How Does a Disciple Grow?
The believer’s life in Christ Jesus is a to be a testimony in every way. If Christ has called you, then His calling is to be a disciple. As His disciple we are to develop life principles that are added to and strengthened at every moment of every day. For example, our devotional time in the morning should influence our outlook upon our day. Our prayer time during the day should be to encourage us to finish our day faithfully. And finally, our devotional and prayer time at the end of the day should be seasoned with praise for all that God has blessed us with and delivered us from. These are just a few examples of how to develop some basic discipleship principals within your life.
This week, I would like for us to focus in on what I believe are 5 foundational principals that will give any believer a jumpstart to their life of discipleship. But in all this, please remember that prayer must be applied in intervals throughout our day. I hope you are blessed as you apply yourself and embrace these 5 principals to enhance and strengthen your resolve as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take time to read and meditate on one principal each day of this week.
1. Show that you are trusting in the work of the Triune God (1 Peter1:2).
a. It is not enough to know that God has saved you, the Disciple of Jesus Christ must understand how they have been saved in order to trust that God will continue to save them throughout every difficulty. This pivotal discipline opens our understanding to the Biblical truth that God the Father has created the plan of salvation for our souls, before the foundation of the world was ever laid (Read Eph. 4-5). Furthermore, the Scriptures help us to understand that God the Son (Jesus) is the agent or mode of our salvation, fulfilling the Fathers plan (Read John 17:1-19). Finally, the Disciple in Christ must understand what the gift and work of God the Holy Spirit is to our lives of sanctification. Read Matt. 3:11, John 14:16-17 and 2 Thess. 2:13.
2. A Disciple must be a mouthpiece for truth and praise.
a. Like king David and all of the other faithfully departed believers in the Bible, Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must not keep the faith to themselves. No, we are to be mouthpieces for the living Word of the only true and living God. This does not mean that every Disciple of Christ must quit their job and go into fulltime ministry. Rather, it does means that every believer must cease hold of every opportunity to proclaim the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read Psalm 96:3, 1 Peter 1:13-16 and 2 Corinthians 5:20.
3. A Disciple should always be preparing to meet difficult times through the strength of the Lord.
a. It is hard enough to stand firm throughout our own sufferings, how can we lead others to be strong? The Biblical answer is clear that the Holy Spirit has gifted us with the ability to be an encouragement at every point of our lives by the measure of faith that is within us. This means that there is never a point in our lives as believers, whether new to the faith or seasoned in the faith, that God cannot or will not use us for His glory and to encourage someone else. Read romans 12:3-8.
4. A Disciple must live a life of continual praise of God. And call others to the same.
a. This should actually be an easy disciple to develop. I say this because when a believer meditates not only on Scripture, but on the mercies that they have received from the Triune God, the automatic response should be joy and praise. This praise should not be isolated to a Sunday worship service. Rather, it should be lived out in the daily life of the believer. When we rise in the morning, praise God for giving us a new day to glorify Him. As we go throughout our day, praise God for sustaining us. Finally, as we end our day, praise God for calling us into His family and allowing us to experience the joy of His salvation. Read Psalm 111.
5. A Disciple of Christ radiates conviction and passion.
a. Think about the excitement of getting a new job, or the joy of receiving a new baby into the family. When these things happen, we are passionate about telling others and in so, drawing them into our joy. How much more should we be passionate about drawing others to experience the joy of our eternal salvation; the joy of knowing Christ and experiencing all of His blessings? How will unbelievers be drawn to Christ through us, if we appear to be miserable or beat down as Christians. This may not be your demeanor. However, many Christian’s live out their lives giving the impression that life stinks. But this is not how a disciple of Christ is to live. If our eyes and minds are fixed on eternity, then our daily walk with Christ will radiate our joy and passion for Him. Read Psalm 40:8-10 and James 1:2-18.