I recognize that being a disciple of Jesus Christ is first and foremost a relationship. It is a restored relationship with the Father through the Son who paid the price for our sin and gave us purpose and a mission. It is living like and looking like Jesus. It is empowerment through the Holy Spirit who dwells within and spills out as we live out the Christ-life.
But still, I find myself asking questions about natural outcomes of a life devoted and committed to Jesus. Consider (and answer) these questions:
- How would a disciple be different than those without a relationship with Jesus?
- How would a disciple spend his/her time, money, and life?
- What activities would result at home, work, play, and in the marketplace?
- How would gathering with a body of believers (disciples) impact the disciple?
- What points of focus for Jesus would become points of focus for His disciples?
- How would those around us view us as a result of being His disciples?
I can think of a hundred more questions, but these start the thinking and conversation. Feel free to respond to any of these questions by pressing Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
Four overarching responses have come to my mind. Look them over and respond to them. What is missing? Consider the following:
- Relating. Disciples will intentionally develop deeper relationships with Jesus (through prayer, Bible study, and obedience); with the lost (who Jesus came to seek and save and those He sent us to make disciples); and with the body of Christ (our love for each other is evidence of our relationship with Him).
- Serving. Disciples will use spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ and will serve Him in the church, community, and world out of our passion, experiences, gifts, abilities, etc. Relationship with Christ and as a result of an encounter with Him in His Word will result in obedience and serving while living out that truth in relationships in the world.
- Sharing. Disciples have received a cure for the disease of sin which without Jesus is incurable. To hide the cure is unthinkable. Relationships demand sharing this good news and what that cure has done in our lives.
- Multiplying. A natural sign of life is multiplication. Trees multiply. Cells multiply. Disciples multiply. This happens as a disciple relates, serves, and shares. The disciple cares for others and is a disciple-maker. They seek the lost, love them to Jesus, and seek to help them to fall in love with Jesus and live like Him.
In which of these four aspects is your discipleship strongest? What happens if one of these areas is neglected? What happens to the disciple, to the church, and to the world? In which of these four discipleship aspects do you need to invest additional effort in the next month? Relate. Serve. Share. Multiply. Make disciples!