A missionary on the foreign field employed a heathen to help him translate the New Testament into the native language. The missionary would read the verses; then the heathen would translate and write them down. Finally they came to the first Epistle of John. The missionary read, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” The man translated and wrote down the words. The missionary read on, “that we should be called the sons of God.” Then the native bowed his head and wept. “What’s the matter?” asked the missionary. The man replied, “Teacher, don’t make me put it that way. I know our people. That’s too good for them. Put it this way, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we may be allowed to kiss His feet!”*
But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name (John 1:12).
True discipleship is born out of an in-love relationship with a Great God of Love. When people “fall in love” with someone, they want to talk to the person, think about them, talk about them, look at their picture, figure out how they can make them happy, and so forth. When a person falls in love with Jesus Christ, that believer wants to talk to Him (prayer), be with Him (daily devotions), talk about what He’s doing (testimonies), be around others who love Him (church), obey Him and show Him off to the world (witnessing). Then, since true discipleship is an overflow of one’s love relationship with the Lord, your desire to grow also becomes a measure of the depth of your love for Him. How much do you desire a deeper walk with Christ? What is the depth of your love for Christ (i.e., Do you want to spend time with Him? Do you want to show Him off to the world? Do you obey Him?) On a scale of 1 to 10, how deeply are you in love with Jesus? Why do you feel this way?
“We become what we are committed to.”**
* W. Herschel Ford, Sermons You Can Preach on John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 348.
**Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishers, 2002), p 180.
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