BIBLICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DISCIPLESHIP
SOUGHTOUT EMEKA MATTHEW
Matthew 16:24, Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- CHOICE: Discipleship is by choice and not by force. Choice is a condition for followership. You can choose to follow or be disciple or not. That’s why Jesus taught His followers that any person in the future that would be His disciple must first of all have it as a choice. That was why he used the word, “…if any man will come after me…”.
Your choice is a product of your will. Jesus said, “…if any man will come after me…”. Your coming after Jesus requires your willingness to follow. God wants us make up our mind to follow him. He wants us to willingly follow Him and he won’t force you to do that.
- SELF DENIAL: Self denial is a product of discipline. Discipleship is for disciplined folks. Peter, James and john left their nets, boats and parents and followed Jesus. Matthew left his job, Elisha killed his oxen. The disciples forsook wives, children, lands, etc.
Can you go hunger for Christ? Can you stay without money for Christ? Can you go clothless for Christ? Can you go homeless for Christ sake? When circumstances of life confront you, your comfort and joy, can you take it? What can you let go for Christ? Paul said what was considered gain for him; he counted loss for him to win Christ.
Jesus led a life of self denial while on the earth. He told a would-be follower in one of the occasions, foxes have holes and birds have nests; but the son of man had no place to lay His head. This statement was about self denial, a price for discipleship. The young man after hearing that sought Jesus’ permission to go bid home farewell.
So to be a disciple, you have to make up your mind to deny self even for things that are counted gain.
- SACRIFICE: Sacrifice is one of the requirements for discipleship. It is about bearing your cross for the Lord and your service for Him. Cross precedes crown. It is a place of sharing in the fellowship of His suffering.
Disciples must be willing to suffer and even die for Christ’s and Gospel’s sake. To every disciple, to live is Christ and to die is gain. To every disciple, nothing shall separate you from the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. When sacrifice comes into love, the bonding becomes inseparable. That’s how we should be in our relationship with God.
Beside, disciples should also be a living sacrifice. Holy life is living a sacrificial life. Holiness is an acceptable service unto the Lord. Disciples should be ready to consistently present their bodies unto the Lord.
No disciple can follow Jesus well until he or she takes his or her cross. Jesus said, “…and take up his cross, and follow me…”. If you are not ready to take your cross, don’t bother to follow Jesus; because you will abuse discipleship. That is why self denial is crucial. If you are not able to deny self, is it sacrifice you can be able to make for Jesus and for the gospel? No way!
- OBEDIENCE: Obedience is about doing what you are asked to do, say or think. Obedience is following instructions to the letter.
Discipleship requires obedience from us. When you fail to obey, you cannot be a good follower. Jesus instructed, “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.
Follow me as underlined in the scripture above is not a suggestion; but a command. Every command expects compliance. In obedience is where we know who is truly a follower of Jesus.
Who you obey Jesus’ instructions?
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