Sharing Sunday- Christian vs. Disciple

Happy Sunday, Everyone! A couple weeks ago I felt led to start a new series on the blog in which I write my thoughts on the sermon from my church, what I felt like God was speaking to me as I received the message, and what we can do with this knowledge, or word. The only other series I have done on the blog is my “Boss Babes” series and I absolutely love it! I enjoy showcasing other women who are killing it in their field of expertise and it has truly been a joy to hear their stories and get to know them better. I’m super excited to share these thoughts with you, and I hope that you will comment with your stories, or what this post did for you. I believe that we are each on an amazing journey in our lives, and it is WAY more fun to do life together, encouraging each other and helping each other along the way, so I hope that you will enjoy this series and that it will speak to your heart.

THE MESSAGE

First I must ask you this pretty interesting, somewhat easy, yet hard question- If you had to define what a Christian was, how would you define it? I feel like there would be multiple answers for this in the world we live in today. The term Christian has become a branding whether it be good, bad, attractive, or repelling. I bet I could go up to 6 different people on the street and get 6 different responses- maybe they would be somewhat similar, but i’m guessing they would be really different. When I was listening to the message, Moses ( the youth pastor) mentioned that Andy Stanley ( Senior pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia) recently asked this same question in a survey that went out to the Atlanta community and the highest response was something similar to the following: A Christian is : a judgmental person who only believe that he/ she is going to heaven and secretly celebrates the fate of others. ( This was not the direct quote, but very similar) Ouch! All I can say is – Wow- people truly believe that??! I mean I know some people have been scorned by the church and that there are many that profess to be a Christian and have led others to believe this, but OUCH. I never want to be known as this kind of Christian.

So think about the definition written above from the survey, was your definition similar for or different? I sure hope it was different, but if it wasn’t, then I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you believe this about Christians and I’m sorry that somewhere down the line you have been hurt, judged, or made to feel like you are not worth it, accepted, or fill in the blank. For me, I was raised in the church and have known the term Christian to be defined as a “Christ follower- someone who wants to emulate Christ in their actions, words, and servant hood.” This is how I try and live my life and I hope that in everything I do, I point back to Christ. There are so many that profess to be Christians now a days, but it’s not about the words, its all about the actions and if they match up to what the Bible says.

Did you know that the word Christian is only used 3 times in the Bible? Crazy, right?! But, did you know the word “Disciple” is used 281 times? God called us to be His disciples- the term Christian was given out as a Nickname for the disciples by someone in the city of Antioch and I guess it just kind of stuck. Cool, Huh? So instead of us calling ourselves Christians, maybe we should be calling ourselves “disciples.” Lets look at the people Jesus first called to be His disciples and what we can learn from them.

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The Disciples

The first disciples must have been something special. They were the closest to Jesus, so He must have chosen the smartest, best, most talented, attractive people to be in this elite group, right?! Wrong. They were fishermen, they weren’t scholars like the priests, or the most skilled- they were the C team, yet they were chosen. God chose these men and equipped them for their calling. God does the same for us. He chooses us not based on all that we can do, our talents, our skills, or because we are the most attractive or smart- He chooses us because he loves us. He doesn’t call the equipped, but he equips those he calls. He will equip you and I to do His work!

Those chosen to be Jesus’ disciples didn’t hesitate in a moment when Jesus called them. They chose to follow him, without question of their talents or gifting. They were available to him and he was able to use them to do AMAZING things because they were available. They trusted him and they didn’t place their trust in themselves- in what they were, or had always been.

MY THOUGHTS
The message was a realization for me that I have been holding back due to fear and I have been relying on my own strengths to accomplish things vs. giving it to God and allowing Him to work. I also realized that there are many times that I could have witnessed, or spoken a word of encouragement to someone, but because of my own agenda and not be available to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I never spoke up. We are called to be witnesses for all that God has done in our lives, we are called to share our stories with others for Him to be glorified, but so many times we think of this as just an option. There was another quote that Moses used in his message and it hit me like a ton of bricks-

The great commission is not the great suggestion. Think about that for a second. We have been called to bring others to Christ and it’s not a suggestion, it is our mission. It is what God has called us to do through loving others, sharing our stories, and being available for him to use us.

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Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your comments and what you think on this topic.

Til Nexttime, Be blessed-

Erin Ruscel

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