Once in a While Money Request :)

donateHEY! Do you like the various ways in which Evangelical Disciple reaches people, either through our SoundCloud, iTunes, Facebook, website, etc.. We do, too! If you’d be willing to help defray the (fairly low) costs of recording, online presence, interface platforms (admin), etc, we’d be glad. If there is any money left over, we can also boost our posts to reach much wider audiences with the great message of the Gospel! Thanks! God Bless! – Fathers Vasek and Kujawa

How to donate:
email evangelicaldisciple@gmail.com for more information or contact us personally. Check, Venmo, GooglePay, and other forms of donation (cost reduction) are available.

Father Craig Vasek
7500 University Drive
Bismarck, ND 58504

New Endeavors: We are toying with YouTube channel videos and some better recording equipment at present, as well as looking at a few tech helpers to streamline our online presence.

The Key to Discipleship

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”    -Matthew 9:9-13

I’ve been sitting with this passage for the past few days and it’s had such an impact on me. Even though I’ve probably heard the principle beneath the surface several times before, this passage has taught me the key to discipleship. It’s a principle that could almost certainly be found other places in the Scriptures, especially anytime Jesus calls someone to follow him. Let’s take a closer look.

Up to this point, Matthew has been a tax collector. At the time of Jesus, tax collectors are known to be among the worst kind of people. They make their living by taxing people more than they ought. They either steal money from the poor or they make people poor. It’s gross. Anyways, that’s not the main point.

Jesus came to Matthew in his sinfulness and called him to be his disciple. Matthew got up and followed him. He left his entire livelihood behind at the sound of Jesus’ voice, the voice which can penetrate even the hardest of hearts. Powerful! What happened next is the main point I’m trying to get at. What did Matthew do when he began to follow Jesus? He ate with him and reclined with him. In other words, Matthew first rested with Jesus before doing anything else.

In our relationship with Jesus, we so easily get caught in the trap of thinking, “How can I serve you, Jesus? What do you want me to do for you? I’ll do anything if you just tell me to do it. What’s my vocation in life, anyways? What’s the mission you want to give me?” We’re so focused on serving the Lord that we forget discipleship begins with simply learning how to be with the Lord. Too many Christians have bought into the idea that being a disciple of Jesus Christ is all about working for him. If that’s all it’s about, then we’re nothing more than high-level servants of Jesus, but he wants so much more. He wants us to be his friends!

Discipleship begins with simply being, with spending quality time with Jesus. Once I learn my identity as a disciple of Jesus Christ, then I can go out and share in his mission. What is his mission? His mission is making more disciples, which means inviting more people to the table of Jesus! It means showing others how powerful it is to simply rest with Jesus!

The message of this passage is clear: disciples of Jesus Christ need to rest with their master, their friend, before they can do anything for him. Once they have rested, the work isn’t even done for Jesus, but it’s done with Jesus. Resting with Jesus can make a world of difference.

Simplicity Reminds Me of My Mission

think of jesus

Matthew 10:7-13

Jesus said to the Twelve: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.

Jesus sends his Apostles out to proclaim the Good News and to perform a lot of miracles while they’re at it. He tells them to do it without any expectations of payment, while relying completely on the generosity of those who house them (presumably fellow disciples of Jesus). This is a very particular call from the Lord for these twelve Apostles, though it comes in the midst of a very general call each Christian receives. Both are listed in the Gospel passage.

The general call: Go and proclaim, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Yes, every disciple of Jesus Christ is sent on this same mission. Yet not all Christians feel as though they are on any sort of mission, nor do they know of any way to spread the Good News. Even worse, most Christians often forget that they, too, are meant to play a part in the evangelization of the world. Even the best of Christians will have a frequent lapse in memory and forget the call of Jesus. How can we help ourselves remember? The answer to that question lies in the particular call of Jesus to his Apostles.

The particular call of Jesus to the Apostles in this passage: as you go, carry nothing, demand nothing, expect nothing.

For most people, this call is not something to imitate. We NEED certain things: clothing, a toothbrush, shoes, money, food, etc. Parents NEED money to support their families. It seems just about everyone NEEDS a cell phone and a car. These are real needs. The list can go on and on. It can seem like this particular call doesn’t apply to me, and, thus, neither does the general call. After all, I can barely get to work or class on time, let alone go on some far away mission to spread the Gospel.

BUT there’s an even deeper message beneath the particular call: live in such a way that will always remind you that you are away from your true Home (read: Heaven) and ALWAYS on mission for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Everything you do is for the glory of the Father and can help lead souls to salvation!

Jumble all of that together and we get: Live a simple life, free of excess, so you can remember your mission. Living a simple life will make life much less convenient, because it will mean leaving behind the proverbial walking stick and second tunic. Those inconveniences, however pesky they are, will remind us that we are not yet Home. They also remind us that God’s grace is all we need to find joy in the world. What does a simple life look like? Well, just like the Apostles had a particular call from the Lord, so does each Christian. Simplicity might be different for me than it is for you. Still, we must listen to the Lord in order to discover our own particular call, so that we may always be mindful of our mission to proclaim the Gospel. This requires spending time in prayer, listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit, who will assist you. It also requires attempting various ways of approaching simplicity of life, appropriate to your state of life. Perhaps, though, the biggest thing about the simple life is deciphering between what I NEED and what I WANT. The things I tend to want rather than need are the things that also tend to distract me from my relationship with Jesus Christ. If that’s the case, it would be in my best interest to leave them behind forever, however difficult that may be.

Finally, talking about simplicity of life is pretty easy to do. Actually living a simple life is much more than simple. It’s a life-long struggle and always demands reflection and honesty with myself. It’s often best to talk with fellow disciples of Jesus when considering making a big change in my pattern of life, such as leaving behind that walking stick. Finding some sort of accountability crew to keep me on the path I know I NEED to walk is helpful both for building up the Kingdom of heaven and for creating an encouraging environment for living a simple life.

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