What is Discipleship?
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Discipleship tends to be confusing. Is it a program? Am I supposed to be someone's disciple? Is this a small-group thing? If we look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, the answer becomes quite clear: A disciple of Christ observes Christ's commands and we fulfill this commission by teaching others the same. This isn't a matter of just halfheartedly following a list of rules. Obedience to God results from an overflow of love from our redeemed hearts. Jesus made it very clear in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." We need to be discipled if we're going to make disciples. So how do we do that?
In the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6, Jesus gave 4 key components to discipleship: Bible Study, Prayer, Giving, and Fasting. If you pay close attention to the kind of language Jesus used, these are not optional. They are assumed practices.
The purpose of this web page is to give you practical steps to not only become a disciple yourself, but to go make disciples.
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time..."
when ye fast..."
"Therefore when thou
doest thine alms..."
"And when thou prayest..."
Bible reading plans are great. Taking time out of the day to read a chapter or two several times a week is also a great thing. But what kind of quality time are you spending in the Word? Are you just checking a box, hurrying to get it out of the way? Do you often times forget what you just read? Psalm 119:11 says "Thy word I have hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."Hiding God's word in our hearts takes effort and purpose. We have to be intentional about it. Consider this acronym as a road map for how to stuffy the Bible: MAPS.
Meditate/Memorize. Apply. Pray. Share.
Giving is an act of worship. Plain and simple. It's between you and the Lord how much you give. But God expects us to give. That's part of being a good steward. But giving shouldn't be confined to a dollar amount. In Romans 12:1, Paul begs the believers in Rome to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." God doesn't want our apathetic donations. He wants out hearts. He wants us to be generous not only our treasures, which all belong to Him anyway, but also be generous with our hearts, laying our lives down.
Being generous and responsible with what God has given us is the very definition of stewardship. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:3-4 that when (not if) we give our alms, we should do it in secret and God will reward us openly. Let the time, talents, and treasures that God has chosen to give you be given back in such a way that it brings honor and glory to His name in order to spread the good news of the gospel to every unreached soul in the world.
You can get a tithing envelope at the church or you can give online here:
Prayer is by far the most underutilized and underestimated privileges we have as believers. We get to come before God - the King of the universe, the Creator Who fearfully and wonderfully weaved your body and soul together - and can speak directly to Him. He wants to hear from us. He wants to have a close and intimate relationship with us. He died for us to have that! How can we go about our lives not talking to God?
People often say that "prayer doesn't work" Well, what do they mean by "prayer" and "doesn't work"? Is prayer simply an incantation or recitation of some words? Does prayer result in our problems going away because we utter some empty words?
Consider this definition of prayer:
"The fundamental aspect of prayer is knowing who God is, who you are, and what God wants for you and from you to benefit others."
~Abdu Murray, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
This definition clearly explains the 'whats' and the 'whys' of prayer, but what about the 'hows'? Jesus was asked the very same thing and He gave us a model prayer for us to learn from in Matthew 5:9-13 aka the Lords Prayer. From this we find a convenient acronym that will help us to remember the elements of how to P.R.A.Y.
v9 'Our Father...Hallowed by thy name"
v12 'Forgive us our debts...'
v11 'Give us this day...'
v10 '...Thy will be done...'
Prayer is the means by which we seek to praise God, ask Him for guidance, to be conformed to His will, to meet our needs, to be forgiven, and to be our strength in times of temptation. We know Him better, get clarification for the purpose of each day of our lives, our relationship is deepened and strengthened, and that intimacy overflows into every area of our lives. Prayer allows us to praise, worship, and commune with God in the midst of trials and tribulations. Believers can still find joy and awesome admiration in God while going through divorce, cancer, death of a loved one, and so on. Prayer isn't meant to be used just to wish these things away, though we certainly pray that marriages stay intact, that those afflicted with cancer are healed, that God spare a loved one from death. Prayer conforms us and prepares us according to God's will. Sometimes the answer to our prayers - regardless of how sincere or how dire the circumstance - is no. Prayer helps is to submit to God's sovereignty. We might not have all the answers, but God does and He controls it all. He knows what's best. We pray so that we trust in His timing and His methods. Prayer always works if you know what it truly is and what it truly accomplishes.