Years ago I thought a disciple of Christ was a person who shared Jesus everywhere one went. I talked about Him at the laundry, in the grocery check-out line, and on a park bench. I didn't wear a Jesus-lettered tee-shirt, mind you...just impulsively blathered on and on about Him.
I thought discipleship meant visiting the sick,
helping the poor,
giving tithes and offerings,
and attending all the Bible study groups one could schedule in between eating, sleeping and working.
When I read about the twelve disciples Jesus picked to follow Him and take His message of resurrection to the world, I thought, "no way". I'd never be able to leave my life behind and follow someone without any idea of where I'd spend the night. However, I wonder, isn't discipleship just that simple?
Does it have to be complicated? Do we have to take a survey? Is that what the disciples did when the Lord sent them out two by two?
Must discipleship fit within a sliver of a pie-chart for analyzing? Is it something so complex we need several books to figure it out? Does it need to be more clearly defined? I don't think so. To me it's simple.
It may not seem simple to some. It may be filled with schedules, and appointments, and studies, and planning, and meetings in conference rooms with pitchers of water to quench the thirst of those debating strategies and methods.
However, at the risk of annoying that type-A person who must have every single area of life organized just so, let me offer a pinch of what discipleship is according to Jesus:
"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42
A cup of cold water.
It's also giving up one's right to be right,
and giving up all wrongs to the Savior who shed His blood upon a cross to attone for each and every sin.
It's choosing to pick up one's cross--the daily grind and difficulty--the weight of suffering with full knowledge that Calvary is but a temporary place to an eternal day of bliss.
Along the way, we give to those who give their lives for Jesus. We encourage one another and even carry their crosses for them at times. We teach the hungering thirsty souls that love is greater than hate, and forgiveness is better than bitterness. We point others to Jesus in our every word and deed, and abstain from all things which might hinder their ability to see and hear God's still small voice. We set ourselves apart and keep God's Word hidden in our hearts so we might be able to speak His Word to others in time of need.
It's not as complicated as some might think to be a disciple. It's costly. Though grace is free, discipleship takes everything we are in every way each day. And when we give ourselves over to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and follow Jesus, we discover the investment in this world is but a pittance to the return we'll find in the mansion God is preparing for we who persevere in faith. In the meantime, we are blessed with peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable, and love unending with mercies new every morning. Are you thirsty? do you know someone who is? selahV