A Call to Discipleship
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"1
To be a true follower of Jesus, we are commissioned by him, not just to be a casual believer, but to be a disciple. So what is a disciple?
According to Webster's Dictionary a disciple is a "pupil or follower of any teacher or school of religion, learning, art, etc." Pastor Tod Bolsinger takes it a step further. His definition of a disciple is "one who learns what the teacher knows so you can be like, and do, what the teacher knows and does."
Thus, as a disciple of Christ we are to learn from him, obey his teachings, and do what he does. In other words, we need to be an example of him in the way we live, talk, act, and reach out to others—and to make other disciples. The Apostle Paul said, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."2 We, too, need to follow the example of Christ so that others, seeing Jesus in us, will want to be a disciple of Jesus too.
Furthermore, to be a disciple of Jesus, we need to count the cost. With God's help, regardless of the opposition, we need to take a stand for truth as defined by God's Word, and take a stand for that which is right, for that which is moral, and for that which is just. It also means that we will take a stand against all falsehoods, evil, immorality, and injustice. To count the cost we need to realize that the day is coming—and getting closer all the time—when to take a stand for what God's Word teaches we may very well be charged with hate crimes that will be punishable by law. The important thing is that we take a stand in love and not in hatred.
Remember, too, that people who don't take a stand for something worthwhile are just as likely to fall for anything that is worthless. In today's ever-increasing anti-God morass, there is an urgent need for Christians to stand up and be counted as genuine disciples of Jesus Christ. His call to you and me today is just as relative and equally imperative as it was to his early followers.
If you haven't already done so, with God's help will you make a commitment today to be a true disciple of Jesus? Will you stand for truth as proclaimed by the Word of God? Will you discipline yourself to read, learn and understand what God's Word, the Bible, teaches so you will know how to live for Jesus Christ in your everyday life? Will you commit to faithfully serve God in a church that is true to the Word of God? Will you give to financially support, not only your local church, but also missions that are committed to doing God's work, to organizations that are spreading the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, and to organizations that are helping the truly needy? Will you also commit to doing what you can to share the gospel with others to help bring them to Jesus?
If so, will you please pray the following prayer: "Dear God, today I come to you just as I am—warts and all—and, regardless of the cost, I commit my life to you to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. So help me God. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
If you prayed this prayer and sincerely meant it, will you please tell a friend of your commitment to be a true disciple of Jesus, and will you also let us know by filling in the form online at: www.actsweb.org/decision2.php?
Jesus also said, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."3
1. Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV).
2. 1 Corinthians 11:1.
3. John 13:17.