The latter part of the twentieth and early part of the twenty-first century is a fascinating time to be alive. Knowledge is expanding at a phenomenal rate. Things that were undreamed of in science fiction 50-70 years ago are commonplace today. There has never been a time when travel is so easy, when comfort is so great (for some), and when education and entertainment is so widespread and readily available. And yet, the beginning of thre twenty-first century is a terrifying time to live. Never has man's cruelty to man been so great and so devastating as in this century and the last. Never has starvation stared so many millions in the face. Never has the threat of global destruction hung so vividly over the world. If you ask them privately, many of the world's leaders are far from optimistic about its survival for more than a few decades. Some years ago those great thinkers, Russel and Einstein, went on record as saying that, "We have found that the men who know the most are the most despairing". And people feel it at all levels in society. Something has gone wrong. The artists among us feel it within the depths of their being. Ernest Hemmingway, the celebrated writer, wrote, "I live in a vacuum as lonely as a radio when the batteries are dead." The 'king' of rock 'n roll, Elvis Presley, was interviewed shortly before his death. The interviewer said to him, "Elvis, when you started in music you said you wanted three things: to be rich, to be famous, and to be happy. You sure are rich and famous. Are you happy, Elvis?" "No," came the reply. "I am miserable, and lonely as hell." Six weeks later he was dead.
The famous feel much the same. Raquel Welch, the actress, reflected, "I had acquired everything I wanted as a child -- wealth, fame, accomplishment in my career, I had beautiful children, and a lifestyle that seemed terrific. Yet I was totally and miserably unhappy." Howard Hughes, at one time the richest man in the world, was plagued with suspicion and loneliness. Money certainly did not bring him happiness. Even enduring heart-throb Robert Redford was aware of it: "All my life I've been dogged by guilt, because I feel that there is this difference between the way I look, which I suppose is good, and how I feel inside."
Philosophers often reflect the same sentiments. One of the most perceptive was Jean-Paul Sartre, the outstanding spokesman of Existentialism which has so influenced Western thought since World War Two. He drew the rigorous conclusions of his atheism: "Every existing being is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance...When you realise that, it turns your stomach over and everything starts floating about." The Nobel Prizewinner Jacques Monod was very blunt. He believed there was no God, and therefore no purpose in the world. We are simply the results of blind chance. "Our number came up in the Monte Carlo game."
The humorists see it too. Often the funny men are very sad men deep down. Woody Allen, the prince of humorists, saw modern man, adrift and alone in the cosmos. "More than at any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to extinction. Contemporary man finds himself in the midst of a crisis of faith. We have no spiritual centre."
True enough, is it not? We have no spiritual centre. As Richard Conway, a leading Australian psychiatrist put it, "We have, in parts of Melbourne, the highest barbiturate dependence in the world, the highest suicide rate among young males, the highest declared rate of rape in the world, while one in four women and one in ten men are suffering from depression. Australians have everything, and yet they have nothing to live for."
That's just the trouble. We have no spiritual centre. We have nothing to live for.
If this is true, the only logical response is despair. Yet many of us feel that there must be some meaning to life, even though we don't know what it is. "Everybody's got a hungry heart," sang Bruce Springsteen. Could it be that there is a God-shaped blank in our hearts which nothing else can satisfy? Could it be that the good news of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) really is good news? Could it be that the heart of our problems lies in our refusal to allow Him to have any significant impact on our lives? The ancient world was transformed within a couple of generations when a bunch of very ordinary fishermen responded to the call of Yah'shua (Jesus): "Come, follow Me." Would it work today?
Where does Yah'shua (Jesus) fit in?
1. Is Christianity True?
The Christian claim is so stupendous that at times we feel it cannot be true, and at no time do these doubts afflict us more than when the challenge to decision is gnawing away at us. Is it true that there is a God, the source of both the universe and of the people who inhabit it? Is it true that he made us to love Him and enjoy Him forever? Is it true that He cared to much about us in our self-centredness and wilfulness that He took pains to reveal Himself through the history and prophets of Israel, and, most amazing of all, that He came in person to seek us out when really we did not want to know Him at all? Is it true that "No-one has ever seen God, but the Only Begotten, who is at the Father's side and made Him known"?  Has He?
Is it true that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate in order "to save His people from their sins"? Is it true that He rose triumphantly from the grave and is alive for evermore? Are these things true?
Fortunately we are not left to mere speculation on such important matters. There is strong evidence that Yah'shua (Jesus) not only lived and died but was much more than man. There is strong evidence that He rose from the dead. And those are the two linchpins of Christianity. Take them away, and you have nothing distinctively Christian left. But once grant that Yah'shua (Jesus) is divine as well as human, once admit that he did break the death barrier, and then you will have to make a decision as He confronts you in all His love and challenge and says, "Come, follow me."
What, you may ask, is the evidence that Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Son of God? In a nutshell it is this.
But did He rise again? Here again we are fortunately not left to blind faith. The evidence is very strong. Actually, no event in the whole of ancient history is so well attested as the resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) from the dead. First, let us be clear that He really was dead: the separated clot and serum which emerged from His side when pierced by a lance after His crucifixion prove that . He was dead alright. But within three days people we sure that He was alive again!  There are four strands of evidence which, taken together, provide an immensely strong rope.
- First, His character was unique: nobody before or since has had such an influence for so long on so many people all over the world and transformed their lives.
- Second, His teaching was supreme. It is the best and greatest teaching that has ever been offered to mankind.
- Third, His life was a moral miracle. He not only taught the highest standards that have ever been taught by anyone -- He kept them. He had all the virtues known to mankind and none of the vices.
- Fourth, He fulfilled the expectation of ancient scriptures written many hundreds of years before His birth. His whole life and teaching, the manner of His birth and death, His suffering and achievement, His resurrection and impact were all predicted or hinted at in the Old Testament. Never in the history of the world have so many strands of prediction come together to point to one individual. He must indeed be special.
- Fifth, He had abilities beyond those of human beings. Every strand of evidence about Yah'shua (Jesus), in the Gospels and outside them, brings before us a figure who had power over nature, power to heal without any failure rate, power to bind and throw out evil forces that grip human beings, and power to rise from the dead. There is simply no evidence for a non-miraculous Yah'shua (Jesus). Those miracles are pointers to who He is: they are visible claims.
- That brings us to the sixth piece of evidence, the claims of Yah'shua (Jesus). Though He cheerfully lived in poverty, though His recorded words and actions breathe love and humility, yet He made claims such as no man has ever made. He claimed to forgive people their sins. He claimed to have the right to accept worship. He claimed that on the day of judgment our destiny would be determined by our relationship to Himself . What do you make of such claims like that? They certainly mean we can't class Him as just a good man and a fine teacher, do they not?
- The seventh piece is, of course, the death and resurrection of Yah'shua (Jesus). Nobody has died to such effect. No death in history has so captured the imagination and devotion of mankind. But equally, nobody in history has ever risen from the grave. If that is true, it is the most powerful vindication of who Yah'shua (Jesus) is that we could possibly ask for.
But the best way of sorting out whether or not it is true is this. Get hold of a good translation of the New Testament, and settle down with an open mind to read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. One Gospel is likely to be enough to convince you. These books have the ring of truth about them. They are written by men of the first generation who came to faith themselves and they give you the grounds on which they did so. If you are in doubt whether the story is true, face up to the evidence, and best of all, breathe a prayer, "O Elohim (God), if you exist, please show me if this is true. If I am convinced, I am prepared to come and follow Yah'shua (Jesus)." That will show that you are sincere, and will lay you open to the possibility that it may be true, without prejudging the outcome. It is an experiment well worth making.
First, Yah'shua (Jesus) appeared, alive to followers, to friends, to five hundred people at once. These included His brothers who did not previously believe in Him .
- Second, the tomb was empty. Only the graveclothes were left behind, like a chrysalis case once the butterfly has emerged .
- Third, the emssianic community (church) was born. It can be traced back to that first resurrection day. They had nothing to differentiate themselves from the Jews apart from this assurance that Yah'shua (Jesus) was the Son of God, and that even death had not sufficed to hold Him down .
- Fourth, lives were changed. Cowardly disciples who had run away became bold as brass, opponents became convinced, and the gospel went all over the known world, transforming the lives of men and women as it did so. The marvel of it is that lives are still changed. And when people are willing to come and follow Him, they find that he is indeed alive and able to transform them.
But perhaps your question is not "Is it true?" but "Does it matter?"
2. Does it matter?
The plain truth is Yes, it does matter. It is true that God cares for you enough to come and die for you and rise again in order to share your life with you, then of course it matters.
It matters to Him. You must be very precious to Him or He would not have bothered to come to his earth for you. And He certainly would not have gone to the cross for you. But He did. He willingly endured that most cruel of deaths. The apostle Paul, reflecting on the meaning of that death, exclaimed "The Son of Elohim (God) loved me, and gave Himself for me" . But He did not die as a martyr. He did not even die to show us how much God cared about us -- after all, to allow Yah'shua (Jesus) to be crucified would be an odd way for God to show His love. No, He had an appointment with death on that terrible day. He went there to do a job. A job that nobody else could undertake. He went there to take responsibility for the failures and sins and sheer evil that everyone in the world has done. He Himself said He came to give His life a ransom for many . Nobody put it more clearly than the apostle Peter:
We will never be able to plumb the depths of what it cost Him to wipe our slate clean, to underwrite out debts, and cleanse the stains from our lives. But we can be sure of this: it matters to Him above all else that we get right with God. He went to unspeakable lengths to make it possible.
"Messiah died for sins, once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to Elohim (God)" .
It matters to you. You need the pardon He can offer, for you will find it nowhere else. You need the power He can give in your life. You will get that nowhere else, either. You need the relationship with God which He can bring you into. If you do not find it, you will stay "without hope and without Elohim (God) in the world" .
It matters to other people. All around us society is crying out for people who care, who are unselfish and generous, self-disciplined and honest, people who can offer a taste of new wine to the jaded palate of our world. I cannot do that on my own, can you? But that is precisely what Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) wants to do with those who will come and follow Him. He wants to make us into His disciples, His pupils. He wants to bind us into a sort of counter-culture, a band of those who know and love Him and find Him the inspiration of all their relationships with other people. It matters enormously whether or not we respond to the call of Christ. It is vitally important for His sake, for our own, and for the sake of those we will meet and influence -- for the rest of our lives. And it even matters after that. Because one day we shall have to meet Him. There will be no absentees, no atheists then. The issue will be, do we or do we not know Him?
It is not enough to go to church or a messianic synagogue. It is not enough to be spiritual. We need to know Yah'shua (Jesus). Actually, "This is eternal life, to know Him, the only true Elohim (God), and Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), whom you have sent" . It matters all right.
"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers"'" 
3. Would It Make Any Difference?
It would make a lot of difference. It might make a difference to whom you marry or what your career will be. It will certainly make a difference to the way you handle money and sex, suffering and priorities. It will change the way you relate to other people.
The biggest difference of all will be that you will discover that Yah'shua (Jesus) is alive and is with you all day long. That makes a tremendous difference. It means His qualities are available for you, if you ask Him for them. "Master, give me your patience," you pray under your breath, as that 'phone goes the twentieth time. "Master, I am afraid, give me your courage." And the marvelous thing is that He does. His great aim in taking us on as His disciples is not just to teach us from the outside, like any good teacher would, but actually to come into our lives and live out His life in us. This can be very hard to grasp, but mercifully it is not hard to experience. Once we ask Him to come by His Holy Spirit (His unseen self, if you like to think of it that way) into our lives, that is precisely what He does. He has promised as much as He will keep His word . Gradually, you will find yourself changing. It does not happen overnight. It does not mean an over-ruling of your own will -- you can resist Him if you will and He will not compel you. But over the years you will begin to resemble Christ . It will be a case of "It is not just I who live, but Messiah lives in me, and the life I live in the body I live by trusting the Son of Elohim (God), who loved me and gave Himself for me" . Isn't that a marvelous prospect? You won't notice it so much, but others will. If you like to think of Him as your managing director, it will be as if you become -- all unconsciously -- His personal representative.
4. What Would It Cost?
Well, there is a cost to everything in life that is worth having. And Christian discipleship is no exception. One wise man put it like this: "The entrance fee to the Christian life is nothing at all -- but the annual subscription is everything you've got." The cost of our salvation was paid by Yah'shua (Jesus) on the cross. In that sense it is totally free for us, and some people never come to Messiah because they are too proud to accept a gift. But once you do respond to that challenge of Yah'shua (Jesus), you will find yourself caught up in being His disciple and part of His people.
It will cost you your sins. To repent means to turn your back on the things that you know to be wrong. It does not mean you will never slip into them again, but it does mean you have deliberately changed direction. You cannot rid yourself of your failings. If you could, you would not need Christ so much. Christ can rid you of them. But you have to let Him. You cannot both have Yah'shua (Jesus) as your Saviour and hold on to the sins from which He wants to set you free.
It will cost you your self-centredness. He becomes Master and you become talmid (disciple). Not easy, especially if you are the independent type. But it makes sense, does it not? After all, He knows you inside out. He knows what is best for you and He knows where you best fit into His good purposes. So why not trust Him and put yourself without reserve into His hands? You will often have an argument with Him about it and want to withdraw some of that initial surrender. But are you willing in principle to say, "Master, come and take over the whole of my life. I want to be yours for good and all"? That is what He longs for. And in that surrender, curiously enough, you will find perfect freedom. For you are not handing yourself over to church authorities or some particular lifestyle but to a very special person -- one who lives in you and loves you and who will never wrong or harm you. He is trustworthy.
It will also cost you your secrecy. How we love to think that our religion is our own affair and that it is something we don't talk about! Well, Yah'shua (Jesus) knocked that myth on its head. He said that if we did not acknowledge Him before our fellow men He would not acknowledge us before His heavenly Father . He wants us to be like a candle on a candlestick, not stuck under a table . Yah'shua (Jesus) always seems to have called men and women openly to decision and discipleship. It is good for you, actually. It helps to nail the colours to the mast. Who ever heard of being a soldier and yet being ashamed to wear the uniform? Right, then, you are called to be a soldier of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) in a pretty hostile world  You'll have to put on the uniform. You won't be able to keep it quiet. After all, what use is a secret talmid (disciple) to Yah'shua (Jesus)?
So it will be costly to come and follow Him. Make no mistake about it. But it is costly to say no to His call. Make no mistake about that either. Yah'shua (Jesus) constantly reminded His hearers that they would have to live with the consequences of the decision they made about Him. He invites all and sundry to the great banquet of the Christian life, but He tells us in that same story that the door was shut on those who rejected His invitation . It is very costly to reject Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ); costly in this life and costly in the life to come. Oh, you say, that's a bit hard. Not at all. Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, makes complete provision for us to come into His presence, forgiven, cleansed, and all at His expense. If we reject the means He has provided, how can we presume on His mercy? If we spit in His eye and spurn His love, we have only ourselves to blame if we miss what He so generously offers us.
5. How Could I Be Sure?
Many people ask themselves this: if I did respond to the call to come and follow Messiah (Christ), how could I know He had accepted me? On the other hand, there are lots of people who feel "It would be arrogant to know, we aren't meant to be sure". It certainly would be arrogant to say we were sure we are Christians if becoming a Christian was a great achievement which we did by ourselves. Who could possibly claim to be good enough? But the marvelous thing is that "It is by grace you have been saved, through emunah (faith, trusting) -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim (God) -- not by works, so that no-one can boast" . In other words, we are accepted by Elohim (God) as a result of His free love (grace - undeserved loving kindness) which brought Him to deal with our estrangement on the cross. We are not accepted by Him because of anything whatsoever that we do. We cannot earn membership of His family. It is an act of supreme grace on His part. We can only accept it and say 'Thank you'. One great modern theologian put it like this: "You must accept the fact that God accepts you -- even though, in yourself, you are not utterly acceptable". Would you adopt a child into your family and not mean that child to know he belongs? Would you give someone a car and not mean them to know it is theirs? Of course not! Well, neither does Yahweh. In fact, one of the supreme reasons why Yahweh gives us His Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) in our hearts when we accept Messiah's call to come and follow Him is to make sure we belong. It is the Ruach haQodesh's (Holy Spirit's) job to give us that assurance. "The Ruach (Spirit)...testifies with our spirit that we are Elohim's (God's) children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of Elohim (God) and co-heirs with Messiah (Christ)" .
That sounds good, but how does the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) make us sure? Here are some of the ways the presence of the Ruach (Spirit) is gradually . There's a whole list of them in the first letter of John:
John sums it up in a lovely way. He says, in effect, 'If you believe a man when he gives you his word about something, how much more believe Elohim (God). If you don't, you are calling Him a liar. And this is what Elohim (God) has said. "He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life" '. Simple, is it not? Whether you do or do not have spiritual life depends on whether you have or have not responded to the call to come, follow Yah'shua (Jesus). If you have Him and He has you -- then you have eternal life. Not will have. You have. Elohim (God) guarantees it. For His eternal life is all wrapped up in Yah'shua (Jesus). If you have Yah'shua (Jesus) you already have a life with Elohim (God) that will last for ever. Not surprisingly, therefore, John concludes, "I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of Elohim (God) so that you may know that you have eternal life" . Do you know it? You are meant to. It's a gift. Take it and say a big 'thank you'.
- There's a new sense of pardon -- a wonderful sense that we are clean. "If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence -- Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins" .
- There's a new desire to please Elohim (God). Previously I did not much care whether I pleased Him or not. Now I begin to care very much. I don't want to hurt the one I have begun to love. "This is how we know we are in Him: whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yah'shua (Jesus) did" .
- There's a new attitude to other people. "Anyone who does not so what is right is not a child of Elohim (God); neither is anyone who does not love his brother...If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" .
- There's a new appreciation of Christian fellowship. "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers" . John is speaking of brother Christians. They may have seemed a strange bunch previously, but once we have responded to Yah'shua's (Jsus') call we begin to find ourselves actually longing to be with them, to learn from them and to encourage one another. Birds of a feather flock together.
- There's a new power over evil. "No-one who lives in Him keeps on sinning". How is this possible? Because "the one who is in you is greater than the one (Satan) who is in the world" . John means that the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) lives inside the believer, and is stronger than the forces of evil to which we are so prone.
- There's a new joy and confidence. Not that believers don't have to go through times of sadness and pain. They do. But there is an underlying joy which comes from fellowship with the Master and His people. It comes out in the first few verses of this letter where John writes, "We write this to make our joy complete" .
- There's a new experience of answered prayer. Prayer is no longer talking to oneself, no longer a ritual to which we have ceased to expect any answer. Messiah crucified and risen has broken through the sound barrier of sin and alienation, and prayer begins to become companionship with Elohim (God). We share things with Him and begin to find answers coming. "This is the assurance we have in approaching Elohim (God): if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we asked of Him" . We do not always get what we ask, needless to say. But we do have the assurance of being heard.
6. How Do I Begin?
On your knees! There can be no other way. Once you realise that Almighty Elohim (God) cares enough for you to come and die for you, and that He invites you into His company, into His very family -- why, there can only be one response. Like Thomas in the gospels, once he met the risen Messiah, we will fall down and say, "My Master and my Elohim (God)!" . We commit ourselves to Him. We enlist in His army. We join His school of talmidim (disciples). We put our case in the hands of the Great Physician. Like the first talmidim (disciples) who responded to the call to Yah'shua (Jesus) to come and follow Him, we leave our nets, the priorities that have engrossed us for so long, and we take the plunge of commitment.
Do you say, "I don't know how to come"? It is not difficult. You come just as you are, without trying to patch yourself up first. You come without delay -- procrastination can be the thief of not only time but of eternity. You come simply and directly, and you say something like this:
It is very humbling -- and very decisive -- to pray a prayer like that. But if you do, and if you mean it, I can assure you that a wonderful thing will happen. You see, if you will come to Him, He says He will come to you. There is a famous verse in the Bible that has helped millions to come and follow Yah'shua (Jesus). It runs like this: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me" .
"Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), I am sorry that I have been out of touch with You for so long. I am moved that You should have loved me enough to go to the cross for me. I believe that You are alive and are calling me to come and follow You. I realise it is a commitment for life that You are looking for. And here and now I repent of my sins, and I come to You, the best way I know how, and will obey your mitzvot (commandments). Please take me on as one of Your talmidim (disciples). Amen."
That is the offer of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) Himself. It is as if our life was a house. He says He is willing to come and share it with us if only we will ask Him in. And the marvelous thing is that this in no figure of speech. Because when we come in repentance and trust to offer our lives to Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), then He does come in to us, by His unseen presence, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), and that is what makes a person a Christian. I may have been baptised and confirmed. I may believe the Christian faith. I may go to church or a messianic synagogue and live a good life. But if I have not opened my life up to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and asked Yah'shua (Jesus) to come in to me, then I am not yet a Christian or Messianic in the full sense of that word. "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah in him, he is not a Christian" . So said the apostle Paul, and he should know!
That is where it all begins. As you in humility and gratitude utter a prayer of surrender to the loving Messiah who has been longing for this day, so He comes into your very being and promises, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" . It is basically very simply. If you will come to Him, He will come to you. And there is no possibility that He will throw you out. "Whoever comes to Me," He promises, "I will never drive away" . So you are safe with Him. And you will find that nothing less than a new life has begun, a life where you are in Messiah and He is in you. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" .
That's how you begin. It is very humbling, but we all have to begin at the beginning, and the beginning is when we come and give in to Yah'shua (Jesus). It may be that you are not sure whether or not you have made the commitment. Very well, do it now and make sure. Tell Him how you feel:
"Master, I am really not sure where I stand about this. But I do hear Your call to me to come and follow You, and I now come to You whole-heartedly to be Your faithful soldier and servant for the rest of my life." There may have been some sort of pencilled commitment in the past. Right -- ink it in!
7. What Next?
Yah'shua (Jesus) did not only say, "Come." He said, "Follow Me." He is not only interested in your decision, but in your discipleship. What are the first steps in that life of discipleship? Here are five fairly basic ones:
And remember, you aren't alone. He has promised, "Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." . Claim it and enjoy it, daily.
- a. You need to go public. As we have seen, it will not do to settle for secret discipleship. We need to let it be known. At home our lives are likely to be the most eloquent testimony -- the family knows us too well to be impressed by words alone! But we do need to "confess with the mouth that Yah'shua (Jesus) is Master" as well as believe in the heart . So find someone to tell today of the step you have taken. And if you have not been baptised, remember that for Christians/Messianics it is the badge of belonging . Go and see your pastor about it.
- b. You need to spend time with the Master. That is essential to all discipleship. That means setting time aside every day for prayer. It helps to pray with someone else who has been at it a bit longer. But mercifully we need not depend on that. The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is given to help us in our praying . You will find that prayer becomes a joy. It is a wonderful way of sharing experiences with Yahweh. Your prayers will not all be asking for things. Praise, gratitude, confession and sheer adoration will become important parts of prayer. No Christian ever grew without prayer.
- c. You need to read the Master's instructions. That is an essential part of being a talmid (disciple). You will find those instructions, along with much encouragement and spiritual nourishment, in the Bible and in the testimony of His apostles. But the Bible is a big and difficult book. You will need some help reading it. There are many good scripture aids in print but I would suggest that you start with our "Foundational Studies of the Bible" series . This you can do prayerfully on your own. Here again, if you can study with a more experienced Christian/Messianic, or better still, join in with one of our fellowship study groups, this will be a tremendous help to you, and you will be a great encouragement to the group.
- d. You need to meet the talmidim (disciples). You need the messianic community (church) and the messianic community (church) needs you. Solitary religion is not an option that is open to us. Christianity that does not begin with the individual does not begin. But Christianity that ends with the individual ends! So find your nearest Messianic Evangelical congregation; failing that, find an assembly which teaches sound doctrine and where you are welcomed and fed, and get stuck in. Here again, it helps if there is someone else you can go along with. Try to get into an informal home fellowship: that would be an enormous help to you. Where there may not be a local Messianic Evangelical congregation, you are likely to find a House Fellowship that will be only too eager to welcome you. And make sure that you do not neglect the meal that Yah'shua (Jesus) instructed us to keep as His memorial: the sacrament of the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion/Eucharist) is one of the great ways of growing in the Christian/Messianic life . So start making preparations for your confirmation and the fellowship of the Lord's Supper.
- e. You need to put Him first. He is the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). He is the Master and you are the talmid (disciple). Determine that He shall have the first place in your life, and make the Master's motto your own: "I always do what pleases Him" .