If I, as a Christian, say that Jesus is my Lord, am I also His disciple? I’ve been journaling and mulling this question over for the last couple of months because my tag is that I am a “Disciple of Jesus”. So am I?
If we call Jesus our Lord and Savior do we act like he really is?
Within a couple of years of becoming a Christian, I said to someone after they had made a crude comment, “The bible says that we shouldn’t joke about sexual things.” (Found in Ephesians 5) and the reply was, “Yeah…the bible says a lot of things.” And that was the end of the conversation. This person had gone to church her whole life and got absolutely nothing out of it. How can we have, ” life more abundantly” (John 10:10) if we don’t let Jesus change us from the inside out?
I don’t think we deliberately make the decision to not follow Christ’s teaching or like in the example above not really care? Either we just want Jesus to be our eternal fire insurance or we want the bonuses without the work or, what I think is the most common, we have never had Christian discipleship modeled for us.
What Does Jesus Actually Say?
The first thing that comes to mind is, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) John reiterates this again in 1st John 3:23-24 So, if I really love Jesus and want to be his disciple than I need to keep his commandments.
So…What are Jesus’ Commandments?
- Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:36–40; Mark 12:28–31)
- Abide (Stay) in me and Love one another as I have loved you. (John 15)
- Don’t be angry, don’t lust, be honest, love your enemies (Matthew 5)
- Do good deeds secretly, forgive others, don’t act like your fasting when you fast, don’t love money, don’t worry, (Matthew 6)
- Don’t judge others, ask God for what you need, treat people like you want to be treated, (Matthew 6)
- Go into all the world and TEACH them to obey everything I have commanded you (The basis for discipleship)
These are just a few things that he explicitly says we need to do. “But Steve,” you say, “The Bible says a lot of things.” I’ll admit that being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t seem easy in the beginning but as we do it, we understand that it is a very light burden. At least today we don’t have to leave everyone we know as the first disciples did.
It Becomes a Want not a Must
Nothing happens overnight so we have to be easy on ourselves. When we begin to spend time learning from Jesus we want to be new people today, but if you have spent 10, 15, 20 0r more years becoming someone who doesn’t spend time with Christ, it won’t happen overnight.
When we begin to spend time with Jesus the things we must do, become things we want to do. We want to live differently. To share our lives with others. We have more love for those who God puts in our life. The commandments of Christ become tools for our life, not just rules that we must follow.
I’m reading a lot and learning a lot. I went back to some books I picked up ten or more years ago like The Great Omission by Dallas Willard and Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland. I’m also starting the podcast I’ve put off for six months so I can talk about what I’m learning. (Affiliate Links)