Who are You Following? Who is Following You?
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
There is nothing more fundamental to being a Christian than discipleship. For forty years I’ve been captivated with the subject of discipleship or what I call spiritual mentoring. Through speaking, writing, and teaching, I’ve endeavored to underscore the mission Jesus gave all of us before returning to the Father: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18–20)
How did Jesus make disciples? He used a small group approach. He took twelve very common guys and poured His life into theirs. Christ taught by example and with short stories. He connected with His followers in both attitude and action. They had real fellowship with the Master.
A disciple is:
- A leader in training
- A person who is following Christ
- One who is endeavoring to become more like Jesus
- One who is committed to the mission of Christ
A person who disciples using the method Christ used not only shares the Good News, but he builds a relationship with the person, walking beside him through thick and thin, and modeling love.
In speaking to God the Father, Jesus told us, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22–23)
Sharing our lives with others and encouraging them to grow in relationship with the living God is not an option but a command for anyone who takes God’s word seriously. “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” (Matthew 22:36–40)
Let’s devote ourselves to being true disciples — building relationships with others, modeling love, and sharing the Good News.
In today’s culture it is so easy to get caught-up in the attractions of the world. Jesus calls us to a relationship with Him. How does this devotional speak to you? “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” (Hebrews 3:12–14)
I have to regularly ask myself if I’m loving others the way God loves me. What is God telling you? “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Suggestion for Prayer
If you struggle with building relationships, your witness can only go so far. Ask God to grow you in this area. Allow Him to place people in your life who can model true discipleship for you… He probably already has!
Jim Grassi, D. Min.