Theme: What is a disciple?
Disciple – like discipline, comes from the Latin word discipulus, meaning “pupil” or “learner”.
Disciple of Christ — One who pursues learning about Christ, follows Christ’s teachings.
Maker of a Disciple of Christ – Every Christian who encourages/instructs/entrusts to others to learn more about and pursue Christ. Notice, this applies to one who by the grace of God encourages/instructs both Christians and non-Christians to learn and pursue Christ, and fully trusts God with the outcomes. It is God who does the work –calls, saves, and matures by his Spirit. Jesus lovingly includes us in his work through the command of the Great Commission in Matthew 28. In fact, he chose to rely on our obedience as he extended this amazing privilege by his grace. Jesus did not ‘qualify’ his command according to our position in the church, gifts, age, or station in life. Instead, Jesus made it clear that making disciples is for all who are followers of Christ until the end of time by his addendum to the Great Commission: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Until his return, making disciples is every Christian’s job.
The Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This weeks’ devotionals focus on discipleship with a Biblical lens. We are called to make Disciples of all nations –all people groups regardless of tribe, race, or nationality. The first application that many Christians make is to understand the Great Commission in only an evangelistic mode: to see unbelievers coming to Christ. That is one aspect of making a disciple of Christ but not the only one. We are also to work with new and old Christians to encourage one another to become better, more mature followers of Christ.
While you are reading through these daily devotionals, think and pray about how intentional you are when it comes to making disciples, whether your focus is to engage in evangelism to help nonbelievers know more about Christ, or to teach Christians young and/or old about how to follow hard after Christ. Both can be practiced were you are now, whether by talking to your unbelieving neighbor about Christ, teaching/participating in a Bible study, encouraging a believer from another church, or by building relationships with family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors. All of these can be ways to engage in Christ’s kingdom work as His disciple and to make disciples of Christ.
May this week’s devotional readings encourage and sharpen you as Christ’s Disciple, and draw you into deeper love for him and his bride, the church. Dig in!