And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. — Mark 8:34 (Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23)
The gospel leads to discipleship (Acts 14:21). If we are saved by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ we are to be disciples of Christ. Being a disciple is being a follower of Jesus. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matt. 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69)*.
I was reminded yesterday of the cost of discipleship and convicted as to my level of commitment to follow Jesus. Are we taking our salvation seriously? If we are then we will heed the words of Christ when He said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, He must deny Himself.” So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. — Luke 1:33 Nothing can be more important than following and doing the will of God. If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. — Luke 14:26
Christ has set the standard for being a disciple (follower) of His. We must deny ourselves, all of our desires, plans, will, possessions, etc. and take up our cross and follow Him. Jesus says, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38)
Discipleship is a serious matter that needs our immediate and faithful attention. My words cannot express how important an issue this is for all of us who call ourselves Christians. Jesus’ words express the importance and it is not to be taken lightly. I hope you take the time to examine your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ to assess your level of discipleship. Is Jesus everything to you? Is He the first thought on your mind when you rise in the morning and the last thought as you close your eyes at night? Is He the reason you live your life? Do you make it your ambition everyday to please Him and serve Him? Do you deny yourself for His glory? Are you willing to sacrifice your life for His? Are you willing to give up everything and/or go anywhere for Him?
Only you can answer those questions for yourself. Be true to God and talk to Him about your walk. He is waiting and wanting to help you to become the disciple that faithfully follows.
Continually seeking Him,
*Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
Their belief in the truth that they have been taught must be strong and steadfast so that they will be able to teach it to others and show those who disagree with them where they are wrong. — Titus 1:9
Is this discipleship? You bet. We are to pass on what we have learned. As much as I love the Word of God it does not do much good for me or those around me if I don’t live it out. When I live the Word of God my life becomes filled with testimonies of God, testimonies to share of His glory, to tell of the things which my eyes have seen.
To live out the testimonies of God I need to implant His Word in my heart. This helps me to keep the faith and a good conscience. It helps me retain the standard of sound words which I have heard, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. I must hold steadfast and strong to the word I have been taught through God’s Word, through other brothers and sisters in Christ, and an intimate relationship with Jesus.
We are not only to teach and learn from one another but to also be a witness to those who do not know the Lord. We can help those who disagree with the Word by our faithful walk as it makes them aware of their wrong thinking. Let us shine for Jesus and pass His Word on to others by our actions and the testimonies of God’s work in our lives.
Testimonies are encouraging and uplifting to others. Please feel free to share testimonies of God’s work in your life. I would be encouraged by them as I know others would be too.
Continually seeking Him,
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. — Deuteronomy 4:9
keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. — 1 Timothy 1:19
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. — 2 Timothy 1:13