The Heart Of A Disciple
The Heart Of A Disciple
" If any one would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up the cross and follow me."
The passage above summarizes the three essentials in possessing the heart of a disciple of Jesus Christ. The folllowing are the basic requirements in order to possess the heart of a disciple.
•(1) One must be willing to deny his SELF
What is maeant by denying yourself? Denying the SELF means absolute surrender to the Lordship of JesusChrist. It means dethroning of the SELF.
It can be furtherly understood by this illustration : In the center of our heart there is a throne. When we are still not a Christian, our SELF is the one enthroned there. We live to satisfy our selfish desires and our fleshly cravings.
We live in disobedience not submitting to the rule of God. When we accept JesusChrist into our lives, we should dethrone the SELF and enthroned the Lord JesusChrist there as King and Master. We will start now to live for His will, denying our own will and self. We should be willing to forsake all claims we hold dearly. One good illustration of this could be seen in choosing our career or our lifetime partner. We may let go certain good opportunities in life just to give way to the Lord's work. One very good example to be cited is Amy Carmichael. She is an Irish missionary to India She let go of her opportunities to marry and have a family in order to reach out for the temple prostitutes of India.
Denying the self may require us to give up our time spent in watching TV in order to use the time for studying God's Word or in reaching out.
•(2) One must be willing to take up the cross.
What does cross represent ? The cross represents pain, shame, agony,sufferings, loneliness. Choosing the cross is choosing a life that is not generally accepted by people. It is a life that most people will not choose. What are the lifestyles that most people will not be willing to take ? Choosing to be a Christian is choosing a life that is not easy if we will comply with the Bible strictly. True Christianity is a life of no compromise. Living as a true Christian in a world full of compromises, it will be a painful process. For many, compromise is inevitable, for their very survival depends upon their compromises.
Perfect obedience to the Lordship of JesusChrist will surely lead you to a life of CROSS. For it is a life of holiness, no compromise, self-sacrifice, love, mercy, and justice, service, charity, dedication, consecration and selflessness.
You might be presently living a very comfortable life. You have a high income job, living in a well-furnished apartment, driving a flashy car. Then suddenly a turning point came into your life that requires you to surrender your life completely to the Lordship of JesusChrist. He might be asking you to give up your job that provided you with a very elegant lifestyle but it is a job which is full of compromises. Are you willing to take up the cross ? Are you willing to leave your job and live a lowly, simple lifestyle but honest and has no compromises .
Taking up your cross may mean giving up your prestigious career if you discern that the Lord is calling you to go full-time in the ministry of reaching out for the lost souls.
Taking up your cross may mean letting go of your privilege to marry, because the Lord wants you to give more of your time to some people in need of being ministered.
Taking up your cross may mean letting go of your opportunity to buy a new car because the Lord is requiring you to give the money to the missions for the unreached people.
Taking up your cross may mean letting go of our opportunity to buy a new set of wardrobe bcause the Lord is leading you to give the money to a hungry neighbor.
•(3) One must be willing to live a life spent in following JesusChrist.
It is written in I John 2:6:
"Whoever claim to live in him must walk as Jesus did."
The life of a disciple must be a reproduction of the life of JesusChrist.
What characterize the life of JesusChrist ?
Humility, self-control, selflessness, self-sacrifice, love and charity, service, mercy, discipline, and above all perfect obedience to the will of the Father.
A true Christian is a true disciple of the Lord JesusChrist who resembles the life of Christ in loving people, in obeying God, in fellowship with God, in revering the Father, in serving the poor and needy, in proclaiming the Gospel to the world and in fulfilling the will of God.