Billy Graham poignantly described a disciple as someone who “simply believes in Jesus and seeks to follow him in his or her daily life.” There are two big parts to this. First, disciples believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. That’s pretty important (like, necessarily important). Second, disciples don’t stop there. They continue by going deeper, diving into the Word, connecting in Prayer, having meaningful fellowship with other Christians, listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, etc. They root themselves as deeply in wisdom and knowledge of God as they possibly can. But, being a disciple is not only about salvation, knowledge, and wisdom (although those are important). It is also about service.
Jesus was once approached by someone who wanted to be a disciple. He seemed to have studied the scriptures and gained knowledge and wisdom. Yet, when Jesus called him to follow him he simply couldn’t make the leap:
And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:20-22
I once heard it put this way. Following Jesus isn’t always going to be easy, but aren’t you tired of just existing? That’s a great question. If we say “you know what, I’m going to go ahead and pass on this discipleship thing,”what we’re saying is we’re fine with just breathing air. We’re fine with not serving God, not impacting the world, and not being who God created us to be. We’re perfectly fine just doing what we want, instead of what God wants. What God desires from us is that we serve the world in whatever ways we’ve been equipped to serve it. Now, this is not nearly as complicated as it seems. Serving the world simply means that we take what we are good at and use it to bless others in God’s name. My question to you is, are you using the things that you are good at and have been blessed with to serve God and others?
My prayer for all of us is that we do not go through life simply existing, but live a life of discipleship by growing in our faith and lovingly serving the world around us.