*THE DISCIPLINE OF DISCIPLESHIP*
*BIBLE READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27; RUTH 1:14-18; 2 KINGS 2:1-15; MARK 8:34*
The discipline of disciplesip:”And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38 (NKJV).
Discipleship pertains to learning discipline—meaning teaching, rigorous training, or mastery of a body of knowledge and skill. Because such discipline was often conducted with a firm hand, the term came to be compatible with correction or penalty, but its root significance is instruction or training.
As we have seen in our previous study, a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is a disciplined follower of His. Simply put, discipline is part and parcel of discipleship. The Scripture declares thus: *”Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline…”* 1 Cor. 9:25a (CJB). The Heavenly Race isn’t a sprint but rather a marathon which requires strict discipline.
In 2 Kings 2, when Elijah the Tishbite was about to ascend to Heaven, he did everything possible to dissuade his disciple Elisha from following him on three different occasions *(2 Kgs. 2:2,4,6)*. However, Elisha’s answer remained constant: *”As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!* (vs 6). Even to the point of no return when they both miraculously crossed the River Jordan, Elisha never wavered in his steadfastness for he was a disciplined follower of his master Elijah the prophet *(2 Kgs. 2:8)*. No wonder he was the one who got a double portion of his spirit.
Becoming a genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ comes at a cost *(Lk. 14:28)*. The problem is that many prospective disciples are not willing to pay the price of discipline and go the whole nine yards. There are two kinds of pain, either of which everyone must face: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The former weighs ounces while the latter weighs tons. May the Lord help us become disciplined followers of Him at all times. Also study Knowing and doing from cslewisinstitute.
Heavenly Father, we adore You for Who You are to us. O Lord, please help us cultivate the necessary discipline and self-control to become genuine disciples of Christ in Jesus’ Mighty.
*AGAPE LOVE: THE EVIDENCE OF GENUINE DISCIPLESHIP*
*BIBLE READING: 1JOHN 3:16-18; LUKE 6:35; MATTHEW 5:43-48*
*”By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have Love for one another.” John 13:35 (NKJV)*.
Genuine disciples of Christ Jesus are disciplined followers of His. In other words, true disciples of Jesus follow His Life and Teachings. Luke the physician in his introduction to the Acts of the Apostles made a remarkable statement concerning the Lord: *”The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach….”* (Acts 1:1). Simply put, Jesus never preached what He never practiced and Agape Love was His Major Motive and Driving Force during His Incarnation. As His disciples, we are also expected to walk in Love which is the Acid Test of our Faith.
The Scripture tells us in Crystal Clear Terms that the whole of creation eagerly awaits the unveiling of the sons of God *(Rom. 8:19)*. However, what we unveil as sons will either underline or undermine the Testimony of Jesus Christ which we are custodians of. Men would know that we are His disciples neither by the intensity of our tongues nor by the depth of our study lives but rather by our Love lives. Many so-called believers distort the Image of the Loving God before unbelievers by misrepresenting Him before the heathen.
Apostle John said to his disciples: *”He who does not know love does not know God, for God is Love.”* 1Jn.4:8. This is the Crux of the matter. The number one proof that one is a bonafide disciple of Christ Jesus is walking in Love just as He did. The Lord continue to help us become more and more like Him. Don’t forget discipleship is part of the great commission.
Heavenly Father, we exalt You for Who You are. O Lord, please help us become dispensers of Agape Love in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.