If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.
The story is told that Alexander the Great came upon a strongly fortified city, and he demanded that the king surrender. The king laughed and said, “Why should I surrender to you? Look at the wall that encompasses this city.” So Alexander gave a demonstration. Near the city wall was a sheer cliff, and Alexander ordered his men to line up and march toward the precipice. The citizens of the city watched with horrified fascination as the men marched closer to the edge. After several soldiers plunged to their deaths, the citizens realized they did not have walls thick enough to protect themselves against that kind of radical commitment. They threw themselves at Alexander’s feet, surrendering immediately.
That story is probably apocryphal, but the point is this: the radical loyalty those soldiers demonstrated is the same kind of radical commitment Jesus demands from those of us who want to be His disciples. In Luke 14, Jesus used two parables to illustrate the cost of discipleship.
What is a disciple? In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Let me give you four characteristics of a disciple based on this passage. First of all, a disciple is a Christian. There are a lot of people who try to follow some of the teachings of Jesus without having the supernatural power to do so. But a non-Christian cannot be a disciple of Christ because he lacks a proper relationship with God, and he also lacks the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in his life. A disciple has made that foundational decision to receive Christ as his Savior.
Second, a disciple has a growing relationship with Christ–that is, he knows and obeys God better today than he did a year ago. His relationship with God is not static; it is dynamic.
Third, a disciple obeys Christ in every area of his life. A disciple does not pick and choose the commands he is going to obey. He is intent on applying all of Christ’s commands to his life. Jesus in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.”
Finally, a disciple makes new disciples. He takes seriously these final orders from Jesus to go into all the world and make disciples. If you are truly a disciple of Jesus, then you understand the one reason God left you here was to attract people to Jesus Christ and help them to follow Him.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Becoming Salty Saints” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org