Many years ago, I remember being involved in a rather challenging discussion in a Christian education leadership meeting about what a disciple is and how to know when people become a disciple. At first the question stumped those in attendance. Then after a few moments, the questions were followed by vigorous, discussions that were all over the map in opinions and ideas. The thinking almost became that of the rule making Pharisees with hierarchies of learning and growing. In a nutshell, it became complicated. It made my heart hurt and my mind ache.
My thoughts turned to this scripture and a few others words of Jesus and the prophets before him such as Micah’s “what does the Lord require of you”. Simplicity took over for me. That’s how I think. If I can understand with my limited intelligence then others can understand it, too. If we, in the church, make it too complicated, then we have defeated the simplicity of Jesus words, “Follow Me.”
If we want others who are wandering around with no purpose in life other the pleasing the world and themselves, to follow Jesus, we need to come back to the basics. Jesus command to all who believe and follow Him are summarized in His commission:
- Tell the story of Jesus’ saving grace.
- Go and make disciples of all nations. “For God so loved THE WORLD…”
- Go and teach, share what we know, what Jesus taught us, not our opinions, but Truth of how to be saved from sin and walk with God in love and grace.
- Proclaim that our King of kings and Lord of lords will be with those who believe ALWAYS and forever. What a message of hope, grace, mercy and most of all, love for all who simply believe and follow Jesus.
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Discipleship: Doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right Spirit.
Let’s break this down in simple terms:
- “Follow Me” says Jesus.
- To follow means to obey His Holy Spirit.
- Following means actively imitating both the life and teaching of the Master Jesus Christ.
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Walking with God means believing in His Son. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT
Jesus is Truth. We speak TRUTH with the love of Jesus permeating our being, washing over every thought and word. We love like Jesus loved us. We imitate Christ’s humility.
“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2
Come to Jesus. Believe in Jesus. Follow Jesus. It’s all about Jesus.
Know to whom you belong. Share what you know.
Thank you. Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole. Thank you for taking all the broken pieces and using this cracked vessel for your glory. Thank you for providing a way back to you through the redeeming love of your Son. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit for being with us always. Thank you for giving me simple ways to tell others so they will know and follow you, too. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life to transform me daily to be all you created me to be. I’m not completing there yet, so keep working on me.
In Jesus Name, Amen