“I feel a burning desire to be in everything a complete Christian; and conformed to the blessed image of Jesus Christ.” ~ Jonathan Edwards, 1720
“Whoever wishes to truly understand the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.” ~ Thomas a Kempis, 1451
“The object of the Christian religion is to make men and women like Jesus Christ. To the extent that it fails to make us like Christ in our whole character, to that extent it fails to benefit man. The great end to be gained here through the religion he has given us is to make ourselves like him in all that we think, feel, purpose, and do.” ~ David Lipscomb, 1867
“I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” ~ Galatians 4:19
I’m captured by the concept of Christ being formed in those of us who are “being saved.” There is no other goal. Giving ourselves completely over to the resurrection of our Savior and the power of that resurrection to save us takes away all of our fears and anxieties about following him. There should be no hesitation. No doubt. We’re not afraid to risk anything because we don’t have anything to risk. We’ve given it all to him. And we trust him to furnish our every need as we become more and more like him.
Rick Ross, the preaching minister at Mesquite at the time, gave me a copy of a discipleship pledge in 2001. He had used it in a sermon on commitment and it really moved me. I’ve kept the copy, fairly tattered now, taped to the top of my desk or tacked to the wall above my computer wherever I’ve been ever since. And I read it everyday. I don’t know who wrote it. I think it was a missionary from maybe nearly a hundred years ago. I think it’s timeless.
I read it to our congregation here at Central this past Sunday. A couple of you have asked for a copy. Here it is:
I am a member of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of his.
I won’t look back, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, side walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, same visions, mundane talking, cinchy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminance, prosperity, promotions, position, plaudits, or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, regarded, rewarded, or praised.
I now live by present, lean by faith. walk by patience, lift by prayer and labor power.
My face is set, my gait it fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, lured, manipulated, enticed, or bribed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the Adversary, negotiate at the table of the Enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I’ve stayed up, prayed up, and preached for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of his. I must go until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until he stops me.
And when he comes back he will have no problem recognizing me.
For I have forgotten all that is in the past, I’m pressing on for the prize, the high calling of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My colors are clear.
I am a disciple of his.