“And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.”
In this morning’s scripture passage; I’d like to focus on the word “secret” here. We aren’t called to hide in secret, but to share the gospel with those who are lost … We are not called to have a closet religion …
When Jesus walked on the earth, He had many secret disciples, even though they could physically see and touch Him. Being a disciple of Jesus comes with a price that not everyone wants to pay. Those who are disciples have to deal with many persecutions including: being ostracized, loss of homes, jobs, and educational pursuits, loss of friends, family, physical and emotional abuse, and even martyrdom.
Sometimes it seems like life would be a whole lot easier if disciples of Jesus kept their relationship with Him a secret so that no one would bother them. Then there would be no persecution…
However, time after time, followers of Jesus unashamedly and without apology declare their allegiance to Him. Let’s discover just why it is that a D-I-S-C-I-P-L-E sticks with it regardless of the trouble:
D – Determined to finish this faith journey well ~
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
I – Inspired by the words of God ~
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” (Romans 1:16)
S – Seeking after a greater King and country ~
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthe 25:34)
C – Convinced of Jesus Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection ~
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)
I – Ignited by the indwelling power and presence of the Holy Spirit ~
“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14)
P – Pulled forward by God’s purpose and plan ~
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Ephesians 1:11)
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:8-9)
L – Looking for eternal life and rewards more than the earthly ones ~
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
E – Expecting to see God face-to-face in all of His glory ~
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”
(1 John 3:2)
So you see, today’s message is all about Jesus. It’s straight up scripture. And the Holy Word of God is infallibly and undeniably true. It cannot be disputed or debated. Plain and simple; we aren’t called to hide in secret, but to share the gospel with those who are lost. Our courage to do so only comes from the prompting of the Spirit. As disciples of Jesus, we are the light in the world of hopelessness and darkness …
Let’s Pray ~
Dear Lord, I pray for the courage, strength, and wisdom to boldly represent You in this world.
How I thank and praise You for the everlasting life that You have given to me by Your wonderful grace and love. May I grow day by day to be more like You, full of compassion and kindness. Saturate my heart with Your love so that I may love You more with every passing breath, my Jesus ….
Thank you, for Your Holy Spirit Who is making me to be more like YOU Lord Jesus. I want to reflect Your grace and Your beauty in thought, word and deed. I ask that I may devote my time and heart to reflect on all You are and all that You have done for me so that You are magnified more and more in my life so that the beauty of my Lord Jesus may be seen and reflect in me ….
Help me to bring my emotions under the control of the Spirit. Help me to check on my loud talk, my insistence on having my way, my fears, doubts, insecurities, and any other things which stand as evidence of my immaturity.
I do commit myself anew and afresh to Thee. Help me to be a glory and not a shame as I profess Thy name for His sake. In Jesus name I pray, Amen …