We live in a world that today values convenience highly. We love the ability to do things that require minimum effort and little difficulty, things that come easily and fit into our schedules and don’t interrupt our plans. Sometimes religion requires our time at inconvenient times, in some cases serious efforts on our part and can at times be difficult. Back in the day there were buzzwords or phrases that had become part of our natural jargon  and were a heads up to what’s coming. I certainty do not put these next words in that group, in fact, I believe they are often not given the weight they deserve. Faith and Discipleship… both to be effective must be understood and both are not a causal acknowledgment of a trait or personal attribute… They are not at our convenience and require acceptance of responsibility so that they become a natural part of our daily lives.

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith (pi’stis) is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

How important might that be. The disciples who were the closest to Jesus during his ministry here on earth were at times not sure who he was and struggled at times understanding his teachings. We sometimes over think faith, there have been all kinds of courses and articles written as to what and how faith is necessary in our Christian walk… but the best answer is in God’s word… Here again the scripture that in a few words says it all.

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith (pi’stis) is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 My thought is that faith is important because it is the engine of  our discipleship. What is a disciple?

Webster’s definition of a disciple is “a pupil or follower of any teacher or school.” A true disciple is not just a student or a learner, but a follower: one who applies what he has learned. The Biblical view is much the same. A disciple is someone who has chosen to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and loves and follows him. But…there is a caveat here, they must accept the responsibility of applying what they have learned from their teacher who is now their Lord and Savior. This discipleship is now one of service.

Luke 9

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

1When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

Being a true disciple means accepting the charge to go forth and proclaim the gospel (the Good News) to the world. Once more we emphasize the fact that a disciple is one who applies what he has learned. A true disciple will ask, “What would Jesus do?” Discipleship means you are committed to going out and sharing the Good News with the non-believers. You believe that the mission of a good disciple is to love all people, to teach, share and stand out, you are called to be different. You are firm in God’s word, you fellowship with other believers, remaining steadfast and dedicated to the Lord and investing in the work of the Lord among all people. What is the cost of Discipleship? The simple answer is ….your very life. There is no shortage of Scriptures that can be applied to this question. Here is but one of many. 

 Luke 9 23-26ESV 

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

 To be a true disciple we must understand what is required of us. We must also consider the cost of discipleship…Christ made that clear in many different scriptures. There is a great book that makes plain the cost…

The Cost of Discipleship is a book by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, considered to be a classic of Christian thought. It can be found in paperback or on line.

Life is Good