This is our third focus on “Making Disciples” so the subject must be quite important. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave all of us the command and the commission — “Go, make disciples.”
A disciple is an apprentice or learner. Jesus is the Master Discipleship Maker. We are His disciples if we have accepted Him as Savior and Lord and have determined to follow Him. We have been considering the characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to conclude that study today.
A. A true disciple of Jesus Christ is not a busybody or gossip. In John 21:21-22 we read “Peter asked Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus replied ‘If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? Follow Me.’”
In 1 Timothy 5:13 the Apostle Paul wrote “And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy, and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.” A true disciple concerns himself/herself with the heart of Jesus and doesn’t have time to gossip or meddle in the affairs of others.
B. A true disciple does things well, whether great or small. The Apostle Paul, in Colossians 3:17, wrote, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Regardless of the task, we should do our best because we are doing it for the glory of God.
C. A true disciple uses his/her time wisely.
Again, we look to Paul for guidance – Ephesians 5:15-17, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the LORD wants you to do.
D. A true disciple’s top priority is to please the LORD most of all. In Galatians 1:10 Paul wrote, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
Brother/Sister, do you seek God’s approval or the applause of other people?
In 2 Corinthians 5:9 Paul wrote, “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him!”
E. A true disciple delights in obeying his LORD when He speaks. In Luke 5:4-9 we learn that Peter and his partners had fished all night and caught nothing. Then we read —
“When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.’ Simon replied “Master we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again. And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partner in the other boat, and soon the boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said ‘O Lord, please leave me — I’m such a sinful man.’ For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.”
What if Peter had said “Lord, you are a carpenter and I am a fisherman. I know fishing” and then he refused to honor the Lord’s request? But he obeyed and was amazed at the results.
F. A true disciple has faith in God. He trusts the LORD. In Mark 11:20-22 we read “The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree You cursed has withered and died!” Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Have faith in God.’”
In Hebrews 11:6 we read “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”
G. A true disciple will trust the love and faithfulness of God, even without temporal and material security.
Matthew 6:25-34, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Paul, in Colossians 3:1-2, wrote “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not on the things of the earth.”
H. A true disciple will follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and make adjustments as the Lord may require. In John 16:13 Jesus said “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.”
In Acts 13:2 we read “As they ministered to the LORD and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
I. A true disciple has a clear understanding of God’s priorities. In Acts 6:2-4 we read, “So the twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, ‘We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word’.”
The Holy Spirit has gifted each of us to fill a particular role in the body of Christ. Each role is important, whether teaching His word or caring for the homeless.
My prayer is that each of us would study these characteristics of a true follower of Jesus Christ. Is it our desire to follow Him and become more and more like Him, doing what He has called us to do?
For His Glory,