True Discipleship

November 30, 2021

Are you truly a disciple of Jesus? Perhaps a better question is this: does Jesus recognize you as one of His disciples? Many people claim to be His followers, but simply saying it doesn’t make it so. Jesus has told us who His disciples are. “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine’” (John 8:31, NASB) Notice that this is a conditional statement. If we abide in His word, then we are truly His disciples. To abide in the word is to live in it and continue in it. Abiding in His word is to long for the pure milk of the word. It is to meditate on His word. And very importantly, it is to unite what we hear with faith and to obey His word.

It is of utmost importance that we learn to abide in His word in our daily lives. We need to make time to hear and to cherish our Father’s words! It is also of utmost importance that we abide in His word in our classes and worship services. Remember, the word of God will perform its work in us who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The word of God is living, active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and can pierce us deeply in our inner being (Hebrews 4:12). The words of Jesus are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). It is His word, then, that we need to cherish, uphold, and abide in, both in our personal lives and in our assemblies. This is what true disciples of His will strive for.

May we all be true disciples of Jesus and abide in His word! May God help us to be still, to listen, to apply, and to let His word work powerfully in us!

— Scott Colvin


Under the Knife

September 18, 2020

The tabloid press continually report on beautiful people who went under the knife to be more beautiful. They went under the knife of cosmetic surgery pursuing a vision of outer perfection. Although such surgery seems extreme, all of us would willingly consent to surgery when our life or health is at stake. None of us like it, but we are willing to go under the knife.

But there is a surgery more important than the ones to enhance outward beauty or repair physical health. This surgeon wields more than a scalpel. He wields a sword.

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:11–13, ESV

The message about the sword is bracketed by some important ideas. We are to strive to enter the rest which is heaven itself, and we are warned that this rest can be missed by disobedience. At the end, we are told that everything about us is exposed to God before whom we must give account. God has already seen all our spiritual x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. There is nothing about us that he doesn’t already know. We shouldn’t play games or think we can hide. Faking it leads to disaster even if others buy our sham.

The point of sword is that it pierces. The sword of the word can pierce all the way to our thoughts and intentions. God has always wanted our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5). God has always wanted his law written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). This is surgery to make us more beautiful on the inside. This is surgery to correct our failing spiritual health. Without it, we will spiritually die. The surgeon wants us more obedient, more holy. The word’s penetration into our heart is to make us more like the one we are following – Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews reveals all too clearly that there have been others who have heard the word and responded with hardened hearts (3:7-8). We have a spiritual surgeon who wants to penetrate all the way to thoughts and intentions. He wants to make us more beautiful on the inside. He wants to make us more like Him. Are we willing to go under the knife?

−Russ Holden