“To walk by a deficiency is to accept it.” These words from an instructor at the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) at Fort Drum, NY in January of 1992 still ring in my ears today. This comes to mind when I think about my willingness to serve Jesus.
Do you know how many times the word “Christian” appears in the New Testament? Three. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider a third of the world associates with that word to declare their spiritual beliefs.
Now how many times does the word “disciple” appear? You may be surprised to learn that it’s over 250 times - which reminds us that what we do is more important than who we say we are. We’re saved by God’s grace, but faith in Him without corresponding action is dead.
Many Christians are not compelled to become disciples of Jesus, but are content to be a follower in name only. By this declaration they earn heaven and avoid hell - but their lives don’t reflect the Saviors intent. Why? Because if it was easy, we’d all do it! But it’s hard, so we settle for a lower standard.
Discipleship is a costly endeavor. But as Dallas Willard said, the cost of non-discipleship is far greater than the price paid to follow Jesus.
Non-discipleship costs us these things:
- Abiding peace
- Life penetrated throughout by love
- Faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good
- Hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances
- Power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil
In short, it costs exactly the abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10)!
What would change about your life if you focused your energy in becoming like Jesus?
Be encouraged: Prayer, solitude, simplicity, and service will mark your life if you’ll humbly follow Him.
LEADER PRAYER: Lord, may our hearts yearn to know and follow you as our teacher and friend. Show us the way to overcome a Christianity that is lacking disciples and to serve under your lordship and authority. Amen.