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A Disciple II

We continue in our construction of a definition of a disciple of Jesus Christ. In the first post I set up a working definition of a disciple. I said working because i want your feedback throughout. The definition we are working with is:

A disciple of Jesus is compelled by the gospel to live a life of worship to God, in community with others, on mission to the world.

I unpacked the gospel-motivation last post and appreciate your feedback. Now let’s look at the next part of our definition of a disciple. Again, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Life of Worship to God // Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:34-38; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 2imothy 3:16; Psalms 1 & 19; Hebrews 10:19-22; Phillipians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:9-15

A disciple of Jesus is compelled by the gospel to live a life of worship to God. How do we do this? It begins with love. Not to get all mushy hippy christian on you, but if your heart, soul, and mind are not actively loving the Lord your God (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:34-38), you will not be able to worship him with your life. This really goes back to being compelled by the love of God for you. See you cannot generate love for God out of nothing. But when God chooses to open the eyes of your heart to his love for you, you can respond to Him in with a true heart in full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:19-22). What does that look like? Glad you asked. I’m about to give you a to do list. Yep. The bible gives you things to do to help you draw near to God. Of course, the rest of our definition (community and mission) are expressions of worship to God. So I’m only going to focus on a few things that directly involve you and God. Here we go:

  • Examine your motives (1 Corinthians 10:31). Wait, I didn’t start with reading your bible? That’s right. God is after your heart, not your religion. So in everything you do, examine what is motivating you to do it. Is it out of a love for God and a goal of bringing glory to Him? If it is to get you to love him, WRONG motive. If it is because you love him RIGHT motive. huge difference.
  • Read your Bible (2 Tim 3:16-17; Psalms 1 & 19). You knew it was coming. The bible is the very word of God. Go read the scripture passages I’ve cited here. You want to worship God? How can you without instruction on how to? It is all in there! “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” Psalm 19 says. That’s what God is after, a soul revived and living for his purposes. When his law begins to saturate your mind, your affections begin to come in line with his and your life increasingly becomes worshipful in all areas.
  • Pray (Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:9-15). How can you draw near to the throne of grace with confidence if you think you are the one sitting on it? Prayer is what helps you put yourself in the proper place at the feet of that throne, and God in his place as the one giving out the grace. So do not be anxious (for that is not worship) but instead put it before God (act of worship) trusting him to care for you. And you dont need to pray eloquently for that usually leads to pride (Matthew 6:7) and God’s Spirit is interceding for you anyways (Romans 8:26-28). So Pray. Go talk to God about what is going on. Open your bible and let it guide you. Need a place to start? So did the disciples. Try Matthew 6:9-15.

Ok, now listen to me real close. Do not let the familiarity of what I just said allow this to wash by you. Your very life as a disciple is at stake in these matters. So worship your God. meet with him and live for him.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Curt
    March 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    I just want to emphasize that the “Read your Bible” step, is not just to find out “how to” worship God. It’s to find out who God is. We cannot worship a God that we do not know. And we cannot judge our motives as good or bad apart from testing them according to the standard of scripture. So, I would actually place “examine your motives” below “read your Bible”.

    We cannot begin to love God apart from true knowledge of him. In fact we cannot love at all apart from true knowledge of God. And we do not come to know God *primarily* through introspection or even through prayer. We come to know him primarily through his word.

    I am stressing the importance of God’s revelation in the discipleship process. I am not dismissing the other points you make, just trying to see them in their proper perspective.


    • spenceshelton
      March 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Helpful word Curt!

  2. Curt
    March 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Also, any definition of discipleship should include the “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” aspect of Jesus’ commission to make disciples.

    • spenceshelton
      March 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks curt, I am more looking at the life of a disciple than the church’s process of discipleship. Of course there is overlap between the two, but I want to engage what a disciple is and does. I do think your words will come up in the next section on “Live in Community with other believers” since this is where the word is preached to believers. Appreciate your feedback.

  1. March 26, 2010 at 8:08 am
  2. March 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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