Devotion Day 15
Following Jesus (Discipleship)
It was Dallas Willard who wrote: “The New Testament is a book about disciples, by disciples, and for disciples of Jesus Christ. The word disciple occurs 269 times, while “Christian” is found only three times.” – from The Great Omission
Too often we look at ‘a true disciple’ as the heavy-duty model of the Christian – sleek, streamlined, powerful, and running in the fast lane! In the western church (North America), we have not made discipleship a condition of being a Christian. Our stance and practice have been that one is required to be, or to intend to be, a disciple in order to be a Christian, and one may remain a Christian without any signs of progress toward or in discipleship. Dr. Willard calls this “Vampire Christianity” – give me enough of your blood to get to heaven.
Contemporary churches in particular do not require following Christ in His example, spirit, and teachings as a condition of entering into a fellowship of believers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is known for the powerful statement: “Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ.”
Discipleship is costly, yet it will avail you a life of abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s guidance in our lives, hope in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. We call this abundant life. John 10:10
The cross-shaped yoke of Christ is an instrument of death, yet an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it ‘with Him.’
Let’s make a decision that takes us beyond being a “vampire”Christian, (just enough) to a full life of surrender to the Master!