Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2 NLT
I was a fan of Jesus for fourteen years. I attended church and lived a “good” religious life, but Jesus was only an add-on to my agenda. I was only interested in what He could do for me, like a personal genie in a bottle, but I was not willing to sacrifice anything for Him. However, everything changed when at fifteen years old. I decided to follow and be loyally committed to Him. He wasn’t just a part of my life anymore; He was my life. I was all in.
A disciple is a devoted follower of Christ. One who has a relationship with Jesus. Being devoted to Jesus means we are committed to knowing Him, and we engage in spiritual disciplines such as prayer, reading the Bible, and attending church. It is these disciplines that help us follow Jesus closely. Of course, God is always at work, changing us from the inside out, but we play an active role in becoming healthy disciples of Jesus as we commit to following His ways. And the goal is to know Jesus personally.
The goal of Christianity is knowing Jesus. Being a Christian is not about following rules. Nor is it a self-help program. It is all about relationship.
Discipleship is only for those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
If you’ve never accepted Christ or aren’t sure, here is a link to help you understand what it means to accept Jesus.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned that discipleship is not complicated but costly. See, when I was a fan of Jesus, I refused to let Him take control of my life. I wanted to be in charge, and I wasn’t interested in coming to Him on His terms. But there is a clear blueprint of discipleship the Bible teaches.
It begins with the words of Jesus. This is simply learning what the Bible says and living out the truths of Jesus. This can seem overwhelming, but there’s good news! You have the Holy Spirit, who will help you live out these truths. You don’t have to lean on your own strength. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you obey the Bible.
As you journey on the road to following Jesus, there will be moments when the Bible and its commands might seem burdensome. You might even wonder if God is trying to take away your joy. In those moments, it’s important to remember that every command God gives is for our good. The commands of God are designed to lead us into a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
Another key element to discipleship is renewing your mind. Romans 12:2 tells us to, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” This transformation takes time. You will realize, as a disciple, change is slow. Personally, some days I even feel like I’ve gone backward. This is all a part of the journey. Notice it says, “Let God transform you.” This means we depend on God and not our discipline to change us. Spending time with Jesus causes us to become more like Him.
We are told to let God change the way we think. This happens as we fill our minds with God’s Word. In doing so, our thoughts are made new, and we begin to see life from God’s point of view, breaking free from old thinking patterns.
Change is hard and often painful. Imagine a caterpillar that is turning into a butterfly. This change happens from the inside out. But for the caterpillar to change, it’s required to rest and submit to the changing process. This is true of discipleship as well. The process may be painful, but it’s worth the pain. And the great reward we receive in discipleship? We get to know Jesus intimately.
1. Do you feel like you are a fan or a follower of Jesus?
2. Why is filling our minds with God’s Word so important?
3. Read Acts 2:42. Considering this verse, what are two commitments you can start today in growing as a disciple?