The gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ must be followed by our willingness to follow Him in every way, every day.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Spring is the time to watch baby animals and birds follow their mamas while they learn how to hunt for food, defend themselves and eventually go off on their own. Some learn the hard way, faltering and falling in their endeavors.
Disciples of Jesus are also students—or learners—like His twelve who not only listened to His lessons, but pursued Him daily, watching Him interact with others and enjoying close fellowship with Him.
In the past, I’ve attended prolonged studies about how to become a disciple of Jesus. Although not required to follow my teachers around, I gained from their teaching immensely. The discipline of time and effort it cost brought much reward toward my spiritual life. Not everyone can take such prolonged courses, but we all can choose God Himself to be our teacher, through His Word and power of His Spirit.
I’ve discovered a simplistic summary of what a true disciple of Christ requires.
No. 1: Follow Jesus. “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Like baby animals following their parents closely, we need to cling to Jesus, the One who has given us life.
No. 2: Obey Him. “He who has my commandments and keeps them , it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21) Any child, whether human or animal, who disobeys a parent can count on punishment, whether by injury or correction. Paul tells us in Romans 6 to “not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” (v. 12) He continues by saying we become slaves to whatever or whomever we obey, and it should be to Christ, who promises great rewards.
No. 3: Deny self. A hard lesson, but necessary if we are to remain in close communion with Christ. “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
No. 4: Love one another. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) We can show our love in ways that draw others to Christ.
No. 5: Bear much fruit. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8) What fruit should we bear? Much love which will produce the spiritual fruit of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. Another hard lesson, but through daily prayer and God’s Word, He can make it happen.
No. 6: Preach. “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Our very lives should be as preaching God’s Word to others. The more we believe it, rely on it and live it, the better our “sermons” will become.
Lord, thank You for being our trustworthy leader. Give us the compulsion to become worthy disciples. In Jesus’ name, amen.