Saturday, April 2, 2011

D is for Disciple

A couple of years ago I heard a sermon about disciples and discipline. Honestly I don't remember much else. Although I ofter remember the words together when I find myself missing prayer, devotion, or church service and especially when I procrastinate. The night before last the words came to mind again when I washed dishes hours after dinner was over. So this morning I sought out understanding of the two words.

Disciple is defined by Merriam-Webster as one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrine of another as: (a) one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospels accounts (b) a convinced adherent of a school or individual.  So by definition I'm a disciple! (and yes I'm excited about that) To further my understanding I searched the word origin. Disciple (according to Merriam Webster) comes from the Latin word discipulus  meaning follower of Christ; pupil (again that's me!) 
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Okay, that's all well and good that by definition I am a disciple. I mean that is my desire to follow Christ. However the final authority as a follower of Christ is the Word of God. So, what does the Bible say about disciples?

First of all to be a disciple, as mentioned before you much accept the doctrine of Christ. That doctrine is Jesus Christ died for your sins so that you may be in relations with God. Romans 10:9-10 reads That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

The second part of that is assist. You assist in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The simple answer to that is walking in love.  
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More specific answers I read in these scriptures:

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

You and I must walk upright before God. Do work that we aren't ashamed of, and use the Bible in context.

Matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

Note: We were called to Him. Given authority! to drive out evil and heal. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good deed.

( I really endorse reading 2 Timothy in it's entirety because Paul writes him about ministry. So it is all relevant to the topic at hand, being a disciple.) But I featured these two verses to illustrate that as disciples you must use the Word to reproof FOR correction, instruction in righteousness (improve one's walk with Christ) with the results being that the man of God is  COMPLETE. 
Take note that pointing out of fault isn't to humiliate or hurt but to improve and direct one that they may be complete. WHOLE. So when you reproof the way in which you go about it must be in love, because any other way will not lead to that person being made whole, complete. Two of the Be Attitudes in our home is we use kind words to build each other up and we speak to each other quietly and with respect. Because when we turn away from that it leads to hurt feelings and offenses.
Image provided by Luigi Diamantis

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and our of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. 

PREACH! When they want to hear it and when they don't continue to spread the Word of God.  Win them over to Christ,  by being  convincing, consistent and teaching.  (again read 2 Timothy in it's entirety!)

Of course there is much more to being a disciple. However, I'm not a fan of very long posts so we may cover that more later. I would like to note that I am a firm believer in works. (James 14-26) I believe that as a disciple of Christ you should meet the physical needs of the people you minister to. But like I said we may cover that more later.

Are you a disciple of Christ? Would you like to become a disciple of Christ? If you haven't accepted Christ as Lord and would like to do so repeat this prayer:

""Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."  

Click SALVATION to be directed to another link with more information. Leave a comment with questions or prayer request. If you have already accepted Christ as your Savior please leave you comments and testimony about discipleship.  We will pick up tomorrow with discipline. Thank you for stopping by. 

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