Summary: We are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. A true disciple displays various traits and qualities that reflect the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
It was Saturday, March 23, 2002. The following Monday my wife, Kim, and I would be celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. I’ll have to say that year Kim made it very easy for me. She told me up front and very clearly what she wanted for our anniversary. She didn’t ask for anything store bought, but all she wanted was for me to build her the flower beds she had been wanting. The next week would be the perfect time to get it done since I would be off for a week of vacation. I agreed to do it and I wanted to get started right away, for I had already planned to use my vacation time to get my garden planted; a real garden…A garden that grows things for eating and not just for looking pretty. That morning I got real busy, tilling and breaking up the ground where the flower bed would go. I worked at it all morning under Kim’s close supervision. After a while, the phone rang. It was my mom. She was calling to invite us down to their house for the afternoon. I told her thanks, but explained what I was doing and told her I wanted to get as much done as I could. After I hung up, I felt a little guilty, but went back to work, only stopping to eat lunch. A short time later the phone rang again. This time it was my dad. He wanted the same thing. He said that he and momma really wanted us to come down so they could take us out to eat for our anniversary. I really did want to finish the flower bed so I could get to my garden, but a little voice in my head told me we needed to go, for I knew how much it would mean to my parents for us to come. Kim agreed that we should go and said we could finish working on the flower bed Monday. So we went down to their house and we had a great time. They did carry us out for supper and we had a wonderful visit. On the way back home, Kim and I agreed that it was a good idea that we stopped working and took the opportunity to spend the time with my parents. We were so glad we decided to go and could tell how much it meant to my mom and dad. Well, the weekend passed and the next Monday morning I got to work on her flower bed. I had been working for a couple of hours and was going strong when wouldn’t you know it, the phone rang. It was my mom again. We’ll come back to that story.
The most difficult choice we have to make in life is when we decide on our priorities. As a Christian, your number one priority is to put God first in your life. Once you do that, you’re able to mature in grace and live a more full and fruitful life in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Once you fully respond and commit to this relationship, you’re next step is to begin a life of discipleship, which is a life in grace.
So, what is a disciple? According to Webster, it’s a pupil or follower of a specific teacher or school of religion. Therefore, a disciple of Jesus is someone who has made a whole-hearted commitment to follow Him as Lord and Savior. Think of the men who were chosen by Christ as it’s recorded in Matthew 4:18-22, “As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers; Simon, called Peter, and his brother, Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once, they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father preparing their nets, Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him." Did you hear that? At once! Immediately! They responded to the call with their whole being and gave up the lives they knew and followed Jesus with no hesitation. They made a life changing decision to devote themselves to Jesus Christ and His teachings. You, just like those fishermen, are called to be His disciple. Jesus gives three promises for those who choose to follow Him. We see these promises John 8:31-32. He tells us, “…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Did you hear that? If you live by His teachings, you are His disciple; you will know the truth; and the truth will set you free. What does free mean to you?