Last week, we talked about the importance of loving your neighbor as a disciple. A disciple is to be F.A.T – faithful, available, and teachable.
Learn more about the attitudes of a disciple in this week’s podcast.
Note: Below is a transcription of this week’s podcast. Please excuse any grammatical or punctuation flaws, as the transcription is a written version of our fluid conversation.
Pauly [00:00:07] Welcome to walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller. Join our conversation as we discuss practical ways to apply spiritual principles to your everyday life and help you walk your talk. One step at a time.
Alan [00:00:29] This is Alan Heller and we’re walking our talk today. Paul is here, too.
Pauly [00:00:33] Hello.
Alan [00:00:34] Great to have you here in the studio, always. And I’d like to read you from a classic Oswald Chambers. “Utmost for his highest building for eternity, for which of you intending to build a tower, sit it now down first and count the cost, whether he has sufficient to finish it.” That’s Luke, 19:28.
Alan [00:01:00] Our Lord refers not to a cost we have to count. But to a cost which he is counted. The cost was those 30 years in Nazareth, those three years of popularity, scandal and hatred. The deep, unfathomable agony in Get Simone and the onslaught at Calvary. The pivot upon which the whole of time and eternity turns. Jesus Christ has counted the cost. Men are not going to laugh at him, at last, and say this man began to build and has not able to finish the conditions of discipleship laid down by our Lord in verses 26 and 27 and 33 mean that the men and women he is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom he has done everything. If any man come to me and hate not, he cannot be my disciple. Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in the building enterprises are those who love Him passionately and personally and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they are glorious. All that we build is going to be inspected by God. Is God going to detect in His searching fire that we have built on the foundation of Jesus some enterprise of our own? These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God. And therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes over for us, his enterprises, his building schemes entirely. And no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put.
Pauly [00:03:02] Wow, that’s really great. You know, I think about how I like watching these shows on home and garden television network. And there’s this one show called Love It or List It. And the challenge is for somebody to make their home more livable for them. Maybe they started out in a house that had two bedrooms and their kitchen is really small. And now they have two children and they’re running out of space. And so they hire this woman to come in and say, well, I can make your home what you want it to be. How much money do you have for me to spend to redesign and reconfigure your home? And they’ll say, well, we’re going to give you this much money. And then they have a man who goes out looking for another house and they’ll tell him, well, we have a budget of this much money. And then this woman is working on remodeling their home, giving them another bathroom, and she runs into an issue and she says, well, we need to give you a new roof or structurally your house will do this. And they’re saying, well, we just want you to spend to do everything we asked you to do, but you can’t spend any more money than when we’ve given you. And then at the end of their time, she says, well, with the money you gave me, I could do this for you and I could do this for you. But I couldn’t give you that – whatever it was – that you wanted because you weren’t willing to spend any more money. Sometimes they get upset with her. Well, counting the cost. Yeah. If you’re not willing to invest everything that you that it’s going to cost you, then the results are going to be less than what you expect or what you desire. You have to be willing to give God everything and to make the sacrifices necessary in order to live the life that’s fully pleasing to him.
Alan [00:05:23] Good. So we’re talking about attitudes of a disciple, teachable, servant, faithful, heart for God. And the next one we have is humble that there you know, James says, “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due season.” And of course, somebody has said everybody likes to think of themself as a servant until people start treating you like one. Everybody is not real humble when they get asked to do something they never wanted to do. I remember Josh McDaniels saying he was all excited about being a part of Campus Crusade. And then they was working at Arrowhead Springs, which at that time was the headquarters in California. And there his first assignment was to clean out the toilets. And he did not have a very good attitude at that time. But it was a part of him learning to humble himself and do whatever he was supposed to do so he could do what he wanted to do in the future. And, of course, he has spoken to literally hundreds of thousands of students around the country and has a worldwide ministry. And it all started with him humbling himself to do what he was asked to do by the people in authority. And I think that’s a pretty big issue. I don’t have this down on my notes, but being under authority, I think that’s a very difficult thing for our culture, especially in America, to understand, because we, again, demand our rights. We’re so into self and rights that humility and being a gentleman or a lady can be very difficult because we are demanding our rights. So, another characteristic would be meek. And we had a pastor, Darryl at Scottsdale Bible that used to say meekness is not weakness, it’s power under control. And certainly, Jesus demonstrated that he had a lot of power, but it was under the control of the Holy Spirit. And I think many times with us and as we look at disciples or being a disciple, we need to know whether we have the fruit of the spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. And the last one is self-control, which really means Christ control. And so people say you can’t measure that. I think you can measure very easily. Hey, if you’re getting upset most of the time and losing your temper or all that sort of thing, that’s not under control. And so we can work on those things and get others to help us. The next one is being a God pleaser rather than a man pleaser or a self pleaser. And of course, that’s, you know, love the Lord, your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and then love your neighbor as yourself. Be diligent. That’s not automatic. We have to work at it. And as you talked about in a previous podcast, that as an athlete, I mean, I can’t tell you how many bruises on my shins trying to do this thing called a Stutz, which is a half turn on the parallel bars where you swing your body up and let go and then you come around on the other side. And the first hundred times, all I could do is get my knees and shins crashing on the bars and just going down. I’ll never gget it. I’ll never get it. And then finally, one day I did it and I went, Oh, my God. It didn’t hurt. So and back handsprings learning them. One of the things in a back handspring, you have to learn to be off balance and then be able to push off the ground so you can do your flip and not land on your head. And so I think our coauthor in the Trust book, Ed Delph, talks about and unless the pain exceeds the gain, probably aren’t going to change much of the pain of landing on my head. Definitely course, that does explain some things that I’ve thought about. So being diligent and then a heart for people, how can you be a disciple and not love people? And of course, first, John says, How can you love God who you cannot see? If you don’t love the people around you whom you can see. So loving people. Lucy, I think or Charlie Brown in one of the Peanuts cartoons says, you know, “I love” I don’t know. He says “I love people, but humanity, I can’t stand” or something.
Pauly [00:10:20] I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.
Alan [00:10:23] So a big word humanity. It’s just people, I can’t stand. Jesus was with people practically all the time, constantly interrupted. If you read the gospels, you see he’s got a woman with an issue of blood. He’s got a blind person. He knows the lane and the guy who’s been thirty two or thirty five years at the pool at the Seita. And he says, what do you want? And the guy says, I want to be healed. But everybody gets in front of me and jumps in the water before me. And this is a story where the waters get troubled or stirred up and people were getting healed. And he’s been sitting there and he says and Jesus says, just get up and get in there. And he finally is healed.
Pauly [00:11:06] I think of these stories about Jesus where people would come up to him. The gospel writer will make the comment: Jesus looked at him and loved him, or he looked at them and felt compassion for them, knowing that what they were asking him to do would require for them to make sacrifices that they didn’t understand that they were going to have to make.
Alan [00:11:37] Like the rich young ruler. I mean, here, Jesus, said sell all you have. And he couldn’t do that right, because that was so important to him.
Pauly [00:11:46] Right. But he didn’t say that because he didn’t love him. It was exactly the opposite. He looked at him and he loved him, but he challenged him as a would-be disciple. He challenged him in the part that he knew is going to be the hardest for him. And that’s what being a disciple is. It’s not doing the things that you already know how to do well, it’s not doing the things that come naturally to you. You don’t need to be disciple. And in being good at the things you’re already good at. It’s looking at your weaknesses and giving those over to God and letting him have control of those things so that he can show you so that he can work those out in your life.
Alan [00:12:38] So another one is availability. Somebody has coined the phrase, I think when we were in crusade F.A.T, are you looking for F.A.T people, faithful, available and teachable? Right. So availability available means that sometimes there’ll be interruptions. And that’s what God wants you to do and you need to be willing to see your life interrupted in order to minister to people. So there’s a love for people and availability. A transparency. I know in our group that we have on Thursday nights, my goal is to try and when I ask people to be transparent in the group, I try and start off with something that I’m transparent about in my life or weakness or you know, I remember sometimes saying to our home group, I just am bushed. I couldn’t get to the lesson. It was just a bad week for me – will you pray for me? Or calling somebody in the middle of a week and just saying, I just can’t lead this study this week, would you mind doing that for me? And the willingness to be vulnerable and transparent with your disciple. I remember Howard Hendricks, who was a big influence on my life, who used to be the head of the Christian Education Department at Dallas Seminary. And he used to say, the people see me, the students see me as I am. They don’t see all the mistakes I made to get where I am. And so he intentionally would share something about what he did that was just a mistake. And so they they’d go, oh, Prof. You know, we thought you did everything perfectly because, you know, the way you teach and everything that you do is just so. And he would share some of the blow ups that he had as a young disciple. We’ll talk about actions. So let me just review these the attitudes: teachable, being a servant, being faithful, having a heart for God, being humble, meek, being a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser, or being diligent, having a heart for people, being available to people, having transparency to those who you’re ministering to. We’re going to say something? You look like you were.
Pauly [00:15:00] Well, I think part of transparency. It is what you were just saying. People see us functioning in the areas of our spiritual gifting. And of course, when we are functioning with the power of the Holy Spirit in the areas of our spiritual gifting, they’re seeing God really working through us. And they might think, wow, this person has it all together or this person always does everything right. It’s like, no, what you’re seeing really is Christ at work in me. This is not me. Don’t get me mixed up with Christ working through me, because if you think this is me, you’re going to be really disappointed in me. You just need to see that when I am teaching and my spiritual gift is teaching you, what you’re seeing is Christ working in me. But if you see me hosting something, trying to make flower arrangements or trying to comfort somebody when it’s not Christ working in me and I don’t have that gift, you’re going to see me and all my weaknesses and I’m going to let you down because it’s not me. What you need to see is that this is Christ working in me, and I need to be honest with you. I have lots of weaknesses. So you need to know that as a disciple, you need to know that I’m not perfect and I will let you down.
Alan [00:16:42] So something I haven’t done in the past couple of podcasts is just tell you if you want to email us, [email protected] And if you want to interact with us or ask a question, feel free to do that and we’ll try and answer it on a podcast in the future. If you want to get any materials from walk and talk. Just go to walkandtalk.org. So now we’re gonna talk about some actions and we’re almost to the end of our time, but we have a few minutes here. Actions that show that you are a real disciple. And also, what are the actions or deterrents? What are the things that stop you in your tracks? I remember the gal that led me to the Lord came from a Mormon background. She was just an unbelievably excited Christian and she shared Christ with me. She said, you know, you eat my oatmeal cookies, now you’re gonna have to go to this Christian fellowship meeting. And I was my freshman year at college and I just said, okay, if I have to go to your meeting, do I get to go with you? And so she was a pretty girl. I kept talking to her, the manager of the gymnast the team came in the door with a Bible in his hand. Girlfriend with a bible in her hand. I couldn’t believe Mike was one of these people, too, just like Ginger, crazy talking about Jesus and now he could change my life and do this for me and that for me. And but I ended up spending a couple of hours with Mike and coming to know the Lord. And it was an unbelievable experience. And one of the things that Mike said to me and I’ve said this in a previous podcast is that people will let you down. But God will never let you down. And here one of the actions that stopped Ginger was by the end of our senior by her senior year. She did not have a marriage partner. And so she ended up going back to the guy that she knew from Alaska and ended up marrying that guy who was a Mormon and went back to Mormonism and totally recanted her faith. And those words that Mike had said to me, “people will let you down, but God will never let you down”, came back to me and the Lord was asking me, are you going to let Ginger’s life get in the way of you being my disciple and following me? And I chose Him or the guy who led me to the Lord. He had an affair with his secretary, and he was interested in pleasing man more than pleasing God and his own appetite. And then I had another close person that I shared Christ with right after I came to know the Lord, and he read dedicated his life, but he got all involved with business and stopped going to church because he was too busy with business. So what will stop you from being a disciple? It’s selfishness. Is it that my heart isn’t really given over to God? Because God says he only gives good gifts to his children. And so even though it may be painful, even though something may not feel right to you, if it’s in God’s word and he’s bringing it about, you want to be able to follow him and follow what the word says more than what your appetites are. Actions that show a real disciple – you’re hearer of the word and a doer. You’re both. You hear it and do it. And James says, don’t just be a hearer of the word, but be a doer as well. And we’re going to talk more about discipleship and what it takes to be a disciple in the context of disciples in the completion of the process, how to become a full-orbed disciple. And we’re excited about talking about this subject and walking our talk. And we hope you are, too.
Pauly [00:20:48] This has been walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller, where we put into action those principles we know from God’s word one step at a time. You can find more help at our web site, walkandtalk.org.