Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is different from being a believer. To be clear, you can be a believer without being a disciple, but you cannot be a disciple without being a believer. A simple concept, but one that does not seem to be commonly talked about among the body of Christ. Let’s unpack this idea a bit.
Believer – a person who believes on Jesus as their savior. Making a decision to accept Jesus as their Savior can be left at that point.
Disciple – a believer in Jesus as their Savior who takes the steps to also make Him their Lord.
Being a disciple, which also means making Him your Lord, means you are willing to allow Jesus into every area of your life, and means doing the work to make this happen. Don’t get me wrong, there is no work on our part to making Jesus your Savior. That is a free gift that He has given to us and He has done all of the work to complete. You do have work to do, however, in allowing Him to be Lord.
First off, you have to make the commitment to allowing Him into every area of your life. Slow down enough to consider your decisions, your attitudes, your motives, your intentions – do they match with those of Jesus? To know if they match you have some work to do. Such as …
Renewing your mind to the Word of God (the Bible). What does the Bible say? Does my thinking line up with what the Bible says? Another way to say this would be to ask ourselves if how you think about something is the same way God thinks about it. Do I see it the way God sees it?
These are critically important questions. And it takes effort to be willing to ask these questions and then do the due diligence (the work) to find out how God sees things and determine to adjust your view to His. Do you see what I mean? This is the work of being a disciple. Seeking and searching for God’s view and opinion and being willing to adjust to what you find. You must be willing to learn, to grow, to see things from God’s view.
This work happens in the life of a disciple in a number of ways. Here are a few:
- Study the Bible regularly and listen to what it is saying to you.
- Slow down, ask questions and adjust your thinking to what you find.
- Pray – talk with God. This area has been made much harder by many than it needs to be. Simply talk with your Father. Let Him into the journey of your day, the decisions you face, the plans you make and the questions you entertain.
- Worship – this can happen corporately as we gather together, but it can also happen on your own. Music provides a powerful way to worship, but it can also be simply slowing down enough to wonder and awe at God’s goodness, love and kindness. Allow your heart to connect with your Father’s heart, this is worship.
- Listen to solid teachers of the Bible. Today more than ever it is so easy to listen to amazing teachers of the Word. There are some amazing people out there sharing truth from the Bible that will bless you and help you grow.
- Read solid books. Don’t read just any book, read books by people who are also disciples of Christ and who are deeply committed to the Bible.
There you go! Those are the basics of being a disciple. Now it’s up to you to make your choice!