The Test of Discipleship
Why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?
In Luke’s gospel we see that a true follower of Christ is someone who loves other people unconditionally, who persists in spite of suffering, and who refuses to be attached to material things. In Luke’s gospel Jesus says there will be many people who will be surprised on Judgment Day when they are denied entrance into the kingdom of God. They will cry out, “Lord, Lord, how could you not allow me in?” Jesus responds in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” That’s a sobering question.
A disciple is somebody who not only believes the right things about Jesus but also obeys and follows Jesus Christ. Just as you go to the doctor for a physical checkup to know how your body is doing, we need to do a spiritual checkup to see how our spiritual life is. If Dr. Luke were to place his stethoscope against your heart, what would he discover about the condition of your relationship with God?
Here’s the test of whether you are a disciple: How closely do you resemble the actions, the attitudes, and the affections of Jesus Christ? Someone described discipleship as “learning from Jesus to live my life as He would live my life if He were I.” If Jesus were transported now, how would He relate to our family? If Jesus had our job, how would He do His job? You get the picture. That’s what it means to be a disciple.
This idea of being a disciple is not optional. The greatest heresy that has entered the church of Jesus Christ is the heresy that you can become a Christian and not have one single change in your life as a result. That is what James calls a dead faith. When we trust in Jesus as our Savior, God declares us justified. And it’s all by grace, not works. I’m not diminishing that in any way, but it is wrong to say God doesn’t care about what’s on the inside. It’s heresy to say that salvation is essential and discipleship is optional. No. Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ if you do not do what I do?” In 1 John 2:6, John says, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” Discipleship is not optional–it is essential.
How do you walk as Jesus did? How do you live every day in submission to God’s will? How do you adopt God’s priorities as your priorities? How do you live with peace of mind regardless of what is happening around you? The best way to pull that off is to examine carefully the only person who has pulled that off. His name is Jesus Christ. We will carefully examine Jesus’s attitudes, His affections, His actions so that we can walk as Jesus walked. And in doing so, I believe God is going to reignite your passion for Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Reigniting Your Passion for Christ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Quote from Dallas Willard, “The Divine Conspiracy” (New York: Harper, 1998), 283.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.