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Dare to be a Disciple!
Today at Hollywood Community Church we began a new series of messages from the Sermon on the Mount.  We have titled the series The Character of a Disciple.  The premise of the series is that the Lord, in this His signature message, outlines the characteristics of those that call themselves His disciples.  
To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is not a responsibility that we should take lightly.  To the contrary. such a role should only be accepted with a sense of reverence and heartfelt obedience.  I am afraid that there are way too many “Christians” today that desire the advantages of salvation without the accountability. They long for God to bless them while they long for the world to accept them.  They seek the rewards of discipleship without fulfilling the responsibility of discipleship.  It is that precise point that the Lord addresses in Matthew 5-7.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his classic book The Cost of Discipleship addresses the reason why Jesus’ disciples were called blessed.
Therefore Jesus calls his disciples blessed.  He spoke to men who had already responded o the power of his call, and it is that call which has made them poor, afflicted and hungry. He called them blessed, not because of their privation, or the renunciation they have made, for these are not blessed in themselves.  Only the call and the promise, for the sake of which they are ready to suffer poverty and renunciation, can justify the beatitudes (p. 106).
The fact is that the disciples realized that the characteristics of discipleship went hand-in-hand with the acceptance of the call.  In other words, their obedient response to the Lord’s call to discipleship included a willingness to surrender themselves to him and to his will for their life.  They weren’t looking for the easy path nor were they giving a half-hearted commitment.  They were all in.
How about you?  Have you realized that the call to discipleship is a call to commitment?  Are you all in?
Jesus said it this way…
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  Luke 14:27
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.  Luke 14:33
Let me encourage you to take the discipleship challenge.  Dare to be a disciple!
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