"Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27
Discipleship. This is a word that we often hear in Christian circles. We know that it is an important thing, yet sometimes we do not really truly understand what it is and what we are supposed to do with this. Before Jesus ascended back into heaven, He left some final instructions for His disciples, and consequently, for us as well. He said to them, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
We know that is an important command that Jesus gave to us who are His followers. However, how are we really doing with this? Can we truly say that we are following God’s command, investing our lives in the lives of others, and helping them along in process of drawing closer to Jesus and becoming one of His disciples? Jesus said, that unless we were willing to bear our own cross, to die to ourselves, our sinful desires, our godless, fleshly way of doings things, then we were not truly His disciples. Then He said that we were to help somebody else do this, to help make him or her disciples of Jesus. Jesus commands us to take someone under our belts and challenge them, pour into them, to keep them accountable and to help them along in their spiritual journey as they draw closer to Christ and away from their old lives.
In order to see an example of how discipleship is to be done, we can turn to God’s word and see how Jesus poured into His disciples. He discipled them by doing life with them. He just did not sit down with them and go over some curriculum on a weekly basis expecting to see results. He ate with them, sat with them, listened to them, prayed with and for them, cried with them and laughed with them. He did life on life. He also called them into a community of 12 and 70, and showed them how to love, serve and encourage those in their “church” family. He discipled in the context of a larger community. Lastly, He discipled them by showing them how to keep the mission in mind and how they were supposed to go and make disciples who made more disciples, by equipping and empowering them to go into their world and share the good news. He modeled keeping the mission at the forefront, all the while doing, by doing this in community.
My challenge to all of us: Are we trying to do this, or are we just satisfied with coming to church, maybe attending a Bible study or small group, possibly serving in a ministry once or twice a week, having our personal quiet times and then saying this is enough? On the other hand, are we missing it by not helping fulfill the great commission and great commandment? Jesus said, “Go and make disciples” and, “Love God and love others”. How are we doing with this? If you are not making disciples and loving others towards a deeper relationship with Christ, then pray, repent for not doing this, and then ask God to bring to mind at least one person you can begin to disciple, then take a step of faith and ask to disciple them. We have great material you can use here at the church. Start with 5-Step Follow up or the 9-Week Discipleship curriculum that we have and then...“Go and Make Disciples!”
Posted on Mon, October 14, 2013
by Sam Petitfils