THE JESUS PLAN TO BECOME A DISCIPLE
I have more and more come to see that modern day “easy believe” evangelism and the suggestion that coming forward in an evangelistic meeting and praying a prayer just doesn’t line up with the Word of God, Let us look at Luke 9:23-24 and see what Jesus has to say about becoming a true follower of Him.
NKJV Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him DENY himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
NLT Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your OWN WAY, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
PASSION Jesus said to all of his followers, “If you truly desire to be my DISCIPLE, you must disown your life completely, embrace my ‘cross’ as your own, and SURRENDER to my ways. For if you CHOOSE SELF SACRIFICE, giving up your lives for my glory, you will embark on a discovery of more and more of true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will lose what you try to keep.
AMP.N.T And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [CLEAVE STEADFASTLY to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].
For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [from the penalty of eternal death].
MESSAGE Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. YOUR NOT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
As often is my practice I have I spelt out various translations (and highlighted some words) to help us understand what it truly means to become a follower of Jesus.
My next statement could very easily be misinterpreted, “the Church often leaves the work of discipleship almost exclusively to the Holy Spirit ( and wonder why people do not grow up spiritually and often walk away”), when Jesus has delegated to the Church to DO THE WORK OF DISCIPLESHIP.
Yes, the Holy Spirit wants to lead us into all truth, but this is a slow and long process, and without Biblical Discipleship there can be years of defeat and heart backsliding and often disillusionment, and if a person doesn’t walk away just settles down into a lukewarm display of being a Christian.
I believe the enemy has tricked the Church into believing a 4-6 week course/class, is sufficient, my readers know I totally disagree and Jesus reinforces this fact in Luke 9:23-24.
We know that often old (bad) habits can take discipline and encouragement to be broken, that is why I am convinced that we must raise up 100’s if not 1000’s of real disciple-makers who will walk with new Believers FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES, until TAKING UP THE CROSS DAILY HAS BECOME A LIFESTYLE.
We need a revelation that we MUST VACATE THE DRIVER’S SEAT IN OUR LIFE, and learn to continually hand our keys over to Jesus, and daily let Him rule and reign in our life.
The reality is most if not all new believers need that someone to walk withy us, to see firstly:
We have assurance of sins forgiven and have assurance of eternal life.
We learn what it means to pray and know all the components of a fruitful prayer life.
We learn how to read and meditate on the Word of God and learning to hear the voice of God. through His Word.
We learn and take hold of our glorious inheritance available to us NOW purchased for us through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We learn we have an enemy who wants to stop us carrying our cross, and although he has been defeated, will want to constantly seek to cause us to sin and disobey the Lord.
We must quickly learn we must be planted in a local church as this is an essential key to our growth and development.
Your immediate response could be, even with a disciple-maker the above will take time, I agree, I would suggest a minimum of one face to face meeting every week, and now in this technological age, we can can sms, Whatsapp, and many other ways DAILY, as a constant reminder of what the new Believer must continue to do.
I am sure we really want quality disciples, and I encourage you to give some thoughtful prayer to what I have written here in this blog.
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