New Hope Church

Day 30 – Lenten Devotional


Jesus Disciples (“The Tale of Two Carpenters”)

John 8:31-32  “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;  then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

From the very beginning of Jesus ministry He set out to make disciples and at the end of His earthly ministry commanded His disciples to make disciples (Mt 28:19-20).  And so it is to this very day, the church carrying out the command of Christ! However, do you really understand what Jesus meant by BEING a disciple?  Perhaps the following story will shed some light, the “Tale of Two Carpenters.”
One day the Master Carpenter ordered two of His apprentices to build Him a table, He said, “I am available for consultation, here is the manual and you have as long as you want to build it.”
The first one thought, “This will be easy, three or four legs and a top and it’s done.”  He visited his Master for about an hour each week (sometimes) and barely got through listening to Him without falling asleep.  He rarely, if ever, consulted his manual, and only talked with his Master when he really needed help.  He hardly ever gathered with the other apprentices because he really did not enjoy being with them.  He had a better time going out and about to do what he liked to do most…which was really NOT making tables. After years of going through the same routine the apprentice built his table; a piece of plywood he found in the scrap wood pile out back with four pieces of scrap wood legs drilled into the plywood.  It was not very attractive or functional, and very weak.
The second one thought, “I need to understand more precisely what the Master wants so I can build Him something that is what He is looking for.”  So apprentice number two went to the same weekly sessions for one hour, he listened very attentively, looking in his instruction manual, taking notes.  Every day when he got up he spoke with his Master, asked Him questions, and read the manual the Master left him.  He would read about and listen to other apprentices who went through the program.  He talked to other table builders discussing the intricacies of fine carpentry, then checked it with his manual.  Day after day he thought about his Master and the table He desired.  After many years of studying the art of table making, something unexpected happened; he built a great relationship with his Master and grew to love Him as a Father and Brother.  The apprentice genuinely wanted to make Him something that expressed himself and his love for his Master.  He took his time each day and was able to build the table; a fine piece of woodwork made from the rarest woods, intricately put together with finely placed joints, with detailed carvings down the legs and a finely inlaid table top. He finished it off with the finest wood oils he could find. The result was truly a thing of beauty!
One apprentice was only in the program for something to do and never really followed the Master; he was enslaved to his own desires and put forth a product that was not what it could have been.  The other apprentice loved and followed his Master and was free to make a beautiful table.
What is a true disciple of Christ?  A Christian disciple is one who truly loves the heavenly Father, one who follows the commands and teachings of their Master Carpenter Jesus Christ, recognizes the indwelling Holy Spirit and with heart-felt desire longs to live a life of relationship to God…Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

REFLECT:  Do you truly want to be a disciple of Christ? Do you desire to love God? To follow Christ and His Word because you love Him?  To deny yourself for a greater relationship with God? To sacrifice for the Lord out of your love for Him and to give everything in love for God?  To truly desire love for others in the church with the true “agape” unconditional, altruistic love of Christ?
REPENT:  Change your ways.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discipline yourself to be a loving disciple of Jesus Christ…one who is under the teaching, and follows the precepts and instructions of Jesus your master, building a Holy Spirit inspired superb table out of love for him.
RESTORE:  Jesus wants nothing less for your life than the best!  Being a disciplined disciple will give you the freedom to pursue the God-purposed life prepared for you since the beginning of time! The Christian walk (being a disciple of Christ) is one of a loving relationship with God, in the guidance, council, and power of the Holy Spirit, walking in the loving obedience exemplified by Jesus, to do the will of the Father.
Acts 13:52  And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Tom Bellhy