The Making of a Disciple

Mark 3:13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.

A disciple: a learner, a pupil, a follower, one who takes in, one who comprehends, an adherent.

Walking down an aisle, saying a sinner’s prayer, shaking a preacher’s hand and joining a church is a good place to start, but there is more to walking with God than that.  That is not the end— that is only the beginning.  Once you confess Christ as your Savior, your life has just come under new management.  You no longer run the show.  You are a child of God and He has a new script written for your life.  Walking down that aisle and saying the sinner’s prayer has qualified you for discipleship.

He calls us up to Himself!  The process of discipleship will be in session.  Will we follow or will we fold?

The first paragraph of this chapter lets you know to a large extent what discipleship is about.  As you read this post, a decision will be made.  You will submit and become a student of Christ, or you will cast this blog aside and have none of this discipleship business.  If you demand, God will let you have your way.  The Lord will not compete with your way and your will.  Your way will lead to spiritual death (Proverbs 14:12).  Many have come to this realization at great expense.

I choose to agree with Simon Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).  I trust that you too will choose to be His disciple.

Christ calls us to Himself; to His lordship (Mark 3:13).  Until we are ready to forsake all other influences for Him, we are not ready to be His disciple (Luke 14:26).   Disciples follow Him and to submit to His Word.  Submitting to His Word validates our claim to discipleship (John 8:31).

 His Word will require something of you.  Peter and Andrew left their nets to follow Him (Matthew 4:19,20).  Levi left the tax office to follow Him (Luke 5:27, 28).  Discipleship carries a price tag — it will cost you everything (Luke 14:33).  Discipleship is about discipline and change.

 Jesus’ disciples had some rough edges, but they were not a bunch of untrained, undisciplined cronies who were out to do their own thing.  They were instructed in the way, the truth and the life.  Christ was being formed in them (Galatians 4:19).  Christ was being revealed in them (Galatians 1:16).  They were to become as He was (I John 4:17).  They were to love what He loved and hate what He hated.

 They were trained for 3 1/2 years.  That discipleship training process developed them that they could be entrusted with His purpose and His vision.  They were to see what He saw, think as He thought, say what He said and do what He did (Matthew 9:36-38, Matthew 10:5-8, John 14:12).  Those disciples were close followers of Jesus.  They were willing to pay the price of following Him.  They were loved, corrected, rebuked, trained and shown the way.  Eventually they declared His generation and out of weakness they were made strong (II Corinthians 12:10).

 The pattern is the same for those who will be His disciples today.  There is a cause and a vision, and we must live it out.  To live and walk out His cause, His vision, and His life requires that we be emptied — that we decrease, that He may increase (John 3:30).  That, my friend, is a costly process.  But if you are willing, He is able.

 In II Samuel 24, the story leads up to King David going up to the threshing floor of Araunah to offer sacrifice to the Lord.  As Araunah saw the king approaching he went out to meet him.  Araunah bowed himself before the King on his face on the ground and asked the king why he was visiting.  King David let him know he had come to buy his threshing floor that he could build an altar and offer burnt offerings unto the Lord.

 Because David was king, Araunah wanted to give the king all that was needed for Him to offer up burnt offering unto the Lord.  Araunah was very convincing, but not enough.  The king kindly refused the offer and demanded a price be paid for all that was needed and proceeded to say, “...neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (II Samuel 24:24).  We must learn this lesson.

May we never attempt to offer to God that which has not cost us anything.  To be made a disciple is a costly process.  Never allow anyone to convince you differently.  The price you pay for discipleship will develop maturity, reverence and a passion for Christ.  Passion is like fire.  It consumes and it purifies.  Our lives are to be consumed with a passion for Christ and His will for our lives.  Purification delivers us from offering strange fires (unaccepted praise, worship, and service) unto the Lord.  Strange fires bring death — spiritual death, because God separates Himself from such (Numbers 26:61).  Beware: God will not place you with leaders who make you comfortable, He will place you with leaders who will tell you such truth that it stretches you to the core!  The cost of producing passion is self-denial — the putting aside of our will that His will may be done.

 Jesus declared in John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”  That is true discipleship — forsaking any will that you may have, that you may please Him who has discipled, disciplined and sent you.

 This walk is not about you — it’s about Jesus Christ who is our life.  We must be rooted and built up in Him (Colossians 2:6,7).  When we are looked upon by others, they must know that we have been with Him (Acts 4:13).

 A disciple is a learner, a pupil, a follower, one who takes in, one who comprehends, an adherent.  
I now ask you the question that was asked in John 9:27, “Will you also be His disciple?”

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