I’ve given over charge of my life to Him – the first step to wearing the disciple t-shirt. I know Him, and He knows me.
HERE’S a little bit of dialogue snatched from a small group discussion. Am I a disciple of Jesus? Or would it be more realistic to say I am a good, believing church member – but still a bit passive, still a bit of a consumer if I am honest?
One of the group members who is gifted in Bible teaching offered a couple of definitions that Jesus Himself gave, which are a good starting point – from The Message:
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure.”
This is how everyone will recognise that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.
She pointed out, we should also add what Jesus expected of His disciples, and what He got them doing – but the pump was primed for discussion.
What determines whether or not I am truly a disciple of Jesus?
- I’m a believer. Yes, really. I believe in Jesus, know who He is and what He came to do. But a believer is not necessarily a disciple. You can believe all the Bible says about Him but not live for Him. I’ve given over charge of my life to Him – the first step to wearing the disciple t-shirt. And I know Him, and He knows me.
- I have a call. I’m not sure where that call will take me. I’m not even sure I could put that call into words. But I am sure I want to be free to follow where He leads.
- I need to grow – to deepen the relationship. To be able to trust Him more, but…
- …there are issues which always seem to get in the way. My thoughts can be a battle-zone. I’m confident one moment, fighting fears the next. I know I’m not very reliable. I need to be free to be a disciple. There are people in my fellowship who just seem able to handle life’s ups and downs without the wobbles. I must sign up for that ‘Living Free’ workshop they have been talking about.
- I’m fortunate to be in a good fellowship with people to coach me and encourage me, and the pastor’s brilliant – he’s always interested and I can tweet him any time if I need a bit of a steer, or a prayer. I know that being a disciple of Jesus is not a ‘lone ranger’ occupation but is about being teamed up with all the other aspiring disciples out there.
- Someone said that a disciple is a kind of apprentice, growing in skills and confidence, and my small group gives me a safe place to do just that. I really wouldn’t miss it… Preaching and teaching is invaluable, but I need that opportunity to process it with others. Sometimes you need space to disagree, before you come to really own something. My small group is definitely one place that I grow.
- The place of the most growth is not in a church setting at all. It’s at work (my work is a tough place to be a Christian disciple!) and among friends and acquaintances and all those people who drive to overflow out of my rear view mirror and give indifferent service and block you with their supermarket trolley and subject you to their mobile phone conversations – all humans, in the image of God and loved by Him. I’m growing to love them too, and to use my gifts to bless their world wherever I can. Trials are – testing. But that’s how we grow. I realise that.