Being a disciple of Jesus means you are constantly seeking to obey His commands and live in the manner He did. It means demonstrating love in all your interactions and exemplifying humility as you consistently seek to serve others. It’s a tall order and one that is not easily accomplished. Jesus warned that the way to Heaven was through a narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14). Without a doubt, it’s easier to travel the wide and well worn path in life, but we have chosen to follow Christ. As a result, our lives must look different from those around us. When people see us, they should catch a glimpse of Jesus.
To the average Christian, living a life totally devoted to Christ is a foreign concept. A recent poll showed that about half of all Americans have prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into their heart at some point in their lives. Imagine if half the people in America were actually living as disciples of Jesus. The impact we could make on the world would be unprecedented. However the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘born again’ have been diluted to the point where they are almost meaningless. As I have often stated, we don’t need any more Christians; we need disciples.
Choosing to be a disciple will turn your world upside down. There’s no “should” or “could” in discipleship; if you are truly a follower of Jesus, your life will change dramatically. As disciples we learn to pray for those who persecute us. That includes the unreasonable boss, the difficult neighbor, or the infuriating family member. No one is exempt from the love of God. As disciples we will choose to serve everyone. We will feed the hungry, provide water for the thirsty, care for the sick, visit those in prison, care for the poor, and shelter the homeless (Matthew 25:31-46). As disciples we will look after orphans and widows, single mothers and displaced peoples, and we will keep away from the temptations of the world (James 1:27).
As followers of Jesus, we will choose each day to love God with all of our heart, mind, strength, and soul (Luke 10:27). We will choose to do the things that please the Father. This means we will work to break the chains of injustice by seeking freedom for all people, ending slavery and human trafficking, and ascribing worth to every individual (Isaiah 58:6). We will choose to care for our families (Isaiah 58:7). Above all, we will love (1 John 4:7-12).
Being a disciple of Jesus affects every choice we make throughout our day. No longer will we live for ourselves and our selfish ambitions. We will choose not to chase after comfort-fueled distractions or shiny trinkets of questionable worth. All that we are will be consumed by thoughts of loving and obeying Christ, loving and serving others, and humbly deflecting all glory to our Creator King. Your days will look different. Your life will be different. And in the end, we will hear the most precious words our ears could ever hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).