Lent 2019 – Discipleship Is Not Easy

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

“I begged your disciples to throw [the Spirit seizing his son] out, but they couldn’t.” ~Luke 9:40

Greetings! Today’s verse is taken from the Book of Luke, chapter nine. The story starts at verse thirty-seven, when a man from the crowd shouts, in verse 38, “Teacher, I beg you to take a look at my son, my only child” and then in verse 40, “I begged your disciples to throw it (spirit that causes my son to seize) out, but they couldn’t.” Luke does not say who the disciples were, we only know that they were followers of Jesus and that they had failed to remove the spirit within his son that causes him to seize. FAILURE!

I love the quote by Henry Ford, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Biblically speaking failure is similar in that we get the opportunity to begin again, renewed by the GRACE of Jesus Christ! 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “ But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines failure as:

omission of occurrence or performance

• a state of inability to perform a normal function

• an abrupt cessation of normal functioning

• a fracturing or giving way under stress

lack of success

• a falling short

In the reading for today, Juan Huertas talks about toddlers and how they are always wanting to do things on their own, “Me do it!” If you’ve ever spent any time around small children I’m sure you have heard those words more than once! It can be frustrating to watch them try to do something knowing they are going to fail. The natural instinct is to help, help because it will be easier and help because it will be faster! Both are true yet, they can also hinder learning. Easier and faster are not always the best choice. Much like a child learning new skills, the life of discipleship can be challenging and a reminder that we still have areas in our lives that need cultivating and development. Failure does not mean that God will give up on us or that we should give up on ourselves. No Not At All…repent, taking our mistakes and sins to Jesus in prayer asking for forgiveness and grace to start anew. God knows we are not perfect, he does not require perfection. God wants us to love Him with all our hearts and let our obedience stem from a heartfelt desire to be pleasing in His sight.

Every day we are faced with challenges that test our faith, we stumble and we get sucked into thoughts and conversations that are less than Godly, Do Not Despair, remember you are human just like everyone else, what matters is how we deal with it. As in the story today, the disciples were unable to cast out the demon spirit, Jesus was able to do it. Luke does not go into great detail, I researched the commentaries and what I found was that this specific healing required a bit more than the usual casting out. Failure nonetheless by the disciples because there was still more that they needed to learn. Juan Huertas tells us that this one required a different approach, prayer and fasting. Look for ways to develop your discipleship like gathering with other believers to continue to grow, encourage, ask questions and practice the ways of Jesus. It is in failure and disappointment, we grow in God’s love.

Today is a new day, a new opportunity to be Jesus in the world.

~Peace~

Breath Prayer: Loving God,…teach me in my failure.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com

Bible Gateway by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. Bible Gateway by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bible-gateway/id506512797?mt=8

[biblegateway app for apple: The IVP New Testament Commentary Series]

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