by Rick Ferguson

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Discipleship: Moving from Consumers to Contributors
Rick Ferguson
Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 16:24-26


QUESTION: Would you agree that we live in an age of great CONSUMERISM? If you have ever traveled outside of the United States you know that the rest of the world sees America as primarily a great CONSUMER nation. The fact is, Americans are not generally loved in the rest of the world because we are seen as fat, greedy, pampered, selfish CONSUMERS.

My generation and younger especially are total consumers. We live, think and act with a total consumer mind-set. My generation moved off the family farm where we were PRODUCERS and migrated to the suburbs where we became total CONSUMERS. The shift in American life from a primarily agrarian culture to a primarily urban culture, was a shift from PRODUCTION to CONSUMPTION.

This is exactly why in the last 20 years, INDUSTRY related jobs have decreased in number while SERVICE related jobs and RETAIL related jobs have soared. All most all new jobs created in the United States in the last 20 years have been in SERVICE INDUSTRY, and RETAIL INDUSTRY, not in PRODUCTION INDUSTRY. Because we have raised two generations of Americans that are total consumers!!

Most new businesses today are SERVICE-PROVIDERS because Americans have become a nation of SERVICE-CONSUMERS.

QUESTION: When Jesus came to earth, did he come as a CONSUMER or a CONTRIBUTOR?

Jesus defined his own role, mission and mind-set when he told his disciples.

Mark 10:45 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.''

It is pretty clear that Jesus did not come to earth as a CONSUMER but as a CONTRIBUTOR. And when Jesus reproduces His life in you, he transforms you from being a TOTAL CONSUMER to being a TOTAL CONTRIBUTOR. And this is what the whole process of discipleship is all about. It is about being totally transformed in your thinking and attitudes. It is moving ...

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