5 STEPS OF DISCIPLESHIP
18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
As we are going through our essentials study for our students during 211 Worship on Wednesday nights, I thought I would spend some time breaking down the 5 steps of discipleship with us this week. If you believe it or not, we are all a disciple of something. We really are. We may not want to admit it, but we really are a disciple of something. So if we call ourselves Christians, we are a follower of Jesus Christ, and our desire is to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ. So we dig into the Scriptures, we spend time in prayer, we serve in our communities, and we find ways to exemplify Christ. As I said already, we are all disciples of something or some one. If we love Tik Tok, we will follow Tik Tok and spend hours watching and emulating the things that we see on Tik Tok. I mean there are many disciples who honestly repeat what they see and spend hours perfecting things that allow them to hopefully go viral emulating others and becoming a disciple of Tik Tok. Or maybe it is sports. We beat our bodies and train all day long because we want to be the best at whatever it is we want to be great at. We emulate other athletes and we become a disciple of the game. We spend hundreds of hours practicing to be the best we can be at our sport... our position. Maybe we are a disciple of a celebrity. I have seen students and adults that literally follow a person, dress like the person and know EVERY word of EVERY song or EVERY monologue they have ever had in a TV show or movie. I have seen people name their pets or even children after these people that they hold in such high regard. We follow them around the country and pay high prices to see them for just moments. We weep when we see them and we literally dream that we could just have a moment with them. WE have ALL become a disciple of something.
So why is this important? Why does it matter who we follow and who we try to emulate. I have to be honest I have watched the culture destroy celebrities and people literally turn from their heroes once the newest one comes along. I have seen people be so obsessed that when you walk in their rooms, you can see probably 1000's of dollars of things that they
purchased just so that they could be one step closer to the person. Crazy thing is that I have rarely walked into many homes, student rooms and seen a poster of Jesus hanging on the wall. I know that it might sound weird, but I have to ask the question, "If we are not fully following Jesus and desiring to be His disciple, who or what are we becoming a disciple of?" I mean, I can definitely look around and see people who worship their colleges when they spend crazy amounts of time tailgating, worship in stadiums, following everything that is written or tweeted about them, but say that they really have no time to pick up a Bible and do a quiet time. I am not trying to step on toes, what I am trying to show us all today is that we have the time to become a disciple, but the reality is that we have already chosen who we want to be a disciple of and for a lot of us that is not Jesus. We love the benefits of eternal life, but a disciple is one who is willing to drop everything and follow HIM. And please hear me, I am not trying to attack anyone, I am just trying to open our eyes to the reality that we are all already disciples of one thing or multiple things, I just want us to step up and own it today.
As Jesus is continuing to prepare His disciples for the next stage of their journey, we have to realize the intentionality that was spent with them over the previous three years. This was not something that Jesus took lightly. Jesus literally spent every waking hour with these men, pouring into them and helping them to see their failures and successes as a means to build the Kingdom of God. Each of these men were disciples of other things before they came to walk with Jesus. Some were disciples of fishing. Others were disciples of accounting, law, medicine, etc. Jesus did not start the idea of disciples, but He did take the time to redirect their gifts and abilities away from the world and refocus it towards God. They all had their own ways of doing things and their own expectations based on the world's idea. Jesus flipped it all upside down and helped them to see what it truly meant to follow Him. It was not easy then and it will not be easy now. Being a Christian disciple means that you really are willing to forsake all things and follow Jesus. It does not mean you have to give up your life, but you have to give up your focus on your worldly life. God needs more disciples in the fields. He needs more Christians disciples in the fields of teaching, medicine, music, odd jobs, homeless, construction, fast food, science, etc. I mean, literally you name an area in this world, God needs Christian disciples that are willing to step into the chaos and into the chasm. Being a disciple does not mean that you have to leave your job, but that you use the position in which God has placed you as a mission field to win the lost. Go to the schools and make disciples. Go to the hospitals, doctors offices, restaurants, streets, wherever you have been sent and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
I know that for us it is difficult to realize that we have become disciples of things in this world. So one test I use is what consumes my time. If there is something in my life that consumes most of my week, I have become a disciple to that thing. Yes, that can be our jobs, but we just need to refocus our minds to say that my job is not my lifestyle support, but my mission
field. It is just in the fact that we need to change our perspective. That is what Jesus did with the disciples. He told the fishermen, I will make you fishers of men. He said I am going to use your talents and abilities to make you refocus from being a disciple of the world and become a disciple of Jesus. The same is true for all of us. Are we ready to cast our nets to the other side of the boat? It may mean that is definitely a different way to do what we have done all of our life, but isn't that a part of what being a disciple is? God uses our talents and abilities in a way that is not for the world but for Jesus. We see it from the other side of the boat and we are able to truly rely fully on God. Are you ready to learn more about being a disciple of Jesus and how that looks in our personal walks. Then I am inviting you to walk with me this week. It is not an easy journey, but the steps are truly easy. The first one begins today. A disciple of Christ follows Jesus. Recognize what you are a disciple of and see how God can refocus it for the Kingdom of God.