“Discipleship” is a term that is very often used within the Christian world, yet it has been quite interesting (even alarming!) to realise that very few Christians know what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus.
I realised the Lord did not only mention discipleship in scripture as a mere suggestion, but to motivate and direct us to a lifestyle that would be an encouragement and help to those around us. Understanding the challenge of being a disciple, I concluded that I need to get to the place where someone I know or encounter, can be a beneficiary of my faith.
This means that I must be conscious to invest the principles of discipleship into myself daily. We can hear sermons, read books, and get all the information on being a good disciple, but unless that is translated into a personal investment (firstly, into my own life and the overflow into others’ lives) we are merely involved in an event or activity that may or may not be effective.
One of the greatest weaknesses I see at the moment, is that so many people are not grounding themselves in the Word. This is a weak starting point to try and live from and invest one of the greatest commands given to us. We must accept that is part of the “call” given to us as we serve the Lord, and as we embrace that He enables all His attributes to flow in and through us, we will become people who not only say we want to make a difference but who are making a difference by the power of the Word and Holy Spirit.
Naturally we need to be willing to pay a price, to feel out of our comfort zone, to offer time and our resources for the benefit of others, while not expecting anything in return. We would need to embrace the challenges while acknowledging that, with the Holy Spirit, we have the authority to speak and demonstrate the Living Word which transforms lives.
The starting point
So, what would be a good starting point?
To realise the confidence that we need to live this kind of life, is self-discipline to the word and prayer and realising that we are not doing this in our own strength. We need to understand that it is part of our “calling” as believers to live a life that someone else can benefit from for the sake of the Kingdom. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you…” (NKJV) – this is the key to unlock the power and potential in ourselves and in the lives of those around us.