“DISCIPLESHIP, A NOBLE PROFESSION”
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple”-Luke 14:33
Being a disciple of Christ is the most noble profession that a person may ascribe unto. In God’s eyes, it is more important that being a famous movie star, a successful athlete, a corporate executive, a millionaire, a president or a king. While the merits of man will be covered by the sands of time, it is the disciples and their humble testimony that God has recorded in His word, a testimony that will shine throughout eternity.
This word, “disciple”, is used to describe the followers of Christ more than any other term in the New Testament. While the word Christian is used but three times in the New Testament to describe the followers of Christ, “disciple” is used over 250 times. This is the word that Jesus chose to depict His most ardent followers. It must be important!
The term “disciple” means learner. Therefore, a true follower of Christ is a learner of Christ and His principles. This term affords me a lot of latitude in my daily walk. It does not give me an excuse for my failings, but it does mean that I have not arrived; I still have a lot to learn. It means that I will make mistakes from time to time because I am yet a learner. I like that. I do not have to put on airs. I am learning to be a better pastor; father; husband; neighbor; employer; and citizen. All of these categories, and many more, are found in the teachings of Christ and in the category of discipleship. His doctrine touches every facet of my life, all of which I need improvement, all of which I have a lot to learn.
Once we have established this point, it is easy for us to understand why a woman who has chosen the Biblical pattern of being a loving mother and faithful wife has actually chosen the life of discipleship. She is pleasing the Lord. Though “Inc.” magazine would not feature her on the front cover and “Vogue” would not publish her attire, she is he backbone of any society. She is the one that molds our future generation. Likewise, the man who has chosen to be a faithful husband and dedicated father is of far greater value in God’s eyes than a chair at the corporate meeting, a big car or a mantle of trophies. As you can see, discipleship is important. Disciples are the most essential building blocks for our nation, our churches and our homes. We do not need programs and laws to bring this country back to its Godly heritage. We need disciples!
Some have felt that the disciple is the one who endeavors to seek out and discover all of the deep and mysterious secrets of the Bible. Others have tried to make discipleship out to be some physically painful experience such as standing on one foot and praying for days or crawling on bloody knees for miles to show their love and devotion for God. Some have been led to believe that discipleship involves belonging to a particular church or society. But in reality, discipleship involves handling the nitty-gritty affairs of every day life according to biblical principles. These are the areas I meet my greatest challenges. I do not have to be a member of a club or organization to do it. I do not have to attend a rally or even leave my home and family to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
If you will notice the words of Jesus, His picture of discipleship was far different than what we hear in the world today. He is not saying “all can be my disciple”. His encouragement is in the negative, “You cannot be my disciple”. He was not devising schemes and programs to attract the multitudes. He was thinning them out. He was not looking for numbers, He was looking for commitment. As one man said, “There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient When you are committed to something you accept no excuses”. Jesus must come first. That is why being a disciple of Christ is the hardest thing a person can do. There will be no applause. Being a disciple requires the daily sacrifice of self.
As the multitudes diminished we find a class of people who remained, “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him”-Luke 15:1. The scribes and Pharisees murmured, they knew it all. But for those who felt their condemnation, the world and worldly aspirations had lost their attraction. Their eye was on the Saviour . He was first. They needed Jesus and His principle more than anything. They became the disciples.
Yes, I believe that trying to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is the hardest thing a person can aspire unto. But I also believe that it is the thing that offers the richest rewards that can be found this side of glory.
Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning.
By His mercy and grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor