What is a disciple? The word disciple is a word that is thrown around churches, but do we understand what it means? Can it mean something different to different people? What does the word mean for me?
- a follower or student of a teacher, leader or philosopher
Step One: Am a disciple of Christ? What does it require of me?
We are all disciples of something or someone. Who do I want to follow? Who do you want to follow? Who we follow needs to be an intentional choice that we each need to make. Often times we need to make that decision over and over again. If I choose to follow Jesus, then I need to really view Him as my leader, my teacher.
A student learns from his/her teacher by listening to their teaching, modeling behaviors after their behaviors, and entering into a relationship with the one who leads him/her.
- As a student of Christ, I will create opportunities to learn from Christ through His Word and by being still, so that I can hear him.
- As a student of Christ, I will model my actions after Him which will require me to change my behaviors/actions to align with Christ's.
- As a student of Christ, I will choose to enter into a relationship with Christ. A relationship requires me to spend time with him. I must create time for Him and make it a priority.
The first step in discipling is to recognize that I must be a disciple first. Since I have chosen to be a Christ-follower, every day I need to develop an intentional relationship with Him. The ways of developing this relationship are limitless. Read God's Word, listen to solid, truth-filled teaching through sermons, podcasts, and books. Talk to Jesus through prayer and daily conversations. Worship my Jesus through song, stillness, and appreciation of creation. Relationships with other believers who continually point me towards God's truth. If I desire to disciple others, I must make sure that I create time and an environment for my personal discipleship. The list of ways can easily overwhelm me because the number of days that slip by without praying or reading the Bible creates a guilt that paralyzes me. Remembering the reasons why I should pray, read, worship, and spend time with Jesus, gives me a sense of urgency to strive for a sweet relationship with Christ. My days may not be perfect and without conflict, but I discover that the grace, mercy, love and beauty found in an "I-choose-to-follow-Christ" attitude makes it all worth it. No longer is the list a list of unattainable expectations, but instead, I view the list as a road map for something I really, REALLY want. I want to follow Jesus. I want Jesus to be my teacher. I want to be His disciple. When others know me, I want them to know that Jesus is my teacher, and I am His student.
Choosing to be a Christ-follower can only be my choice. My decision. No one told me to do it. No one pressured me. Choosing to remain in a disciple-teacher relationship can only be my choice. No one can force it or guilt me into it. I, Amy, choose to be a disciple of Christ. It Starts With Me.
Who are you choosing to follow?