Jesus pointed out that: “Whosoever does not bear his own cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27)
A disciple is someone who has brought themselves under the discipline of his teacher. As Christians we are under the authority of our Teacher, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A disciple is a person who walks with Christ and the Holy Spirit resides in the believer’s heart and equips them to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and to become more and more like Christ. Through this growth process a Christian will examine their thoughts, words and actions by the Spirit’s direction and will study the Scriptures desiring to follow in the Master’s footsteps by obeying His commandments and being His disciple.
THE QUALITIES OF A DISCIPLE:
- A disciple’s love for God must be the greatest single consuming passion of a Christian’s life. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37)
- A disciple must put Jesus before self. “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
- A disciple must put Jesus before all things. “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33) Our love relationship with Jesus isn’t a give-and-take proposition in which we sacrifice some things and hold tightly on to others. It’s everything. Our love for Jesus has to be so real, so perfect and so strong, that everything else disappears in comparison. We must be prepared to surrender everything. Paul said: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
- A disciple must be obedient. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)
- A disciple must share the Lord’s passion for the world. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)
- A disciple loves God’s Word. “But Jesus answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). As disciples we must read and be nurtured, sustained and equipped by God’s Word.
- A disciple abides in God’s Word. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). To abide in God’s word is to remain or to hold fast the teachings of His word. Discipleship is not a simply a decision of belief at some point in our lives, but an ongoing process of following, of obedience to His word. The result of abiding in Christ’s word is freedom, spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin.
- A disciple has a love of prayer. Nothing draws us deeper into a love affair with God than encountering Him through prayer. “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). Prayer is God’s gift to us. It is where He reveals Himself to us…if you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). What an incredible promise this is!
- A disciple bears fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Fruit-bearing is the proof of discipleship.
- A disciple is empowered by the Holy Spirit. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Disciples learn to live their lives submitted to Holy Spirit’s leadership.
We are not on this earth to please ourselves; we were created and are here to honor and worship our Lord. We must deny our self to be considered His disciple and we must make His will the most important priority in our life.
Mark 10:17-23 tells us about the story of the rich young ruler: “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
As we see from this telling, Jesus loved him, but He did not run after Him and try to persuade him. Have you ever wondered why? Because the conditions of discipleship are not negotiable! Are you ready to follow Him and become His disciple? If you are, follow this link: Information about Salvation