As my daughter began school yesterday, I noticed she picked up a pencil without an eraser. So, I grabbed a pencil with an eraser. She asked why. I told her so she would have an eraser. Then she said, “I’m not going to mess up, mom. I don’t need an eraser.” I still took the extra pencil with an eraser to the table.
Why? Because the question is not will she mess up, but will she be able to fix her mistakes when she does? That’s why first graders write in pencil, so we can correct the mistake.
This is life. We will constantly be correcting mistakes. Sometimes our own. Sometimes others. Sometimes things that just happen because of nature. We will always be changing things to make them better.
I recently did this with my own definition of disciple. (I’m currently in a class for discipleship ministries at Liberty University- awesome class so far and it’s only week 1.)
Let me start by saying, I have always thought a disciple is a follower of Jesus.
While that is correct in its core, there is so much more. Simply being a Christian does not make you a disciple. James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.”
You have to follow Him. In the book Disciple-Shift, Putman defines a disciple by using Matthew 4:19-20, when Jesus called Andrew and Peter. “Jesus said to them, `Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
This call has three parts in in. First, follow me. Commit. Second, I will make. Jesus will change us. You must be willing to be transformed. Surrender your will to His and let Him refine you. Third, fish for men. You will contribute to the Kingdom of God by making more disciples. A key component in being a disciple is making more disciples.
God’s will for our lives is to fulfill the Great Commission- Go and Make Disciples of All Nations!
Christians, believing in Jesus does not make you a disciple. Following Him. Obeying Him. Trusting Him. Letting Him be the King of your heart. This is how to begin the process of being a disciple. We have to be a follower not the leader. Being a disciple is not easy. You must take up your cross and follow Jesus, daily (Luke 9:23).
Commit! If you believe in Jesus, you must follow Him all in. You cannot serve two masters. You must choose where your allegiance lies. Your life will bear fruit of your heart’s allegiance. 1 John 2:3-6 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says `I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” We cannot simply believe or say we believe; we must do what He says to do. Change! Live a life for Christ. The old is gone, the new is here.
Contribute! When our lives are changed by Jesus, the world will notice. Jesus told His disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:33-34).” Loving one another will show the world you are a disciple of Christ. Love one another. Abide in Christ and His word. Make disciple of all nations. Share the love of Jesus Christ with all who will listen.
So maybe I didn’t need the eraser of that metaphoric pencil. Maybe I needed the tip of the pencil to add to the understanding I already had. Yes, a disciple is a follower of Christ, but that means so much more than saying I am a Christian. You have to actually follow and let Christ lead, or you are not a disciple.