Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples


Our Relationship With God


And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”    Luke 9:23

A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:

1. they are facing only one direction,

2. they can never turn back, and

3. they no longer have plans of their own.

                                                        Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat


I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough.  He has done all we wanted him to do, and we should be obliged if he would leave us alone.  But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what he intended us to be when he made us.

Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is he up to?  The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.

                                                        C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone.  If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to worship God—and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to.  You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not     free from the consequences of that choice.  E. Stanley Jones said, ‘If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.'

                                                        Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life        


Be faithful in your adoration.  To adore is to be drawn away from my own preoccupations into the presence of Jesus.  It means letting go of what I want, desire, and have planned and fully trusting Jesus and his love.

                                                        Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak


When we put it plainly like this--as a direct choice between God and our stuff--most of us hope we would choose God.  But we need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him.  How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?

                                                        Francis Chan, Crazy Love


  • What thing in your life most occupies your thoughts during the day?
  • What areas of your life have you not totally surrendered to Christ?   How do you begin the process of making that happen?
  • Describe how your life is different now that Christ is on the throne of your life.  What changed?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.                     Andrew Murray

Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.     St. Augustine

I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable.  We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves........Scores of people who have positioned their lives on a religious road that makes grandiose promises at minimal cost.  We have been told all that is required is a one-time decision, maybe even mere intellectual assent to Jesus, but after that we need not worry about his commands, his standards, or his glory.  We have a ticket to heaven, and we can live however we want on earth.  Our sin will be tolerated along the way.  Much of modern evangelism today is built on leading people down this road, and crowds flock to it, but in the end it is a road built on sinking sand, and it risks disillusioning millions of souls.  Biblical proclamation of the gospel beckons us to a much different response and leads us down a much different road.  Here the gospel demands and enables us to turn from our sin, to take up our cross, to die to ourselves, and to follow Jesus.  These are the terms and phrases we see in the Bible.  And salvation now consists of a deep wrestling in our souls with the sinfulness of our hearts, the depth of our depravity, and the desperation of our need for his grace.  Jesus is no longer one to be accepted or invited in but one who is infinitely worthy of our immediate and total surrender.    David Platt, Radical

What we now consider to be the highest level of calling in the Christian community was, for Jesus, the basic entry point.  It was to the whole church that Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the ather and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything" (Matthew 28:19-20).....We made a mistake of making heroes out of those who were simply living a normal Christian life.       Erwin McManus, An Unstoppable Force

Nowhere in Scripture do I see a "balanced life with a little bit of God added in" as an ideal for us to emulate.  Yet when I look at our churches, this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives.  People who have, in a sense, asked Him to join them on their life journey, to follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded.  The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before.  The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives.  Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us.  He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true life.    Francis Chan, Forgotten God

verses related to this topic

  • 1 Kings 18:21

    1 Kings 18:21

    Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.

  • Nehemiah 9:6

    Nehemiah 9:6

    You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You.

  • Matthew 4:10

    Matthew 4:10

    Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord Your God, and serve Him only.’”

  • Matthew 6:24

    Matthew 6:24

    “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

  • Matthew 10:38

    Matthew 10:38

    “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

  • Matthew 22:37

    Matthew 22:37

    And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

  • Luke 9:23

    Luke 9:23

    And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

  • 1 Corinthians 8:5-6

    1 Corinthians 8:5-6

    For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17

    2 Corinthians 5:17

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

  • Galatians 2:20

    Galatians 2:20

    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

books related to this topic

  • Holy Sweat

    Holy Sweat

    In Holy Sweat author Tim Hansel gives the ten keys to personal peak performance: start, vision, goals, courage, teamwork, excellence, the ability to fail, perseverance, joy, and giving it all away.

  • The Purpose Driven Life

    The Purpose Driven Life

    The spiritual premise in The Purpose-Driven Life is that there are no accidents---God planned everything and everyone. Therefore, every human has a divine purpose, according to God's master plan. Review by Gail Hudson

  • The Road to Daybreak

    The Road to Daybreak

    The Road to Daybreak is Henri Nouwen’s intimate diary that records the poignant year at L’Arche that began in the summer of 1985, a precious time of inner renewal and self-discovery. With simplicity and honesty, he describes how the experience changed his attitudes and enriched his spiritual life.

  • Mere Christianity

    Mere Christianity

    Mere Christianity is a forceful and accessible doctrine of Christian belief. Lewis rejects the divisions in the Christian world with the clear disclosure of the truth that is in Jesus Christ in a way that demands a response.

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