Do We Understand What it Means to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

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Do we understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Nov 11, 2019

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: It seems hard to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Is it because we don’t fully understand what it means? — S.B.

A: A disciple is a learner or a student. The Twelve whom Jesus called to be His closest companions were with Him day and night. They had a personal relationship with Him — walking with Him, eating with Him, sharing in His conversation, observing the way He lived, listening to Him preach to the crowds. But they weren’t following Jesus just to enjoy His presence. As Jesus’ disciples they had a purpose: to learn from Him — absorbing His teaching, learning from His example, even profiting from His rebukes. And this was true for all His disciples, not just the Twelve.

To be a faithful disciple is to commit to knowing and being guided by God’s truth. The psalmist was right: “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). Our journey through life is filled with all kinds of pitfalls and temptations, and unless we allow our minds and hearts to be shaped by Christ’s truth, we risk falling into all kinds of errors and dangers. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples” (John 8:31).

It is no accident that the words discipline and disciple resemble each other in the English language. The most common word in the Gospel books of the Bible for a Christian is disciple!

The Christian’s journey through life isn’t a sprint but a marathon. It begins with a commitment to be Christ’s disciple — to learn from Him, to follow Him, and to serve Him. Are we committed? Do we discipline ourselves to carry out His commands? Only then are we prepared for the journey. Discipleship is the commitment of a lifetime, day by day.

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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