Miruna Veenhuis, Senior Pastor
The most important battle we are constantly facing is the battle in our minds. The battle of believing what is the truth about ourselves when we are constantly pulled from all angles encouraging us to believe otherwise.
The truth about ourselves is simple. You can find it in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, which says,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! “
We need to understand that when we are in Christ, we receive the gift of life and His message. It’s no longer my sin, evil, and death that lives, but it is Christ who lives in me. So, it is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that lives in me. It is Christ who lives in me.
That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes or fall short. I do those things, but that is not my identity. It’s all about me getting back up and saying, “Oops I made a mistake, but what I do doesn’t define me.” It’s who I am and who I am beholding that defines my identity. Alot of times we are beholding what we do and in turn it becomes what we say we are.
At the start of Jesus’s journey on earth, His first invitation for us is to become disciples, and then the last thing He invites us to do is make disciples.
“What I do doesn’t define me. It’s who I am and who I am beholding that defines my identity.”
In Matthew 4:18. we can see the start of Jesus’s ministry. It is important to pay attention to all the details. The first thing He does is call His first disciples.
In Matthew 28:19, one of the last things He says to His disciples as He is leaving them is: “Go and make disciples.”
To understand the word disciple, we need to understand the word rabbi. In today’s world, two of the more esteemed careers are doctors and engineers. In those days, rabbis had great importance. Rabbis were the teachers who had been given the authoritative role to interpret God’s Word for the living of a righteous life – defining what behavior would or would not please God.
If you wanted to be a disciple under a particular rabbi, you would have to go through an extensive learning process of the Word, and then if the Rabbi could see that you were fit enough, then your request to be a disciple would be approved. You would wait months for your rabbi to watch you from afar and in secret, and then he would decide if he wants you to be his disciple.
Now Jesus, who was known and addressed as rabbi, changed this around. He chose his disciples right away and invited them to follow Him. That same invitation given to the disciples is the invitation that is presented to us every day.
“He (Jesus) chose His disciples right away and invited them to follow Him. That same invitation given to the disciples is the invitation that is presented to us every day.”
The disciples of those times weren’t just learning from the rabbis to know everything they knew. They weren’t just trying to understand this person. This person wasn’t just their greatest mentor. Their goal was to become like the rabbi. The idea is if you were approved to be a disciple, you would spend all your time studying your rabbi’s movements, mannerisms, behaviors, and thought processes. You would ask him a lot of questions.
The same is true for us. The goal isn’t to just learn about Jesus - it is to be like Jesus. It is to become a new creation. It is to be in a place of constantly beholding Him. How would He react? How would He look at this situation? How would He think?
We need to be in this constant mindset of following Him. We need to have His thoughts in our thoughts, His words as our words. We need to have His mannerisms, His behaviors. That is what it looks like to become a new creation.
As the local church in Kanata and Ottawa we are meant to show the world what a new creation is about! If you don’t live in Ottawa, find a church near you that you can get plugged into!