What is a Disciple? A Disciple Share

Telling another person about Jesus Christ can be scary.  I mean you are opening up about an important part of your life. The fear of rejection is real.

“What if the person asks a question I won’t be able to answer?”

“What if s/he argues with me about Christianity?”

“What if…What if…What if…”

As a disciple of Jesus Christ we are not alone when sharing the Gospel.  After Jesus ascended into Heaven after His resurrection from the dead the Holy Spirit came to be with every follower to help us go out into the world sharing the Good News over all the Earth.

Sharing your faith does not require a degree from a Bible school.  It simply means telling another why you love Jesus. To tell another why you surrender to God’s leading and to journey with His Son, Jesus learning from the Holy Spirit. 

Here’s one way to think about sharing your faith:

Think about your favorite restaurant.  Now how do you tell your friends about it?  Do you tell them about your favorite dish? About the friendly staff? The people you meet there? Do you invite them to join the next time you go there?

Sharing you faith story is similar to telling another your favorite restaurant. You tell them about Jesus with enthusiasm and why you love Him. You include a story from your faith journey that is important to you. There is an invitation to the person to come experience for him/herself.

“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.” (Matthew 10:19)

Yes, sharing one’s faith can be scary. But have no fear the Holy Spirit is with you as It was with the Disciples in the 1st Century. You will be given the words to share and the courage to step into the conversation.

As you spend time in prayer this week place any fears you may have at the feet of Jesus. Let Him take them away and fill you with His peace and courage. Take the time to journal why you love Jesus , what is an impactful time with Him.  Then listen to the Holy Spirit for who and when you are asked to share.

This Week’s Challenge – Share with someone this week why you love Jesus.  Invite them to your next small group meeting or to worship with you on Sunday.

What is a Disciple? A Disciple Serves

I have served in the hospitality industry in a variety of roles.  In each of them I learn another aspect of serving others. There is joy in taking care of others and connecting relationally. You are able to connect with others learning about one another.

Serving one another is a privilege we get as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is placing the needs of another above our own.  We lovingly meet their needs in that moment.  By doing so we demonstrate God’s unconditional love for all of us.  It is through serving we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As in hospitality there are many ways to serve. Each of us are gifted differently to serve one another. One may have the gift of decorating a space to make a warm environment for others. Another may be a gifted cook who makes delicious dishes.  A third may have the gift of perceiving another’s true need and meeting it with love. 

All disciples of Jesus Christ are called to hospitality ministry in serving others as we all have been gifted by the Holy Spirit.  Being hospitable is a joy. Authentic connections are established through genuine service.

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” Ephesians 6:7

One beauty about serving is the trust that develops between the two parties. A bond is established based on this gentle trust. They are uniquely connected that can only truly be understood by the two parties.

In serving one another we see each other where one is at. Pride is cast aside as we humbly kneel in front of our brother or sister and gently wash his/her feet. It is an authentic demonstration of love for a fellow child of God.

So a question for you. What is a way you are uniquely gifted to serve? How can you use that gift to authentically love another?

In the next week seek out an opportunity to share your gift in service to another child of God. Pray to see God’s Will in how He is leading you to serve. Be courageous by the Holy Spirit to boldly and humbly serve. Learn the intricacies from Jesus Christ of daily serving one another. Be filled with joy as you serve others pointing to Jesus in all you do and say.

This Week’s Challenge: Seize the opportunity this week to share your gift in serving someone.  What do you enjoy doing? How can you use it to love another?

What is a Disciple? A Disciple is Authentic

“Preach the Gospel always.
Use words if necessary.”
Saint Augustine

This quote has been circling the globe for centuries.  While no one knows for sure who is the original author it is widely accredited to Saint Augustine. 

At the heart of the quote is the lesson that our actions speak to those we interact with in our lives. By what we do and the decisions we make we communicate who we are. As disciples of Jesus Christ how we live our lives preach the Good News. Before we speak we have already communicate the Gospel to them.

With this in mind it is important to reflect on how we truly live our lives. Do we wear a mask to hide our authentic self? Are or lives split where our church life does not cross our “every day” life?

Living an authentic life is difficult at times. There are challenges that will scare us to be unauthentic for a period of time. The temptation is real to hide and avoid leaving our comfort zone.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:13-16)

We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live our authentic lives in the world. We need not be afraid of ridicule or judgment. Instead we shine brightly in the world pointing to Jesus with our whole lives and our words. The world gets to know Jesus by watching how we follow Him with our whole selves.

So here’s the question how is your light shining in your whole life?

How many of your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors would describe you as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Where are there places or people you wear a mask to maybe not shine your light so brightly?

As a disciple of Jesus Christ each one of us are called to live authentic lives. That means the good and the bad. See, when we experience difficult ties (and they will come) it is how we journey through them and rely on God that is an authentic sharing of the Gospel.

Also in the good times giving God praise and not our own shares the Gospel. Pointing back to Jesus in all things is our witness.

Being authentic is being transparent. Admitting when you need help. Giving credit to your Father in heaven. Saying you don’t have all the answers but you know the One Who does.

A disciple is authentic modeling complete trust in God in all circumstances at all times.  Be not discouraged fellow disciple. Continue to turn to God pointing back to Him for all the world to see and come to know Him for themselves.

This Week’s Challenge 

Take 2 minutes (even set a timer) and write out what message of God you are passionate about sharing with the whole world.  Then spend 5 minutes brainstorming practical things you can do in your daily life to share that message in your actions and in your words. 

What is a Disciple? A Disciple Loves

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples — when they see the love you have for each other.” Luke 13:34-35 (The Message)

God loves all His children.  Some love Him. Others choose to turn their backs on Him. Regardless of our response God’s love does not change. He loves us, all of us.

As His followers we strive to love others. We are His representatives here on Earth. So as we love, the world learns about God’s love. Loving is a primary duty of a disciple.

In His last formal teaching time Jesus directed the 12 Disciples to love one another. This was how the world would come to recognize each of them as a follower of Jesus.

They struggled to be obedient even at the outset. As Jesus was handed over to be crucified, one by one the disciples abandoned Him. Eleven repented and returned to be with one another. There in a locked room the Eleven were together to see the Resurrected Jesus and be anointed with the Holy Spirit. They went on to love in the world sharing the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. 

So what does this mean for us today? How do we strive to love one another as God loves?

In previous posts we saw how a disciple follows the Holy Spirit’s leading, listens to Jesus’ teachings and learns from the Creator God. These practices help the disciple to witness God’s love first-hand so that s/he can go and do likewise in one’s every day life. 

Loving others is seen in helping someone get to a doctor’s appointment on-time. Or encouraging another during a difficult time. 

Love is also shared when a person chooses to work together with another despite personality or philosophical differences. It would be understandable to argue and refuse to work together but in love the differences are seen as opportunities to understand one another.  They are not used to divide or harm each other.

As fallen, sinful beings love is not always easy to do. There is pain. But how incredible it feels when we receive love whether we “deserve” it or not. Why deny someone else that glorious joy?

We are able to love one another because God first loves us. We are only able to love because He lives in us. It is our duty as His followers to love one another. No excuses. It is after all how the world will know we are His disciples.

This Week’s Challenge

Think of an individual or group that differs from you in personality of philosophy.  What is one thing you will do this week to demonstrate love to them this week?  Schedule it in your calendar. 

What is a Disciple? A Disciple Learns

A follower of a teacher leans what the teacher has to pass along.  This process is on-going, not just a one time occurrence. As the teacher and the disciple, or follower, spend more time together more lessons are shared amongst them. The disciple becomes more like the teacher the more closely s/he listens.

A disciple of Jesus Christ learns at His feet or as they both go along the way. Each day as the two spend time together Jesus teaches the disciple more about the Kingdom of God and the great things God the Father has for her. Wonderful things occur during these times.

Sometimes we humans think that learning is for a designated period of time of life. When that time is over there is nothing left for a person to learn. This is false! 

Learning continues throughout the course of one’s life. Think about it: you do not know what you do not know. Therefore one must remain a learner all the days of his life. 

As disciples of Jesus Christ we continue to learn from Him all the days of our lives. We journey with Him, watching what He has done by reading the Scriptures. We listen & learn to become more devoted followers of Him. It’s a daily walk filled with new adventures and lessons every day. 

So what does this mean for everyday life?

For one it means studying the Scriptures with an open heart.  The amount you read at a time does not matter.  Whether you read one verse, one chapter or one whole book it is okay.  What matters is hearing God teaching you in that passage and applying it in your life.

Another learning opportunity is seeing how God is acting in your life.  Those times you are out of your comfort zone and have to trust God to lead the way.  The moments you truly see how God has provided for your needs in ways you did not expect. 

Learning requires an open heart to hear new insights and have new experiences.  It has one be willing to surrender control allowing the Holy Spirit to lead the way.

So as you go about your journey with Jesus Christ remain a lifelong learner.  Enjoy the new experiences with Him.  Remain open to learning things you may never have learned without Him. 

This Week’s Challenge

Go about your day looking to learn something new from God.  When you do learn something new write it down, draw, or whatever helps you to remember.  At the end of the week see all that God has shown you.  Do you see a common theme in them?