Attached is the new blog on discipleship. I am pressed to do this because we use this word so casually and loosely and incorrectly, I felt a need to make a comment.
Here are some comments that our Savior Jesus made on the subject.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficientto finish it?
Luke 14:29 Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Luke 14:30 Saying, “this man began to build, and was not able to finish”.
Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luke 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador, and desires conditions of peace.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
Discipleship is not a merit badge like scouts. It is a process that takes over your thinking and your life. You are to stay on this journey until you go to Heaven.
Over the last 30 years we have corrupted this phrase until if you go to Sunday School you are said to be in thediscipleship process.
If you are not connected to a person who challenges your spiritual thinking, the odds are you are not being discipled.
Some of the things a disciple is to think through and align themselves with Jesus are
- Parental honor
- Giving to the body-who and how much
- What is the ministry
- Raising the children in the Word Thinking 13-WS1
- Work as a platform
- Helping the poor and sick
- Dealing with the local church
Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
How do you score on the biblical requirements?
Truth of Discipleship
A disciple is a learner, pupil, follower, believer, propagator.
When you are converted you are not a mature disciple and your conversion doesn’t make you a mature disciple. You have the potential to be a mature disciple. You have the Holy Spirit and the Word. You need to work at it, grow and change and obey Jesus. It is a life time process. The only person that has “arrived” is Jesus.
My definition of a disciple is one who is committed to Christ and is transformed by having the mind (Romans 12:2) of Christ and living out Jesus’s truths.
The Making of a Disciple
When does a person qualify or become a disciple? I think there are at least three external indicators in a pagan becoming a disciple:
- Conversion, sanctification, being reborn into a new life via the Holy Spirit taking up residence in your person. Your discipleship witness is in your sphere of influence.
- Openly identifying with others that you are a child of God. Not the old Joe but a new Joe, a follower of Jesus.
Example: I know a person who when converted, was convicted to make right a broken relationship. God wouldn’t turn them loose until they reconciled.
Matt 5:23 Therefore if you offer your gift on the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you. Matt 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Adopting new thinking, associates and life habits that keep you focused on the things of God, 7X24, i.e., vocabulary, friends, interest, entertainment, etc. This is the process of remolding of the mind.
The Discipleship Process
80 some years ago, Dawson Trotman created the “Wheel” as a discipleship icon, (icon: a sign whose form directly reflects the thing it signifies). This small icon demonstrates the habits of a Jesus disciple. This illustration is not perfect nor exhaustive but is a good test barometer for you to check yourself. These habits will help train you in the ways of Christ.
Let us review each the rim of the wheel:
Our message from God is the Bible. The product in our life is for us to be committed to a life of obedience, i.e. to live life as Christ would have us live it. It is clear in Jesus, and the subsequent scriptures taught, that the call on the believer is to have a life of obedience.
The world is telling you that “disobedience” is ok, i.e., sexual mores, lying, stealing, dishonoring parents, permissive child rearing, etc. Some of the Christian world will say that kind of misbehavior is covered in Christ’s blood. They say God is a God of love and so is Christ. So, the Godhead will just overlook your disobedience out of love at the judgment… But the scriptures note to you that this thinking is wrong: John 14:21, 1 Cor 3:11-15
There are four spokes in this wheel
Do you know how to woo a nonbeliever into a relationship with Jesus, where they would listen and hear the Holy Spirit? A person coming to Christ is not usually a lightning strike of a single event but an accumulation of many thoughts that eventually awakens the desire for Christ.
Question: Do you take every opportunity to share your love and appreciation for God with others?
I find that many people today are oblivious of God. I find this hard to believe as they discover more and more about the Heavens/Universe. If you want to believe the universe is a cosmic accident, I am stunned.
You must establish an awareness of God in people and then help them understand they are alienated from God, and that Christ is the solution. I am called to share my relationship of the living God with people. A person’s salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Fellowship is more than attending Church on Sunday or a coffee klatch. I think there is at least these 5 things to fellowship:
- Visiting and talking about Jesus with other brother or sisters periodically.
- Helping them if they have a setback.
- Crying with them.
- Encouraging them in their walk with Christ.
- Holding them accountable in the areas they will let you. And allowing them to hold you accountable.
Comment by John Hartshorn: There are more ways than one to develop the setting for meeting the commands of Heb. 10:24 -25. I think the one understanding that needs to be at play is that “fellowship” is a primary context for God’s purpose in giving the different spiritual gifts. That is; it is for to edifying through your spiritual gifts, and being edified, by the spiritual gifts of others.
Prayer I have found that prayer is a hard thing to teach someone. There are several good books and aids for having a good prayer life. The one I always recommend is a Day in Prayer booklet, (PikesPeakCBMC.com). Remember God wants to talk with you always. Take advantage of this opportunity and begin a life of prayer.
I see a lot of Bible studies going on and this is good.
Try to become a participator in the learning process. Learn to have the mind of Christ and think.
Study, think and discuss what the Word is saying to you. Risk being wrong. Surround yourself with good, solid believers. Prep yourself to meet Jesus.
How do I get the Word into my life? Consider Navigator hand illustration.
1 & 2. Read and Hear the Word. This will give you the lowest retention in learning.
3. Memorize key verses, Psalm 119:9-11. Take whatever is your capacity and begin to store away the Word into your mind. The Navigators have a good program on this discipline, i.e., TMS.
4. Meditate on the Word. The Word is to be pondered. Definition of ponder: “to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate to weigh carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully”.
5. Apply the Word. Whatever it says, do. Do to your capacity at the time. Some applications take time and years. Always be going forward in the sanctification process. You are preparing for Heaven.
Bible study is more than going to hear someone teach what they have learned on the verses. Bible study is also a place where you exercise your thinking on the scriptures with other mature believers.
- Get growing. You are preparing for Heaven. Get going with God.
- Work towards having at least 50% of the wheel active in your life.
- Get a buddy to hold you accountable to the Wheel’s teaching.
- Use the check list from above as a guide for a study agenda the coming year.
- Learn to study, interpret, and apply the Bible.
- Commit your life/schedule to being Jesus’s person.
PS. Jesus comment on disciple.
Luke_6:40 The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect shall be like his master.