Summary: Jesus gave us the example of true discipleship - to forsake all, to follow, & to Love one another. Our world tends to work to dilute the real message. However, if we can take hold of the basic truths, we can remain faithful to Jesus’ instructions.
Marks of A True Disciple
Luke 14:26, 33 (KJV)
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple…So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
A. True discipleship is forsaking all to follow Jesus.
1. To forsake means to give up something that is dear to you.
a. As Christians, Jesus wants to be the center of our lives. He wants to take the throne of our hearts and to be first place. Everything else must come after Him.
b. Jesus wants us to hold our relationship with Him and our service to Him above every other priority in our lives.
c. We cannot simply come to Jesus and then decide our life issues are more important than our time with Him.
d. It’s not about receiving Jesus and then going on business as usual.
e. It’s not about adding Jesus to your own lifestyle. It’s about letting go of former things.
I was in Guatemala and happened to see a newspaper in English. It was commenting on how this “Christian Church” in the mountains had survived during the influx of Catholicism. It went on to say that they worship the Lord in the sanctuary and offer incense to various gods on the front steps. It was a matter of simply adding the Christian God to their own pagan worship. They are going through the rituals, but, there is no real relationship with Jesus.
It works the same way in our own lives. In order to live a full Christian life and have a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we have to clear out the former things. We have to forsake all and make room for the King. We cannot simply add Jesus to what we’re doing and fit Him into our schedule. He must be our first love.
Luke 9:57-62 – (NKJV) - 57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
2. To follow Jesus does not just mean to follow Him around.
a. It means to follow the example of His life & ministry.
b. What is Jesus’ example?
c. Constant fellowship with God the Father
d. Reaching out (in unconditional Love & compassion) to save, heal, deliver, & restore
e. Showing mercy & forgiveness (not judgment & condemnation)
We are all called as ministers of reconciliation – to spread the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ. We are called to walk in (unconditional) Love with one another. We are called to give to those who are in need that we come in contact with.
Most of Jesus’ life and ministry were not spent in the four walls of the church. It was spent out among the people – meeting their needs – showing the way to the Father.
John 13: 34 "I give you a new commandment: that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
B. True disciples of Jesus have love for one another.
1. Peter talks about the kind of Love we are to have for one another.
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." F24 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the
oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.