A Disciple’s Path: What is a disciple?

Luke 10:25-28                        September 9, 2013

When Elijah met God at Mt. Horeb, the Lord gave Elijah some assignments.  Elijah was to anoint Hazael as king of Aram and Jehu as king of Israel.  Then Elijah was to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as “prophet in your place” (1 Kings 19:11-8).  To anoint someone means to set that person apart for God’s service.

 Now when Elijah found Elisha, he was plowing.  Elijah threw his mantle over Elisha’s shoulders.  This throwing of the mantle showed that Elisha was going to work in the same fashion as Elijah.  After sacrificing the oxen on the yoke and giving the meat to the people, Elisha became Elijah’s servant.

 Just from this story we can see two items about a disciple.  First, the disciple does the same work as the master.  Just as Elijah gave God’s word to God’s people, so would Elisha.  Second, the disciple serves the master.  The best way for the disciple to learn from the master is to do what the master says to do.  It sounds like much more than being a member of something.  These items fit well into our definition of a disciple:  A disciple is a follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others.

 As Christians who are United Methodists, this definition comes straight from the Bible.  In this definition we find our work.  Love is the work we are about.  We also find ways in which we can cultivate time with God.  Our commitment to God is worked out as we spend time with God and his work.  Yet, the first thing we do is say that we are followers of Jesus.  The work we do as disciples comes from our spending time with God and believing in Jesus.

 

  1. Our work as disciples
    1. Love the Lord your God
      1. All your heart – ponder his ways
      2. All your soul – live God’s ways
      3. All your strength – be available for God’s ways
      4. All your mind – be wise in God’s ways
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself
    1. We need food, we make sure others have food
    2. We need clothing, we make sure others have clothing
    3. We need water, we make sure others have water
    4. We need peace, we make sure others have peace
  3. We have much to do as we love God and love others.  That is who we are.  A disciple is a follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others.  As we do this work of being a disciple, we live.  It would seem that the Samaritan could live with himself after he helped the man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. That means we are to love the people in the Twin Counties that nobody else wants to love.  By doing this, we show we love the Lord our God.  Yet, how do we spend time with God?

 

  1. We cultivate our time with God
    1. Prayer and scripture mediation
      1. Keep alert in prayer (Col. 4:2)
      2. Scripture trains us to love (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
  2. Corporate Worship & Small-group community
    1. Spend time in church (Acts 2:46)
    2. Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2))
  3. Financial generosity
    1. Trust God and be generous (1 Tim. 6:17-18)
    2. Sell what you have and give to the needy (Acts 2:45)
  4. Spiritual gifts and gifts-based service
    1. We have gifts from God (Eph. 4:11)
    2. Disciples work to build up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12)
  5. Invitational evangelism
    1. Speak your story of salvation so others may believe (Rom. 10:13-17)
    2. We are witnesses (Acts 1:8)
  6. Matthew 28:18-20 – make disciples by baptizing & teaching what Jesus taught
  7. Our time becomes filled with God.  We speak to him, and we listen to him.  We praise God together, and we get with a few who encourage us along the way.  We give to God, realizing that we are dependent on God for all we have.  We serve God in various ways, because the body of Christ is dependent on us to do this service.  We speak about Jesus’ work in our lives, and more people want to be a disciple.  Now we come to the start of it all.  We realize that we need Jesus to lead us so that we are centering our lives on loving God and loving others so that we may have life.  We know what it means to follow Jesus.  So, we say how we want to be and what we want to do.
  8. We declare that we want to follow Jesus
    1. Get baptized/Remember your baptism
    2. He is calling for followers as disciples speak about Jesus
    3. As God’s prevenient grace makes us aware of our sin, we repent.  We turn to God and his ways.  This is the time to be baptized – to show that God is washing our sins way.  As we repent and believe/know that God has forgiven us through Jesus Christ, we are justified by God’s grace.  Then we are prepared to be a disciple.   This means we start living as a follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others.

 

A disciple’s path leads us to God and his ways.  It leads us to the cross, and beyond.  As we are loving God and loving others, we find that we live.  We live by serving our master, Jesus.  We do the tasks that Jesus did, and still does.

 Our belief in Jesus is not just a card that we place in our wallet.  Our belief in Jesus is active.  A member of club can participate in whatever they want.  We want to be more than members.  We want to be disciples.  We want to be about the work that Jesus is about, to be Jesus’ disciple.  What is a disciple?  A disciple is a follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others. 

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