Thursday, January 24, 2008

A disciple is one whose dream is to be like Jesus

Are you a leader or a follower? Do you like blazing new trails? Or are you more comfortable a well-defined path? Do you regard difficulties as challenges or as setbacks? Are you the kind of person who will keep pressing in to get what you’re after? How far will you go to realize your dreams?

A disciple is one whose dream is to be like Jesus.

Don’t confuse being a Christian with being a disciple. Every believer is a Christian but not every believer is a disciple. Disciples are believers who are committed to going deeper and deeper with the Lord—as deep as they can go. Most believers are content just to be saved. They’re just happy to have their ticket to heaven. The demands of the deeper life in Christ don’t really attract them.

And with good reason: those demands are high. In Luke 14:25-33 Jesus sets out the demands of discipleship in such terms as bearing a cross, counting the cost and forsaking all. Not for the faint of heart!

The deeper things of the Spirit are reserved for those who are willing and determined to press in and claim them—to plunge headlong into the wellspring of the very heart of God!

Paul was this kind of person. He was a trailblazer: “…I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation…” And he was willing to pay any price to touch the heart of Christ: “…I…count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” He understood that this would require single-minded determination: “…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

You don’t have to be a trailblazer to be a disciple. You don’t have to be a natural leader. All you need is an abandoned love for Jesus and a heart that yearns to be like Him. It’s what Jesus calls hungering and thirsting for righteousness—and He promises satisfaction.

(Tommy Tenney - Finding Favour With The King)


Mitchell DeWare said...

Can you really be a Christian without being a disciple?

Ash said...

You are a Christian when you become a believer that Christ is God and you believe that He died for your sins, and you are saved by His grace.

The fruit of the life of a Christian, is that after being a 'believer', they would become a 'follower' of Christ and therefore become a 'disciple'.

A person who is saved at their death bed (eg. the thief on the cross), is still saved even though they did not have the opportunity to be a 'disciple'.

Some people think they are Christians because they have been saved, but they will never walk in the fullness of life that Christ has for them, until they exchange their life for His and become disciples.

So, in answer to your question, to be a 'real' Christian, you should be a disciple, but for some Christians this process may take several years and some may die before they have that opportunity, so for those Christians, they may be saved, but they are not living in the fullness of life that Christ has for them.