So who really wants to be a disciple of Jesus, anyway?
To be one’s disciple means to be one’s follower. It also means to be one’s student. I want to be a disciple of Jesus, and it isn’t going to happen through osmosis. It might happen through grace, but that’s God’s decision, not mine. So what can I do?
Can I blindly walk in this world, doing what I have always done (doing only what I WANT to do), and stumble into discipleship? Grace would say that yes, I can, but again, it isn’t likely. There comes a point in any walk with Jesus where one has to make a decision.
Salvation is free, but to be a disciple of Jesus costs everything that is important to us. Maybe the place to start is to find out what is important to me? Possibly.
But if I am to be a disciple of Jesus, then I would begin doing the things He did, and I would start where He starts, because that’s what He did. Where did Jesus start? Did He start with monumental effort? Hardly.
Please do not misunderstand me, at times, being a disciple is going to take monumental efforts, but those efforts will be made out of something that will make the effort seem like the only natural thing to do. So what is that “something” that could make monumental efforts seem like the only thing to do? What is that “something” that takes the burden out of monumental effort, and makes it more like joy?
Where did Jesus start?
I think He started by loving His Father. I do not think He started by going about the cities of
Is God my Father? Plainly Jesus has told me that He is. Do I love God like He is my Father? At times, I think I truly do, but that kind of on again – off again love is not “disciple” love. The love that makes disciples is the love of God with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. We are able to love our children in some ways similar to this kind of love. We are able to love our spouses in some of these ways. But with God, love is not a word, it is a decision.
This world calls love an emotion, and in some ways, this world is right. But love is deeper than any emotion you will ever feel. Love is a decision that flies in the face of visible reason. Take God’s love for us. Since Adam, what good reason would any of us have given to God for Him to love us? In fact, have we earned God’s love in any way? I say we haven’t. Give me your list of reasons why God should love you, and I’ll give you a list ten times longer of why He shouldn’t. Love is a decision that contradicts visible reason.
For me to become a disciple of Jesus, I am going to have to learn how to love God. I am going to have to learn how to “treasure” God, and to sell everything I own because the treasure I find in Him is worth more than all this world has to offer, and all that statement implies.
If I find God in a field, will I sell everything I own to buy that field? Or is my love for God one where I can walk past that field, desperately wanting it, but “deciding” that I can buy it later? And how much must God love us to allow us to actually walk past that field, and buy it later?
If you can answer that last question, might it not bend you to want to learn just how deep the love of God is? I want to know, I want to learn, and I think Jesus would want me to know, and anything my teacher would want me to know…well, in my mind, it MUST be worth learning.
I am a student of Jesus. That implies that there will be some learning on my part. Do I believe Jesus is able to teach me? Ye I do. Have I decided to follow Him? Have I decided that the love of God is a treasure worth selling everything I own to possess it? I am not sure. I think so.
One thing is certain, to love God with all my heart, mind, and soul is the right place to start, if I am ever going to follow Jesus. Love is a decision. It’s not going to happen through osmosis. Though I may reap the benefits of God’s love through grace, I will never reap the benefits of following Jesus until I have decided that the field where God is lying is worth everything. And I mean everything. That is the kind of "something", the kind of love that makes "monumental effort" seem like the only thing to do, and to do it naturally.