The Embrace of Discipleship
The Embrace of Discipleship
“Paul called unto him the disciples,
and embraced them…”
In the midst of the turmoil and opposition to the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus one phrase stands out: “Paul called unto him the disciples and embraced them”. The truth of Christ within must culminate in a love so powerful, so overwhelming and pure, that the opposition of the world brings His people to the embrace of fellowship.
Affluence and our self-centered culture have made such an experience rare and even considered to be obsolete and uncouth. Instead of just being “disciples” we have become “disciples of” something other than Christ. We have substituted the central thing which unites His disciples and differentiates them from the tares. The Spirit of Unity can only join the pure with the pure or as the Prophet Ezekiel declares “bone to His Bone”. Discipleship is the path to pure motives and holy living. It is the pure in heart who “see God”. In the seeing of Him we are struck with a Love so powerful, so omnipotent and so pure that men quake in its atmosphere. Truth is no longer a statement, it is a life, it is a way and it is the signature of God being evidenced within the lives of those who are becoming His.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
Love is the imprint on His Disciples. Love is the pure fruit of truth. Teachings, doctrines, statements of faith, emotional prayers are all for naught without Love. Love embraces, rebukes, exhorts, encourages; above all Love NEVER fails. A fruitless life is a loveless life. Love cannot beat in the heart of any child of God without the works of Christ pouring forth from its endless spring. Love is the inspiration of the Cross of Calvary (John 3:16); it alone is the great impetus of God Himself. They who live in any measure of this ocean must give and empty themselves into the lives of others.
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick…”
“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean”
“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things”
The Life of the Son moved in the power of compassion. He walked among the people, ate with sinners and mingled with the publicans. He rebuked the pious, the satisfied and those who had a “form of godliness” but in their pride stifled the power and wonder of His Love. Lives unmoved by love have not yet touched the dominion of His Lordship.
“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2
One can give without love but one cannot have love and not give. Love is the womb of sacrificial living, the evidence of the fire of God burning within.
“…as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
Love is the impetus of God