8:32). We can make God happy by drawing near to God and asking Him to draw near to us. As our understanding of the Bible increases our sincere faith will grow to. It is liberating to the soul when we express the love of Jesus to those around us. Truth is ascertainable and obeyable. Sometimes we are like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who needed some guidance in understanding the Sacred Writings. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” too. In fact, admitting our shortcomings in biblical knowledge gives us just cause to study those things out. Sincerity from the time we begin our first Bible study until we grow mature in Christ is a life-time process. Think of it this way, achievement is not a goal – it’s the constant pursuit of the goal. High achievers in Christianity never stop learning and growing in the faith once for all delivered.

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The English Standard Version©.), copyright © by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Navigating Depression

by Donny Weimar

It’s not just the blues when you don’t want to get out of your recliner, much less brush your teeth. When I’m supremely depressed I find myself moving slower than a sloth, at least it feels like it anyway. Using soap is a chore because I’m less likely to bathe. Hey, I’m just being honest. Okay? Proverbs speaks of the sluggard as being one of the foolish ones. So, I guess there are times when I’m not the wisest person. However, I have found somethings that help me press through the hurricane of despair. Here’s some things I’ve learned.

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV)

Discussing anxiety here a little is relevant here because Scripture says it causes us to be depressed. I tell you that is a fact. I find that by relieving anxiety my depression is lessened. Even the psychiatrist will tell you that anxiety and depression go in hand in glove. Ezekiel was a anxiety ridden prophet (Ezekiel 12). His soul was vexed over what would happen consequent to his proclaiming God’s word to the people. For sure they hated the messenger; Jezebel wanted all the Lord’s prophets killed. Proverbs 12:26 tells us to choose our friends wisely. The company we keep may determine whether we receive a kind word. That kind word can lift a depression and make the heart more glad (Proverbs 12:25 above). Another article will address anxiety more in depth. Let’s say for now that when we turn to God, His perfect love casts out fear because anxious fear torments the soul (1 John 4:18).

There is a very strong promise made by Jesus to the burden soul. He said, “

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

There’s an old hymn that says,“Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary. Jesus is very near.” Jesus is the only one who completely understands us. God knows suffering and pain. This world is all about soul-making. God is sharpening us and refining us into the mold of His glory. We are simply to blessed to stay depressed. The same Jesus who anchors our hope and secures our faith will see us through our darkest hour. Getting from point A to point Z takes at least 26 steps. I get through a lot of depressing by trust and confiding in Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Our faith is not yet complete. You can trust in m Lord too. For more suggestions, read the chapter on the subject in my book, Christian With Bipolar Disorder.

Glorious Kingdom Church Makes Believers Beautiful

By Donny Weimar

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). God’s people have always been His kingdom. Before Israel asked for Saul the Benjamite to be their king, they lived under a theocracy with God as their king (1 Samuel 10:19). They should have known doing so would lead them away from God (Deuteronomy 17:14-15).

God has made His servants today to be a kingdom in Christ (Revelation 1:9). The kingdom of God has been in continuous growth in its glory since before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Where you have a faithful obedient servant of God, you have a citizen in the kingdom of heaven. The old testament believers looked forward to the cross in hope of Messianic salvation. Therefore, they are citizens. We too look for a coming kingdom that shall be greater than the world has ever known. Allow me to explain. We immigrate into Christ when we obey the Gospel. Our kingdom citizenship begins then. The kingdom, though consummated in the book of Acts, will blossom into something grander on the great and awesome day of the Lord. Here’s the prooftext:

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).

Notice in verse eleven the phrase “an entrance shall be ministered.” We may anticipate that when the Lord comes to discern forever between the just and the unjust, the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior will be Heavenly. Our transition as citizens is from a spiritual glory that we are presently living now. We shall see an even greater glory.

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:12-18)

This is a beautiful description of the church of the Lord. Since the kingdom church is glorious, each of her members is also, because each individual is in fellowship of the greater. My fellow believer you are gorgeous in the eyes of God. We will see the kingdom of heaven in its ultimate conceptualization.

Donny’s Books

Letting Your Light Shine Again!

The darkness within is a dark cloud of despair enveloping the soul. Depression is a terrible thing. It tempts a person to be lethargic. It’s the opposite of a motivator. Often, depression has a sister called anxiety. This sibling worries about nearly everything because she is afraid of the future and frets over the past. We will not treat anxiety in this article. It’s almost impossible to shine beams of hope when darkness covers the face of the deep. The possibility to lessen disparaging depression is real.

The first thing to do when suffering the withering feelings is to come before God’s throne of grace pleading for help in our moment of emotional struggles. (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus is our perfect high priest (Hebrews 7). Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In prayer the first talk we have with Father God is to praise Him and express gratitude for creating us. It’s difficult to be grateful instead of grumble towards life when we are downtrodden. An open confession of our heartfelt feelings is one antidote. Healthy prayers give glory to the LORD. Next, we pray for our needs jut like the model prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 11. Praying for the heavenly hope is a move towards positive thinking, which is difficult when life seems dismal. That leads us to the next point.

The must in overcoming depression is action. When we are sinking low it’s time to get out of bed and do something for Jesus. When we are in the darkest hour that something might be getting up to eat breakfast and put on our shoes. The Savior wills that we force ourselves to get up and moving into His service. Pushing ourselves to serve other people, we get out of our own inward turning. Feeling downcast can leave us with a bit of being like a selfish hermit. Move into action. Call someone to encourage and comfort them in their struggles. Reaching out to others with no expectation of reciprocity goes a long way toward healing. It’s also turning up the dimmer switch to that little light we’re going to shine again. Grace commands us to love. When we read 1 Corinthians 13, we find love to be an action word. Love is the cause that puts our faith into work. By loving others with our deeds of brotherly affection we discover a higher sense of self-worth. That in turn is a catalyst to us having a better outlook on life. This new outlook improves our mood and calls for our light in the gloominess to have its wick trimmed, to burn brighter day by day. Never forget the words of Jesus, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV).

Struggling with depression is temporary and is not a cause to end life own our own terms. God has called us to hope. This positive Christian trait extinguishes the black fire. Keep in mind suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We will overcome if we do not leave our First Love. Father God is the God of all comfort and the giver of all mercy; whereby we may be able to comfort others with the same comfort we have received. (2 Corinthians 1:3). Within a people of faith, is no room to curse God and die. The ideal therapist should be ministers of the Gospel. Let’s go find an experienced Christian and ask for help. There isn’t any shame in telling someone how we feel on the inside. May Father God bless our day as we choose to be a blessing to Father God.

So you want to go to Heaven. What does it take?

There are three rudimentary requirements at the foundation of our part in the bigger scheme of things. We find them in Micah 6:8 as follows. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV). At the core of every bit of God’s instruction for you and me are those three.

The good requirement of the LORD is first to do justly. That means we are to treat fairly both our interpretation of the commands, examples and necessary inferences of the Bible; it also regards how we treat one another based upon that elementary understanding. We learn our faith from correctly handling our studies of the sacred Book, just as Paul told Timothy in his second correspondence with the young preacher. If we slip in our doctrinal integrity our faith falters. Being balanced and faith with God’s Word is very important. We also based a just lifestyle upon the Scriptures, which are furnish us completely unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). Fairness with our faith walk under-girds about relationship with God. Understanding how to properly love and treat our fellow person is dependent upon our awareness of God’s lessons on how to love Him, our neighbor as well as our enemies.

Loving mercy sometimes takes courage. It is not always easy to show mercy much less loving to do it. When we show strong kindness to other people we express the comfort God shows to us (2 Corinthians 1:3). In fact it’s as though God frequently expresses His love, comfort and mercy through us as we received it through the love of others in our time of need. The throne of grace resides in the church and we are the church of Christ. Being like the good Samaritan is sometimes easy when it is offered to those we know. For some of us it is even a little easier to show mercy to strangers. Other times, difficulty comes when its an adversary. We choose to love mercy because without it we probably won’t see God when our moment comes.

God requires that you and I walk humbly with Him. Christians who are humble are not weak as Satan wants the world to assume. A humble person does not toot his own horn as the saying goes. Walking humbly with the Lord means serving our Father God openly but without sounding gongs with no love. A person can’t strive for perfect obedience and be self righteous in the process. Don’t forget the pharisees who had the law but no grace. Their snobbery was not approved by Jesus. Taking on airs is no more Christ like than not doing what grace compels to in the first place.

Doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God are basic to all the teaches of God’s grace. At the heart of all Christian obedience is lovingly being fair, kind and walking without pride with God. Think about it. It’s true. Where is your heart today?