Christianity in the contemporary society has been completely watered down to an extent it is extremely difficult to differentiate between a Christian and a pagan. As the word suggests the word Christian is derived from the name Christ, meaning that a Christian is “Christ-like,” and anything else than this is not true Christianity. The modern day Christian is a bored fellow with a life that lacks meaning and is only content with going to church every Sunday nothing more than that. Christianity today is defined by more the church one attends rather than following in the footsteps of the person whose name the term is derived from.
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“Christian Discipleship is radical living”!! (Laurie p 7) It is a life that is beyond mediocrity and comfort, it is a life of great sacrifice and self denial, ultimately it is a life that attracts persecution and sometimes will cost your life. Jesus and most of His disciples were killed because of their convictions, they died rather than denouncing their faith and they were happy to do so, a very good example is Jesus himself who did “not retaliate even though he had the power to do so when he was insulted and humiliated” 1 Peter 2:23.
Just as Greg Laurie points out “All believers are disciples but not all believers are disciples” (Laurie p 7), so who is a disciple? The name disciple was derived from the name “discipline” meaning that a disciple is a follower of someone else, accompanied by great commitment and discipline. A follower of Jesus is called to “take up his cross daily and follow Jesus” what this scripture means is that anyone having the desire to follow Jesus must be ready to even die for the sake of Jesus.(Luke 14: 25-28).
In Luke14:25-28, we notice a very “scary” lifestyle that Jesus is calling for those who would wish to follow Him, he tells them thus “if anyone does not hate his mother, his father, his children, his brothers and sisters… even his own life he cannot be my disciple”. For me this scripture summarizes who a disciple is supposed to be. It is so easy to misinterpret this scripture to mean that Jesus was calling his disciples to hate their relatives and families; this in actual sense was not what he really meant rather he meant that the love we have for him should supersede any other. In a radical Christian life the a major hindrances to effectiveness are destructions by life demands, it is so easy to love our lives and families more than we love God, which would be tantamount to idolatry, which God would not tolerate.
As a disciple one is called “to love God with all your heart, with your entire mind and with all your soul” (Matthew 22:37). But what does loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and mind entail? This question is answered in John 14:15 where Jesus said that “if you love me you will obey what I command”. In essence then, to love God calls for us to obey all the commands he gives. These commands are not found in magazines, movies or journals, but are found in the Holy Bible!! To love God is to obey the Bible! To be a Christian disciple one has to be committed to obeying what the Bible teaches. Believing alone is not enough but “holding on to my teaching you are really my disciples then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31.
Greg Laurie “Discipleship: Giving God Your Best” Harvest House Publishers Eugene, Oregon 97402 1993 pg.
“The Holy Bible” (King James Version).