The Power of Relationship

Power-Relationship-RT15-03647Last year I had my relationship with God and that was good enough. I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live to please God. Hmmm, there are a lot of I’s in that sentence. Then God brought me to Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship, not only to grow me in my walk with Him, but to show me the importance of walking with other Christians. Just like the song “They Will Know We Our Christians by Our Love”, God created us to live together in unity; to work together and encourage one another.

Right now for class we are going through the book of Philippians. Paul’s love for the church stands out to me, it was his desire and goal to serve the church and see his brothers and sisters grow in the Lord.

He says “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” Philippians 1:21-26

Paul was so selfless and willing to give up his wants to pour himself out for the benefit of the Philippians. If it helped anyone, Paul was willing to do it. This shows me that I can’t just have my relationship with God; Jesus says we love Him by obeying His commands, and the second greatest command is to love one another. How can I love God when I live only for myself and refuse to serve others?

If I was faced with the choice like Paul to meet Jesus and be free at last from trials or to continue living and encourage others, what would I do?

—School of Discipleship student

To Live as Christ

How am I to live? (This is a question I have often asked myself.)Live-as-Christ_DSC0252

We can sum it up in one sentence…

I am to live as Jesus lived.

So the more important question is how did Jesus live here on earth?

Jesus by His birth, life, and death represented the very definition of humility.

He lived in such a way that no one felt intimidated by Him. Friend or foe approached Him freely. He lived in a way that He had no reputation; if you would have passed Him on the street you probably wouldn’t have recognized Him unless someone pointed Him out to you.

Jesus being fully God and also fully human faced every temptation that we face today. Being fully God He was perfect and did not sin. Jesus as human let Himself be touched by people and He reached out to them too. The children, the lepers, and many others felt the warmth of His hands.

Nothing Jesus did on earth was for His personal gain or selfish ambition. He had many opportunities to use people for His advantage. The crowd that followed Him were ready to make Him king. Jesus could have influenced the rich and intelligent that came to Him in a way that would have pleased them so that they would have willingly helped Him succeed. That is not why He came to earth, He came to redeem mankind.

Jesus was obedient to His father in everything, even in death. He prayed “not my will but Thine be done.” He did only what He saw the Father do.

Now Jesus commands all those who believe in Him to live as He Lived. We must be willing to live in complete humility. As a pilgrim, walking through this life; not working towards fame and fortune. We must be willing to sacrifice our very lives for the sake of the gospel — to take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on the needs of others.

Just as no one was intimidated by Jesus so we should not live in a way that would hinder others from approaching us. Jesus lived a completely transparent life, not hiding any emotions from His followers. We are also called to live in complete transparency, so that the sinner looking on can see Jesus working in us and give glory to the Father. Most of all we are called to love as Jesus loved. The world will know if we are true disciples of Jesus by the love we have for one another.

Looking at life through Jesus’ life style I realize how wrongly my view on life has been. I see now to truly live is, to live as Christ.

—School of Discipleship student

The Glories in Suffering!


“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Philippians 1:29

What a blessing to have studied the book of Philippians and “The Calvary Road” in class the past couple weeks. I certainly feel like I have a greater understanding of suffering and the glories thereof. Time and time again the Holy Spirit has brought me to a place of sweet brokenness, as I am reminded of my Lord Jesus Christ hanging on a cross for me. It remains a mystery to me that God would go about bringing redemption to the world, through the ultimate sacrifice, our Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing as though I will never figure out God or His ways with my mortal mind, I am coming to a place of acceptance and faith realizing that in suffering is a hidden fellowship with God that will not be experienced in any other manner. O WHAT GLORY! WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN!

—School of Discipleship student

A Careless Reputation

A-Careless-Reputation-DSC_0171 Near the beginning of my year at School of Discipleship we went through the book “The Jesus Style” by Gayle Erwin. In this book he talked about the characteristics of Jesus, and one is that he was a man of no reputation. It stood out to me at the time, but since then we have gone through many others books and I had forgotten about it, until just recently.

In one of our classes the teacher challenged us to search our hearts to find out what is coming in between us and God. After meditating on this, I realized that though it may sometimes come in different forms, what really hinders my walk with God is my trying to protect my reputation. It causes me to fear obeying God and losing friends. But Jesus had no reputation.

In a way everyone has a reputation, but for Jesus it had no meaning because his reputation was simply who he was. He wasn’t ever trying to be someone he wasn’t, or show off to people; he had no worries of who was, or who wasn’t his friend; he had one mission and that is what his whole life was focused on.

For me it comes back to the thing I struggle with the most: Being real with people and not hiding who I really am. This was one thing I saw in myself a few months ago and it really hit me hard. I thought I had made changes and at least overcome this some what. Now I see that though I may have taken one step, there are still hundreds more to go. I can’t do it, I will only fail. Yet I am amazed with the grace of God, he stands by my side still loving me and telling me his grace is sufficient for me.

And I believe that “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

1 Thess. 5:24.

—School of Discipleship student

Called to Brokenness


I believe it still to be a miracle that I am here.

Coming to School of Discipleship, I really didn’t have much of an idea of why God was leading me here. My flesh really wanted to stay in my cozy, comfort zone where life, well, seemed easy. The Lord certainly had much patience and by His grace, I am here!

I think the best verse for my presence here would be found in 1 Corinthians 1:27 where it reads, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.” I can still hardly grasp this truth. I am most blessed, but very challenged that my weaknesses are made perfect in His strengths. I’m slowly learning to trust God, in the highest and lowest parts that this journey, called life, brings me.

In class, we have just finished the book, Jesus Style. I am humbled by how little I know about the life of Jesus. Everything about the greatest man that ever lived, His birth, His ministry, His death have been so minimized and watered down. I’m starting to see how absolute frail and weak I am. I am nothing but a wretched, wandering, hopeless, descendant from Adam apart from Christ. My desperation for Christ must be foremost in my life!

With that, I would like to end off with the passage written in Philippians 1:29 which says, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake”. This verse is a challenge. It is a verse that seems very inconvenient. God wants everything? Since He withheld nothing from His life, I’m challenged with losing everything from mine. With that, I know I need brokenness. I need to be shattered. I need desperate molding. I’ve been so blessed by the countless testimonies of the servants of Christ holding nothing in their life dear to them, and counting all things apart from Christ as useless. So many, going through persecutions and sufferings, so that the name of Christ may be made known! With that, I feel called to brokenness, and pray God will truly break me for the lost. I desperately need to have a burden so immense for those that have never heard that there is a hope! I know this year has many challenges that lay ahead, but I also know that with Christ as my strength, I will have everything that I need!

—School of Discipleship student

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