What does it mean to be a genuine disciple?

And what does the picture above have to do with it?  So random.

This past Wednesday Bible Studies, we discussed what true, genuine discipleship means.  The key passages we looked at are these:  Matthew 10:24-25, Matthew 10:34-41, Matthew 13;4-8, Matthew 13:47-50.

Read through them.  What does Jesus’ message of “genuineness” that He so often preached?

You know, many times we hear Christians say “Follow God” or “Follow Jesus” but rarely do we hear “Forget about yourself, DENY yourself, and DO what He says”.  Many Christians are living the go-with-the-flow kind of life and then blame God for their daily problems.

Car won’t start? It’s God’s fault.

Marriage falling apart? It’s God’s fault.

What if we take the Word of God literally.  What if, the next time the car doesn’t work, we get off our butts and fix it? God said “Go to the ant you sluggard, and watch how they work with no master”.  Or we see our marriage struggling, what if instead of being mad at God, and take the Word and apply “love your wife” or “respect your husband” to our marriage?  Notice how these situations are as simple as car troubles or more complex as marriage issues? And those are daily situations.

Deny yourself, pick up your cross DAILY and let Him work in your life.  Stop making excuses. God already did everything to get you out of darkness, it’s your responsibility to stay out.

If we don’t follow God, how do we expect people to follow us?

Real discipleship is ACTING and DOING the Word.  And no one promised us an easy life, in fact, it seems to get harder.  As we read, Jesus didn’t come to bring peace but a sword.  Yes, Jesus is peace inside of us, but if you look at what happened around Him when He was on earth, you will see all hell literally broke loose.

Demons fell at His feet.  Religious people seeked to kill Him.  Disciples got offended and left Him.  Family was embarrassed of Him.   But at the same time, the lame walked, the blind received vision, the dead were resurrected.  We see miracles after miracles even through all the division that was caused!

Being a true disciple and following Jesus is the same in our life.  Even though you now have peace inside, there may be division created in your own home.  Clinging to Christ often means letting go of family members who reject you because you won’t reject the gospel. Why??

Because if we put anyone above Christ, we are not worthy of Him. 

So what does a true, genuine disciple look like?  Let’s look at Matthew 13:4-8.  Jesus describes four possible results when someone preaches the gospel, and only one of these yields a crop.  We all know that good ground brings forth fruit, unlike thistles, rocks, etc.  We discussed this in a previous post here when we introduced the reading plan.

A good ground is a disciple who has taken the Word and meditated on it until they can receive revelation, become motivated, and act on it.  When we act on the Word of God, we produce fruit.  By our fruit, we will be known if we are Jesus’ disciples or not, and in order for fruit to grow, there must be good soil.

If we don’t follow God, how do we expect people to follow us?

Based on the imagery of Jesus’ parable of the soils what are some of the characteristic of a true disciple?  We discussed a few: someone who SPEAKS the Word, meditates, listens to God, humble, who can receive, meek, lowly, diligent, pure, dedicated.

Genuine discipleship means to have good soil.  Out of it comes the fruit of your life.  And to have good soil, we must DO the Word.  That’s where it all begins. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

How do you respond when you are around people who mock God or Christianity?

If being a disciple requires us to live the way Christ did and follow His example, why is self-denial such a large part of being a Christian?

In what ways does the church often overlook the message of genuineness today?

In what ways does yoru life exhibit the genuineness of your commitment to discipleship?

What needs to change in your life for you to develop unswerving devotion to the cause of Christ above all over pursuits?

It’s always a necessity to analyze where you are in life and see what things need change.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you on what areas of life the Word of God should be applied, the hard work will make the results worth it.

So remember, follow Jesus and DO what He says.  Let Him work in you!

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