Jesus states in John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Again in John 13:35 Jesus states “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
Matthew 28:18 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.
According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a disciple “is a pupil or follower of any teacher or religion.”
May I encourage you this day to pursue your discipleship training. We want to be a light in the darkness and shine like Jesus did. We would like to do the works that Jesus did and operate out of compassion to bring heaven to earth. For such a time as this, you and I are here on this earth to advance the kingdom of God. Keep pressing forward into greater understanding of His word and into greater understanding of who He is. This takes time and we must make it a priority in our daily life. Otherwise, distractions will take over.
I will share a couple disciplines from my own journey with Christ that I think are key for discipleship training. The first is, finding a Church home. Notice I called it a home. That was intentional. Many people today are disillusioned with church. They have been hurt in the church or they have just stopped going for various reasons. The church in her ideal is a family. A family who encourages one another and helps equip you by feeding you the word. It’s a safe place to grow into the calling on our lives. It’s a safe place to discover and practice our gifts. Prayer and meeting with a potential Pastor can help point you in the direction of a church family that you can flourish in.
Studying the Bible, the word of God, is essential to discipleship. Knowing what God’s manual for life says is key to your spiritual growth. Provided you follow it. God’s directives for your life will keep you free. He does not tell us to do anything that will lead to destruction. His commands allow us to live life to the fullest while here on earth. Reading the Bible regularly takes discipline, just like anything else. God’s word brings wisdom, understanding and supernatural power to the situations we encounter. The more of it we know, the stronger we will be in the face of adversity! God’s word is transforming!
The third essential component of discipleship is prayer. Prayer is dialogue with God. There are many types of prayer listed in the Bible and it is not my intent to discuss all types of prayer in this note. Prayer plus faith moves the hand of God. God works in cooperation with man. We are told to ask, seek and knock. (Matthew 7:7) For he who asks receives, he who seeks, finds, and he who knocks the door will be opened. God desires to meet with you in communion prayer and He desires to fulfill your requests. Prayer keeps your spiritual life alive and growing!! Prayer brings heaven to earth. Prayer activates the supernatural power of God to do what you cannot do on your own. The more we pray, the more we will see answers! Praying for the needs’ of others and seeing results is a blessing!
God will bring others along side you to help you in your discipleship training. Mentors are very helpful and needed. Books can mentor us as well. There are many good books to help us along our way. However, books cannot take the place of a person who loves you, will pray with you and is committed to seeing your dreams fulfilled.
The disciples received the empowering of the Holy Spirit in the upper room, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (baptism means immersion), to start the early church and continue on with the work of Jesus Christ. As you continue on with your quest to become a disciple, consider the empowering work of the Holy Spirit and how this may benefit you.