One of the blessings of my life was coming to Christ in a discipleship culture. Having grown up just outside the shadows of the church, when I came to Christ on a Sunday evening there were guys ready to help me grow Monday morning. When you grow up unchurched there are so many things that you don’t know. And that was definitely true of me.
I have such fond memories of sitting in meetings and across the table from spiritual mentors that poured into me. There are many things that the Scriptures speak about.
- How to walk with God.
- How to minister and love others.
- How to be a great spouse and parent.
- How to connect with God’s will for your life in your vocation.
- How to manage your finances.
- How to overcome sin in your life.
I learned quickly that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. He desires to be Lord of our lives and to give meaning and direction to us. He is not only interested in saving us from hell, but helping us to experience eternal life right here, right now. And He allows us to join Him in impacting the world around us.
This morning I ran across an old study about what it means to be a disciple of the Lord. This is a classic study of helping people to count the cost of discipleship. Jesus lists several things that we need to be about to be a disciple of His. Let’s take a look.
- A Disciple is involved in the Great Commission- Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- A Disciple loves God more than anyone else- Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple
- A Disciple lives a sacrificial life- Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple
- A Disciple has a proper view of possessions- Luke 14:33 “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions
- A Disciple is committed to God’s truth- John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
- A Disciple loves other believers- John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- A Disciple bears fruit in their lives- John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples
- A Disciple perseveres through difficulties- Matthew 10:24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
- A Disciple serves others- Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
This is an incredibly challenging list and it is difficult to live these out. As a young believer and even now as a more mature believer I am struck with the reality that God wants us to give up everything we have and follow Him.
But, this morning the thing that struck me was that one of the characteristics of a disciple is their view of what they possess (see #4 above). For over 30 years I have looked at this passage as just a natural part of discipleship. Just one of many things on the list to help people get involved in the disciple making process. Namely, getting committed enough to participate in the Great Commission.
Over the last few years, I have been more directly connecting with helping people think about their finances and having a Biblical lens with our ministry at Freedom 5:one. We talk about a lot of passages regarding money. But for some reason I have never connected this verse about money with discipleship. And so (I am ashamed to say), I am a little surprised that finances are on THE LIST OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO BE A DISCIPLE.
I have been telling other ministry guys for the last couple of year that we need to add money to our discipleship list and here is my new favorite verse on money in the Bible.
Calling all disciplemakers: Money should be on your discipling list! If you don’t have a list or are looking for some new ideas check out our Discipleship Cheat Sheet below.
Here are a couple of studies listing all the verses in the Proverbs and The New Testament about money. Download and work through these and see how you might add this idea to your ministry of discipling other believers.
Click here to download A Fool and his Money
Click here to download The King and His Money
Click here to download The Bride and Her Money
Click here to download Discipleship 4.0 Cheat Sheet