A Disciple is one who models and teaches Christians the precepts of the Bible, prayer, doctrine, relationship, Christian living, service, and worship, to name the main ones.
Ask yourself, “How do I, and how can I do these:
- Have made a profession/acceptance of Faith in who Christ is and what He did on your behalf! 1 John 3:23; Acts 16:30-31
- Jesus is Lord of all! 1 Corinthians 3:2; Romans 8:9-17
- A disciple is willing to grow in Christ! 2 Peter 1:5-7
- Discipling is not an option–it is a command!
- A disciple has surrendered himself to His Lordship! Romans 8:28-32, 12; Galatians 2:20-21; Philippians 3:1-10; 1 Peter 4:2
- Matthew 28:16-20; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Timothy 2:2 all tell us that it is a lifestyle that moves us deeper into prayer and into worshipping Christ!
- A disciple makes good decisions and is focused on God’s will!
- A disciple is honest with God and others! 1 John 1:9
- A disciple walks with the precepts of Psalm 15!
- A disciple knows his abilities, gifts, and talents! Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10
- A disciple is willing to submit to Authority! 1 Peter 2:13-15
- A disciple is infused with humility! Psalm 149:4; Proverbs 3:34; Matthew 18:4; Ephesians 4:2-3; Colossians 3:12-14; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10
- A disciple will not be critical or have a bad attitude! Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5; Ephesians 4:29-32
- A disciple is not greedy! Luke 12:15; Romans 12:14-15
- A disciple is willing to wait on God’s timing! (Saul versus David)
- A disciple is a listener! (James)
- A disciple confesses sin and repents from it! Psalm 51; 2 Corinthians 12:9
- A disciple will not have a trace of pride in him! Job 35:12; Proverbs 6:16-19; 16:5; 18; 29:23; Obadiah 3; Galatians 5:26
- A disciple is discerning! Proverbs 20:25; Ephesians 6:10-20; 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7
- A disciple loves people and the lost! Micah 6:8; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 10:24-25; 2 Peter 3:9
- God calls us to motivate and teach others to move more in prayer and care for others! Mark 1:35-2:12; Galatians 6:1-10
- John 1:36-52, and Acts 10,16 tell us that discipling grows from a web of relationships!
- A disciple is a person who forgives! Matthew 5:46; John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-2; 4:32
- A disciple is willing to endure hardships and consider them as growth opportunities! James 1:2-4
- A disciple is faithful! Matthew 25:29; Luke 16:10-12
- One of the themes of the Gospels and Acts 11-16 is that in discipling people, we walk them through the phases and experiences of life. We come along side them and we do not let them go off on their own!
- Mentoring and small groups will be you keys to success!
- Discipleship is a lifestyle. As we get into the lives of others, the purpose for loving them is simply because He first loved us, and, then we become instruments of His grace.
- In John 15, the goal is intimacy with Christ, that of being surrendered to Biblical priorities and not to our own. Then we become tools that Christ uses to equip others. We are to be equipped so that we can enable others to grow in Christ!
- Discipleship is not a one-time act. It is a change of heart, a change of direction for a lifetime.
- In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus said we are to deny ourselves. This means we are to surrender ourselves completely to Him. We are to identify with His character and with what He did on our behalf on the cross, and then, out of gratitude, follow Him wherever He leads us!
- Discipleship is dynamic, not static. Jesus desires us to understand that being a Christian is not just about sitting in a pew or saying a prayer. It is about a life committed, a life changed, a heart and will surrendered, and a new direction and worldview with His precepts and character for living as our example.
- A disciple is a server with a servant heart who leads by servant hood! Ephesians 2:10
Ask yourself, “Where am I?” in these thoughts:
- When we live just for and to ourselves, we miss opportunities, learning experiences, and growth, and we exchange an eternity of rewards for a limited time of fun.
- Remember, Christ loves you and wants the best for you. His way is the best way, and we need to have Him and the perspective of eternity in mind, not our limited feelings and desires!
- Jesus lived and died on our behalf, for He willingly gave up His life by paying the penalty for our sins. He allows us not only to escape the fires of hell, but also to give us eternal life. What is your response?
- Being a true disciple means having a willingness to trust Him completely in all aspects of our lives from the highest highs to the lowest lows. It means we are not only willing to trust Him to provide for our salvation, but we trust Him for the future. We are to trust Him even when we do not know, like, or understand, and when where He is leading is unpopular!
- Being a true disciple allows us to put our hand to the plow and not look back. As we grow in Christ, we become increasingly unsatisfied with anything less than His call and character.
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to pay the cost?” Luke 9:23; Luke 14:25-35
- Jesus invites you to discipleship. But, He lets you know up front that it is a commitment that will cost you something. It is not going to be easy. You cannot just say you love the Lord. You must show it with your heart and it must transcend to your hands and feet. Then you will be Jesus’ disciple!
- Discipleship is costly because Jesus must have priority over your will, ideas, plans, and presumptions.
- “Follow me,” means going His way to His purpose, not our own way. It means following His plans, not our own; obeying His will, not our own.
- Jesus is saying, Look, if you want to be a disciple, you will have to choose to whom you will be loyal. Will it be God the Creator and Savior, or your limited ideas and things?
- The world hates Jesus because it knows that He has priority over all things and all relationships. The world wants to be god even though there already is a God!
- Considering the cost of discipleship means asking the question, “What does Jesus want me to do?”
- Jesus wants us to see that the cost of discipleship involves understanding that there is a higher calling on our lives than doing what we want to do. We cannot say to God that we are only available two hours on Sunday! We must respond with the attitude of Isaiah, Here I am God, ready to be used by you.
- How much does discipleship cost? It costs everything! However, the rewards are limitless as we are entrusted to a Savior who loves us deeply and more than we could ever comprehend! He desires the best for us, He has a plan and purpose for us in the kingdom of God, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him. There is no better way. To whom would you rather entrust yourself and your possessions?
How do I Become a Discipler?
- We all are called to make disciples! There are only two kinds of people who cannot disciple, and that is one who is not a follower of Christ and/or one who disobeys God’s command and refuses to disciple.
- Disciple by obeying and doing as Jesus did! Set up a plan; target a small select group of people without ignoring the others around you!
- In Proverbs 27:17 and1 Corinthians 10:12, we are told to come along side and encourage those who are down, who are new, who are old, who are immature, and who are mature. In other words, everyone.
- Teaming up with God and others makes it possible!
Ask yourself these questions:
Q: After doing a personal inventory of myself about my faith, have I truly become His disciple or am I just wearing the uniform?
Q: Do I love Him wholeheartedly? Then what is the obstacle to obeying Him?
Q: Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of a sin or a bad attitude that I need to confess and submit to Christ?
Q: Do I have a good understanding of God’s calling, and am I obediently pursuing it?
Q: Who is really in charge of my decisions, me, or the Lord?
Q: After reading 2 Tim. 2:19, does He know me? Do others know that He knows me?
Q: Do I use Jesus or does He use me? Is He a divine bellhop or my Lord?
Q: Do I constantly remind myself what I am living for, a future hope in eternity?
Q: Am I willing to do whatever it takes to become more like Jesus?
Q: Calvin said I must be willing to “regulate my life and manners according to the Scriptures! ” Am I
Q: Where do I need to go and what do I need to do? (Seek God’s will by knowing His character and precepts from Scripture, and look in your heart. Find your spiritual gifts and what opportunities are before you. See our channel on God’s Will!)
Q: Set goals for myself, as it is better to prepare than to repair! St. Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
To reach the goal set before you, there are three P’s you need to seek and pray about:
1. Preparation–never go off and do what you are not led and equipped to do!
2. Process–following a strategic plan from His precepts!
3. People–encircle yourself with good God fearing Christians to help you see possibilities and directions!)
Q: Do I practice my spiritual disciplines in a consistent manner?
Q: Is my family in good shape?
Q: Have I discovered my spiritual gifts and then prioritized my ministry to complement them?
Q: Do I have prayer partners to provide essential support?
Q: Do I see the seriousness of obedience that my eternal destiny depends on? Do I realize that Jesus required His disciples to distinguish between appearance and reality, that is, between being true Christians and just going through the motions?
Q: What is my attitude toward myself, the people around me, my situation, the precepts of Scripture, and the opportunities and life that Christ offers me?
Q: If He is Lord then He is my boss and conqueror, although in His case, a loving and caring boss with my best interest in mind, and a good and gracious King! Thus, am I willing to turn over the reigns of my will to Him, not somewhat, or half way, but allow Him to be in control entirely? As St. Augustine said, “If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.”
Q: Am I afraid of failure? (If so, remember that God understands the difficulties, and it is OK to fail as long as you tried and were obedient! Remember, Jeremiah was a big failure in the eyes of his county and world, but a great man of obedience in God’s eyes!)
Q: My focus must be on Christ, not on how to disciple. I must not let the process be my doctrine, but rather, Christ!
Q: Do I confess God with my lips and deny Him in my daily life? It is not difficult to belong to a church or recite a creed, but it is hard to live the Christian life. Yet, He gives us the love, grace, and means to do so.
Q: How do I define faith? Remember, faith without action is a contradiction, and love without obedience is impossible!
As we walk the Christian life, we must be careful that in our strategies and struggles, we do not lose sight of God and His purpose. We typically try to come up with some type of short cut for success. However, in Him, there are no shortcuts. Maturity and discipleship are lifelong pursuits, and we are to always be growing and bettering ourselves through the Word, prayer, spiritual disciplines, and our Godly relationships. These are the tools. He is the means.
You may ask, Why should I be willing to give up riches, comfort, fun and even friends to follow Christ as His disciple? When we read the gospels, especially Luke, we are given a very compelling motivation–the salvation and blessings that Jesus gives us. These things are eternal, while what we give up are very limited and temporary. Giving up a smaller benefit for a superior one is smart and practical, both in business and in being a disciple of Christ!
If you are a church leader and feel this is just too much and you are feeling overwhelmed, remember it does not happen over night, it takes a lifetime. If you are still unsure, then consider this. One of the main reasons people leave their church is they have no real relationships there! Discipleship is the means for relationship building! We are designed for something more in life than just pursuing pleasures. That is why people who “have it all” still feel empty. God did not create any Lone Ranger Christians. He created us to be in community, in relationships with one another, and discipleship is the key to that community. God calls us to lift one other up. There should not be a single person in the church that does not have at least one person they can call a friend and have a relationship with outside the church campus and programs.