08 - We are Christians, But are We Disciples?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son And of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
— Matthew 28:19-20

From the beginning, Jesus told His 12 disciples to go and make disciples, not “Christians” or even “believers”.  In the NT, the word “Christians” appears only 3 times, “believers” 20 times, but the word “disciples” appears 282 times.  Today, the word disciple, which means student, is very rarely used, and many people even think it sounds too “religious”.  Given the weight of the word as it is used in Scripture, in contrast to its counterparts, I wonder who could be behind the notion that the word seems outdated or just too religious?

Today, the word “Christian” is preferred because it doesn’t seem to carry the implications of having to follow, learn, and obey the teachings of Christ like the word “disciple” implies.  Think how inappropriate it would be for many “Christians” to call themselves disciples.  Tragically, the Bible holds no place for a “believer” who doesn’t have to become a disciple. This is seen in Jesus’ teachings in Mt 7:21-27, Lk 6:46, and Jn 8:31-36. 

Once I discovered the missing piece (obedience), I set out to tell others.  I produced online videos for my subscribers and I spent one full year discipling a group of 10 men. We met as a group each week, plus I met regularly with most of them individually.

By the end of the year, I had the valuable experience of seeing all the obstacles and the differences between the men who got it and the ones who fell away.  Some remained deceived, thinking they could still live for themselves and be a "Christian".  A few even turned against me when I held my ground on trusting God in ways that didn't line up with their human reasoning.  

But, to my great joy, and just as Jesus taught in the parable of the sower, there were a few who had ears to hear and who really GOT IT!  Their lives and faith are being dramatically changed by Jesus Christ.  They started experiencing the John 14:21 promise because they took the John 7:17 challenge.  

This 90 Day Discipleship Challenge was born out of these valuable experiences.  Are you ready to take Jesus up on His challenge and finally experience life to the full?  You cannot lose by obeying Jesus!

Jesus commands us to obey ALL that He commanded.  How many (like me Jesus commands us to obey all that He taught.  There are approximately 113 actionable teachings of Christ.  But, how many (like me for 19 years) couldn’t recall more than five if put on the spot?  

How can we obey what we don't even know? Many “Christians” are missing God’s very best for their life and possibly even eternal life.  Instead, many are living as half-hearted, confused, frustrated, and carnal “believers”, rather than true disciples.

These are all yours to have in Jesus Christ:  REST, CONTENTMENT, PEACE, DIVINE PROVISION, FREEDOM, JOY, and FRUIT.   It's not easy to follow Jesus or everyone would do it, but trust me, if Christ sees your sincere effort, He will empower you by His grace to finish!

I beg you to take this challenge and find others to do it with you.  Why not start a group challenge?  I promise and more importantly Jesus promises that if you obey His teachings, He will show up in your life in ways you never dreamed of. (Jn 7:17, 14:21-23)  Please email me when it happens!

In this discipleship devotional you will find:
• A survey tool to assess your current stage of faith
• Practical tips on how to meditate on God's word.
• Nine common roadblocks to following Jesus
• A one page summary of the true Gospel
• The 90 day devotional (top 90 teachings)
• Daily practical application and INSIGHT
• Scripture memorization charts
• Daily journal page and cross references
• Paraphrase list of His other 23 teachings

After you take the initial challenge, don't stop! Start right back over.  Imagine what your walk with God could be like if you went through this four times in one year.  I promise you will be so incredibly blessed for walking with Jesus and He’ll be with you every step of the way!