7 Marks of a Disciple: Faith

"Zakæus" by Gunnar Bach Pedersen

Pastor_Jeremy_WallochI’ve been thinking a lot recently about preparing for our children’s future. Not College. Not Retirement. Not a will. Not Just My Children. But eternity. Not 4 or 10 years, but 4,000 years, 10 million years.

What are we going to teach our children? What are we trying to become? What are the marks of a disciple of Jesus?


First Mark: Faith: Us in God and God in Us

When encountering God

  • John collapsed like a corpse (Revelation 1:17)
  • Isaiah cursed himself and declared his sinfulness (6:5)
  • Job despised himself and repented in dust and ash (42:5-6)

God sees all we do, hears all we say, and knows all our thoughts, yet because of Jesus we are Loved, so what otherwise could only be our greatest moment of shame, becomes our greatest moment of acceptance.

[Wedding wow moments]

First Song We Teach Children: Jesus Loves Me

Once heard a guest preacher say that after spending his whole life reading the Bible, he can finally summarize it, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Easy song to sing at age 3 — you know everyone loves you.

Harder to sing at 30 when you know you’ve hurt some people.

Must be really hard to sing at 70.

It’s not Jesus loves “you.” Not Jesus loves “us.” But Jesus loves “me.”

It’s easier to sing, “I’m sorry, Jesus.”

It’s easier to sing, “Help me, Jesus.”

It’s easier to sing, “Jesus, I’ve messed up again,” and then you start crying.

[Crying in church – every person in the world is fighting some serious battles.]

It takes greater faith to be happy in church than sad.

It takes greater faith to rejoice in His presence than it does to weep.

To weep we just need to acknowledge we are a disappointment to God, which if we’ve read the Bible at all we know.

To rejoice I have to believe I am acceptable to God. (2X)

In our sinfulness we stand before God as an old hag, with nothing of us desirable.

But because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross, he looks at us, not with disgust, but with love.

Out of desperation we love Jesus; out of mercy Jesus loves us.