What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

The secret to reaching any goal in life is to be very specific about the target you're aiming at. If you’re not clear about your target, you will shoot anywhere and miss every time!

What's your goal in following Jesus? Whatever it is, you won’t get there accidentally. The only way you're going to hit that goal is if you say, “Jesus, I'm going to intentionally follow you and I'm going to follow a pathway that is trusted and proven.”

You’ve got to be very specific in naming your goal and then naming the steps to get to the goal. It's super clear and simple: The goal of every Christian is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Many people think that discipleship is actually just for pastors or church staff members, missionaries or small group leaders. Discipleship is not for a privileged few. If you have said “yes” to Jesus, discipleship is for you. Jesus wants you to be his disciple, his apprentice, his student.

What do we mean by a disciple and what does a disciple of Jesus actually do?

The first book in the New Testament of the Bible is called The Gospel of Matthew. It was written by one of Jesus’ first disciples. Before he followed Jesus, Matthew was a tax collector. The Jews had every reason to hate him. Yet, Jesus saw something in him that would make him a good disciple. And so, when Jesus called him, he faced a challenge. Would he keep following money because his profession as a tax collector had been good to him? Matthew decided to follow Jesus and it changed his life forever. Matthew demonstrated that a disciple makes a life altering decision to follow Jesus.

Declarations change life. They change everything, not instantaneously but they put you on a new path for a lifetime of change.

Jesus once said to a crowd of people, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way.” This is the strongest statement Jesus ever made. What Jesus said is you must deny yourself and die to yourself. A disciple dies daily. This is the sign of a true disciple. A true disciple says, “Jesus, I will die to myself so that you can be in me.” That is the heart of Christian discipleship.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
 
So the question comes, what part of you needs to die so that you can effectively to follow Jesus?
You must die to whatever you're following, whatever you're living for, that isn't Jesus.

A disciple sees people with God's eyes. That is what happens when we really follow Jesus.

Jesus gives us new eyes. He helps us see that people are hungry for God, just like a harvest is ready to be harvested. Jesus says, “The harvest is great. Look at the people around you with my eyes and please help them find me.” That's what a disciple does.

A disciple is someone who God uses to bless others. There's nothing like being used by God in the life of another person.

A disciple makes disciples. A disciple replicates himself or herself, helping others find and follow Jesus.  Disciples also disciple new disciples. If you're a follower of Jesus, this is your calling. This is your goal. This is your target.

One of the best ways to grow as a disciple is in the context of community, with other disciples. A “small group” is where you actually get to know another person and they can know you. The other reason you're going to love this pathway is because, it's the antidote to confusion. This mission of Preston Trail is helping people find and follow Jesus Christ.

The pathway for discipleship at Preston Trail begins with Rooted. It's a ten-week experience. Going through Rooted, has been a significant spiritual stimulus for the spiritual growth of many.
Grow & Go is a new 12-week bible study, in a group, designed to follow and build on Rooted. You will learn how to say yes to Jesus, every single day, how to worship Jesus daily, how to invite other people into a relationship with Jesus. The Pathway continues along a focused journey that helps you continually deepen your relationship with Jesus, because that's what discipleship means.

If you have not been through Rooted, start that journey now. If you have been through Rooted, but are not currently in a group, let us help you find one at prestontrail.org/groups.

If you've been Rooted and you're in a group, recommit to your group and join us for the Grow & Go kick-off on August 28, 2022.
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