Day 1 Discipleship

VERSE OF THE DAY:
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Mt. 16:24-25)
 
DISCIPLESHIP
 

A disciple of Christ is more than proclaiming oneself to be a Christian. The term “Christian,” is limited in scope and simply means a believer in Christ. A disciple however, as defined by the dictionary is ‘one who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another,’ in this case – Jesus (Jn.8:31-32).  While we know that believing in Jesus is the main criteria for salvation (Acts 4:12 & 16:31 ), there are many who profess to believe but  who do not ever become true disciples. Let’s us take a look at the qualifications for discipleship as given by Jesus Himself: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”  (Matthew 16:24-25)

    If anyone desires:
First there must be a desire to follow Jesus. One must count it a privilege to do so. When Jesus called His disciples, they thought it an honor so they left everything to follow Him. They were not concerned about what they would get out of it but they followed Him by virtue of who they thought He was – the Messiah. There were also many others who got caught up in the excitement of Jesus’ ministry and who wanted to be a part of it. Many people saw the miracles and all that was happening around Jesus and they wanted in.  Many of them, however, were unable to truly let go of the things in life which precluded them from being disciples (Lk. 18:18-25) Question:  Do you desire to truly follow Jesus?

   Let him deny himself
To deny oneself means that one would have to do without. It means putting one’s own interests below that of others. Let’s face it, we all have things we need, or think we need. We live in a culture of “me first” but disciples of Jesus  are Christ centered and then others -centered. So denying onself would mean putting aside one’s own needs for other people. Jesus is a supreme example of someone who puts others first. He was thinking about you and me when He went to the cross.

    Take up his cross:
When Jesus first made this statement, the disciples may have wondered what He meant. He had not yet gone to Calvary so they may have been a bit confused about it. After His death and resurrection, it would begin to make sense; taking up one’s cross means a willingness to die with Him, and for Him. In the next statement, Jesus explains why this is important. He said: “whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” This is a direct reference to eternal life. Losing one’s life for Christ (as radical as it seems) means gaining eternal life in the end. A true disciple is not too concerned about this life and what it has to offer because he or she is holding on to the hope (Eph.1) that comes from following Jesus.

 

PRAY :Lord, I want to be a true disciple. I ask you to teach me your way so that I amy follow you in sincerity and truth all the days of my life. Amen.

 

NEXT STEPS:
  1. (Read Philippians 2:1-11)What do you think is meant by the phrase “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”? (See verse 5)
  2. List some of the ways in which you can “esteem others” better than yourself? (See verse 3)
  3. List three things from Philippians 2:7 that Jesus did to humble Himself.
  4. Read Ephesians 1 and list three things from verses 1-6 the Believer has in Christ:
 
READ MORE: For further study, read Luke 14:25-34, Philippians 2:1-11 and Ephesians 1

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