The Call to Discipleship

The Call to Discipleship

Jesus’ call to discipleship started with a simple invitation. It speaks to our acceptance of Jesus at a head level - we believe he is the way to God - so we will follow him. We don’t yet understand all the implications of what it means to follow him or the depth of who Jesus is. But he calls; we respond.

Jesus said, “Follow me.”

A disciple of Jesus must follow Jesus.

It’s that simple. Jesus leads. We follow.

Following means that we recognize and accept who Jesus is as Lord, Leader, and Master of our lives. He’s the one who initiates and guides; we listen and obediently follow. Following Jesus is an acknowledgment that HE is great then I. Jesus loves us more than we can love ourselves, and the best possible way to live is in faithful obedience to our Shepherd.

John 10:27 lays out the process like this: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Initially, we think, or perhaps were told, that if we follow Jesus, he will fulfill all of our wishes and plans for our lives. But this is simply not true. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, the Bible says that they “left their nets.” They had chosen the life of fishermen, but Jesus had different plans for their lives. A disciple is someone who knows Jesus (who he is and what he is like) and follows him. We used to be self-ruled, but now we are Christ-ruled.

Jesus connects this obedience with our love and affection for him. You cannot separate love for Jesus from your obedience to him.

In John 14:23 he says “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.”

A willingness to follow Jesus is evidence of our love for him, and through our obedience to Jesus may not be perfect it should be evident and growing. Followers of Jesus are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross and lose our lives in the process of gaining our life in Jesus.

Yet as difficult as the journey may be, people who follow Jesus are also given important promises. Jesus promises that those who follow him will never be abandoned. He tells us that he will always be with us, even to the very end of the age (Matt. 28: 20).

Though the notion of obeying Jesus is connected to our hearts on a deep level, this first attribute of a disciple is primarily a cognitive acceptance of Jesus, understanding that he is now the one in charge of our lives.

He is the Boss, our Leader.

The invitation to follow him speaks to us at the head level. When people make a decision to follow Jesus, at some level they must first know and accept who he is, even if they don’t fully grasp all that will be required of them as a disciple.

To be a disciple is to allow Jesus to lovingly rules our lives. As he does this, he replaces the lies we were handed from the world with his never-ending Truth.

He is a light that illuminates our thinking, and we move from foolishness to wisdom as we spend time with him and his Word, the source of Truth and wisdom.

The invitation to follow means learning about and believing in Jesus; then courageously following our Savior, our King, our Jesus.

 

5 ways to allow Jesus' Voice to Lead Your Life

 

1. GET TO KNOW HIM

Spend time reading the Bible. Read stories about him. Read what other authors who love Jesus have said about him. If you aren’t in the Word, then you aren’t allowing his voice in your life.


2. LISTEN FOR HIS VOICE

Spend time intentionally asking Jesus to speak to you. Jesus said he would send the Helper, who is the Holy Spirit, so that we can hear Jesus’ voice in our life. Spend serious time in prayer, asking him to speak to you.


3. LIMIT THE NOISE

Often it’s all the extra noise that drowns out the voice of God in our lives. We spend more time in front of screens than in front of the creator of the universe. We find time to binge watch every season of our favorite shows, but can’t find time to read The Gospels. Maybe it’s time to limit the noise in our lives in order to hear the still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12)

 

4. STOP LETTING EXCUSES RULE YOU

Often times we hear Jesus voice give us an opportunity to obey but we counter with an excuse. Peter and Andrew dropped their nets. They didn’t offer excuses by listing off all the important things they had to do. Often you must say no to lesser things, in order to do the ultimate things.

 

5. JOURNEY WITH OTHERS

Share with your friends how Jesus has been speaking to you. It’s amazing how verbalizing can help propel us forward in our calling. We cannot follow Jesus alone; that is why he gave us the people of the local church to walk alongside us, encourage us, and challenge us in our journey to follow him.

 

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