WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?

‘Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”’ Matthew 28:18-20

A Disciple is a believer on a quest. It is someone, having trusted in the accomplishments of Christ for salvation, is pursuing their uniquely designed purpose for magnifying Christ in the world.

What does the Disciple believe?

Key Bible Verse:
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”
1 Peter 3:18

Jesus lived as our example and died as the sacrifice for all our sins and shame. After paying that awful price, he proclaimed one amazing word, tetelestai (tuh-tel-es-tie). This word is generally translated, “It is finished,” but was also used as an accounting term and translated, “paid in full!” C.H. Spurgeon wrote about this beautiful, one-word declaration, saying it is, “an ocean of meaning in a drop of language…IT IS FINISHED is the most charming note in all of Calvary’s music. The fire has passed upon the Lamb. He has borne the whole of the wrath that was due to His people. This is the royal dish of the feast of love.” You see, after living as our example, Jesus bore the full burden and paid the full price for our sins. It is finished. Nothing more is needed. Forgiveness and relationship with God is a pure gift that we receive by faith. John 1:12 says, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Christ’s accomplishment is not something to be achieved, it is a GIFT to be received. This is the Good News (Gospel=Good News).

The Disciple’s quest begins by realizing the importance of receiving Christ and this great gift called salvation. Salvation means that our sins are forgiven, and we will go ‘safely home’ to God when this life ends. Receiving Christ initiates our relationship with God through this life into eternity. Praying to receive Christ may look something like this.

Lord Jesus, I need you in my life. I’m so grateful that you lived as my example. I believe that you died for all my sins. You rose from death to prove you are my source of forgiveness. I receive all that you did for me as a gift. You gave your perfect life for me. Now I am giving my life to you. You are my Savior and Lord. Help me live in a way that others can see you through my life. Amen.

Key Bible Verse:
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Salvation means we have complete forgiveness and heaven is our eternal destination. It is not “a reward for the good things we have done.” It comes by trusting in the achievement of Jesus Christ. Verse 10 in this passage is not about eternal salvation, it is about living out our purpose in the here and now! We were made by God (“we are God’s masterpiece”) to do good things, things planned out long ago.
Three Daily Experiences
These experiences happen with an open Bible in hand (or Bible App).
You can use the 345 My Time schedule at the back of this book or go to www.345mytime.com on your device. As you read or listen to the chapter, engage in these experiences by following the three questions on your Trail Log page.

First Experience: Get the Truth and Promises
Jesus said, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32
A truth is an instruction from the Lord designed to guide thought and behavior. They are principles to avoid pitfalls. Have you ever found yourself in a pit saying, “How did I ever get here?” The truth of God’s Word helps us avoid and/or break free from the mental and spiritual chains that bind or blind us.

The promises of God are the treasure that belongs to all who receive Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). They empower us to overcome corrupt human desires. 7,487 verses in the Bible contain promises from God to believers. These promises are the blessing of God’s grace, empowering us to be overcomers in Christ.
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
2 Peter 1:4

Second Experience: Get the Adjustments and Assignments
Jesus made a promise to His followers. He said, “I will not leave you alone” (John 14:18). He told them that if He went away, the Holy Spirit would come to them and live in them! Who is this Holy Spirit? He is God in us, counselor, comforter, guide and teacher. He is our Constant Companion. His goal is to magnify Christ through our lives (John 16:14). This means He wants more of the character and actions of Christ to shine out in our day-to-day life. Each day He has to adjust some things IN US and assign some things TO US for this to happen. It’s as if He says, “We are going to need to work on ‘X’ today so Christ can shine through you.” That is the adjustment. The assignment is always an action that impacts people. Sometimes the Holy Spirit makes an assignment clear while you are having your devotion time. Other times, assignments come during the day and you are sensitive to them because you’ve spent time with God. The important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit works by invitation. “So I say, allow the Holy Spirit guide your lives…” (Galatians 5:16a). We must invite the Holy Spirit to make His adjustments and give His assignments. If this is genuinely what we want, we’ll experience His magnificent work. He is God and He always blesses His own work (Ephesians 3:20)! So, it’s important to make this request, “Holy Spirit, please make me sensitive to any assignments you have for me throughout this day.”

Third Experience: Get AND Give Support and Encouragement
The Bible clearly teaches that we need support and encouragement on this journey. We need to receive it every day as we live by the truth and promises of God’s Word and seek to live out the adjustments and assignments given to us by the Holy Spirit. We should ask God to bring the support and encouragement we need into our lives and reveal the support and encouragement we need to give to others.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

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