RESPONDING TO CHRIST'S CALL
(Acts 7:54 - 60, 28:16 - 20, Matthew 4:18, Mark 3:13 - 19, Luke 9:1 - 6)
Who is a disciple?
- A disciple is a follower of any leader of religious thought. Christian discipleship means responding to Christ’s call and following Him.
- Being a disciple involves accepting to follow Christ, obeying His commandments and His teachings
- Jesus called the twelve disciples to help Him with His ministry and to carry on with it (Mark 3:13-19).
- Jesus’ disciples are also called the apostles.
- They not only accepted Jesus’ teachings but also gave up worldly pleasures and wealth and followed Christ.
- Their life involved preaching in far and near places. This was a new life and it involved real hardships (Luke 9:1-6).
- The disciples were not used to this kind of work.
- They had also left their families to follow Jesus.
- This action showed sacrifice for the sake of Christ.
What does discipleship mean to today's Christians?
- Christians need to be faithful, obedient, righteous and committed as they serve God.
- Christians should give up their worldly pleasures and their wealth to follow Christ.
- Christians should be ready to undergo hardships as they preach the word of God.
- Christians should demonstrate true discipleship by loving other people and trying to help them follow and accept Jesus’ teachings and commands.
Abiding in the vine
(John 15:7, Romans 8:1)
- As human beings, we depend on one another. Children depend on their parents for love and support.
- As Christians we wholly depend on Jesus Christ for both physical and spiritual support. To abide in Him means that we follow His commandments and rely wholly on Him.
- A Christian’s source of life is Jesus Christ. Without abiding in Him we cannot do anything.
- Jesus is the true vine. God His Father is the gardener. Christians are the branches. God cuts the branches and throws them away if they do not bear fruits. Those who bear fruit are pruned for better growth.
- As Christ’s followers, we cannot survive without Him just like the branches cannot survive without the tree.
Role of evangelists and witnesses
(Matthew 28:19 - 20, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 4:11 - 12)
- An evangelist teaches people to obey the commandments.
- He or she gets trained to preach about the kingdom of God and encourage people to get saved.
- However, evangelism is a unique gift of the Holy Spirit, so some may enter into evangelism without undergoing any training.
- A witness lives the Christian life and explains to all about Christ. An evangelist lives the Christian life so he/she is also Christ’s witness, but a witness is not necessarily an evangelist.
- Both an evangelist and a witness do the work of Christ, as they are both His disciples.
- Christians are Christ’s witnesses and we should live according to His teachings on love and service to God and to others.
Serving one another
(John 13:4 - 5, 14 )
- A servant is a person who serves others.
- In our society, we have people who serve in different capacities for example, chiefs, policemen, doctors working in government hospitals, teachers and Members of Parliament.
- These people serve as public servants and they are paid by the government for the services they give.
- There are other people in our society that offer services but are not paid by the government.
- Such people include pastors, priests, evangelists, private doctors and lawyers.
- All these people serve our country and also God.
- Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet (John13:4-5), yet He was the Messiah. He was a true servant of His people.
- Christians should take it positively when serving others.
- They should also show love as they give service.
- Christian service goes hand in hand with love.
- As Christians, we should serve others without discrimination whether we are at school, church, home or in the community.
- By doing this we are serving our God.
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