For some the term “Christian” brings thoughts of a person whose been born again, someone whose life has been changed by Jesus, someone who loves God. For others, the term brings to mind judgmental, out of touch, narrow minded people who claim to follow Jesus. “Christian” was initially used as an insult that identified those who were associated with Jesus. It was a way to verbally dismiss Christ-followers as “those people.” Jesus never called anyone to be a Christian; he asked people to be disciples. The Greek word translated “disciple” means learner, pupil, follower. Jesus isn’t asking you to simply believe what he believes, but to live like he lives, love like he loves and do what he does. He wants to do life with you. He says, “Follow me and be my disciple.” (Mt 9:9)
Scriptures – Matthew 9:9, 28:19-20; John 8:31-32, 12:26, 15:7-8; Luke 14:26; Mark 12:29-31; 1 John 4:20
Verse – As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. (Mt 9:9) “Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” (Jn 12:26)
Thought – Being a disciple is a choice, it doesn’t just happen. Jesus says, “Follow me.” You can’t sit idly by and be a disciple. You must move, you must commit. When you commit, you grow, you gain strength to endure. Being a disciple means having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “…my servants must be where I am.” You can’t physically be where Jesus is, but you can spend time with him. You can engage in an ongoing relationship, an ongoing conversation throughout each day. As you talk with God and listen, you become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to the voice of God. As a disciple, God must come first. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says, “Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brother and sisters, and themselves as well.” This is hard to process, but Jesus is saying that your love for God should be so intense that everything else pales by comparison. When you love God first, your love for everyone else increases. Your spiritual growth is measured by how much you love God. Whatever you love the most you worship. We are to worship God alone and serve only Him. God’s commands that we are to also love one another, and even those who aren’t part of God’s family. As we express love to others we bring God’s love to them, His hope, His salvation. You came to Christ because someone shared His love with you. That person was a disciple and now you are a disciple. Disciples make disciples. This is the mission Jesus left with the Apostles before he ascended to Heaven This is the mission Jesus has given to us.
Questions – Who brought you to Christ or influenced your decision to follow Jesus? What things are you doing to share Christ’s love with others? Is your relationship with Jesus ongoing or incidental? Explain. Are you comfortable having Jesus with you every day and every moment?
Response – Practice the presence of God. Pray throughout the day. Be sensitive to God’s pull on your heart. Consider that Jesus is with you everywhere you go and in everything you do.
Prayer – Dear Lord, I am committed to following you, and I am thankful that you want to have a relationship with me. Guide my steps that I may truly be a disciple that represents your love to those who are also Christ-followers and to those who are far from you. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.