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Posted on February 23, 2018 by http://arisefm.com
Discipleship is a very serious business. It is a costly thing. That’s how Jesus looked upon it. He did not start by offering his followers a bed of roses. He
made the cost clear from the beginning: “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
After all, this is what discipleship is all about following the Master. It is not based on a passing interest or fancy, but on a determined attitude to follow at all
cost until the end. This again reflects the attitude of Jesus towards the call to follow Him: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the
plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Discipleship is a commitment to the way of Jesus – no turning back! We can see just how important this idea was to Jesus Himself. “Disciple” was his
favorite word for those whose lives were closely linked with His own. The word “Disciple” occurs no fewer than 269 times in the first five books of the New
Testament. It means “one who is taught or trained”, or “one who is a learner of another”.
That’s what we are – disciples of Jesus! We have been called and chosen to follow Him. What a privilege! We have been called to learn of Him, to follow
His example. We have been called to be the vessel of the Lord, the son of the Father in whose life is so sold-out to His cause on this earth. He desires that
our life is in such perfect harmony with His will and purpose, that we can be a ready vessel for the Masters’ service. At His beckon call.
Discipleship is defined in a number of ways:
Living Continually by the Word of Jesus
Jesus said “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, ” (John 8:31). A true disciple isn’t an occasional doer of the word. A disciple of Jesus
earnestly strives to “be a doer of the word”. This is where the rubber meets the road. James said: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). There is a huge need for us to move on from an emotional base for our discipleship to an obedient base. Ready
to do what He commands on a consistent basis.
Committed Totally and Completely to the Master
This commitment needs to be total and at all times. Not up one day, and down the next. Not on one day, and off the next. Not a follower on Sunday, and a
spectator the rest of the week. Consistency! We greatly hinder the Master’s work in our life when we’re not consistent. He must be sure that He can count
on His to follow. It is only on this basis that any real discipleship can be carried out. Jesus said: ” …If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”.
Living in a Fruit Bearing Relationship with Jesus
In His final conversation with His followers, before He went to the cross, Jesus spoke of His desire for their lives. The importance of this theme can be seen
in the fact that it was one of the major features in this last conversation. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in
the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing”.
Our union with Christ makes possible a life through which others can be saved. When a tree is so full of sap that it can no longer hold it, the result is fruit!
When the Church is so full of Christ, others see Christ lifted up and are spiritually reborn into the Kingdom of God. Thus, new believers are one fruit of discipleship.
Committed to Others in Sacrificial Fellowship
Jesus said that this was the greatest witness to our discipleship as far as other people are concerned: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love
one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another” (John
13:34-35). This is no human love. This is the “Agape love of God” “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” This kinda loves doesn’t come by osmosis.
It’s a fruit of the Spirit and manifests in the hearts and lives of disciples who follow Christ closely.
It is an unconditional love that does not look for a return on investment. Hello somebody! God loved us while we did not love Him: “Herein is love, not that
we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
The only chance of this happening is to open ourselves up to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The work of God is greatly hindered in the lives of
lukewarm Christians. We must hold, without compromise the unadulterated Words of Jesus in this generation. This “generation of disciples” are responsible
for this “generation of sinners.”
A convert may change his mind for a moment, and then back again. A disciple has made a life commitment. What are you waiting for? You were called for
this day! He desires to use your life! You’ve been called and chosen by the Master!
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