Discipleship involves three major focuses in our lives: loving, learning and living. Discipleship begins with we acknowledge the call of Christ Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Savior. As the Lord of our life we commit to follow His lead in all areas of our life. Paul puts it this way in Romans 12:1 “offer yourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord… as your reasonable service” as a follower of Jesus. This means we dedicate ourselves to God as the highest priority in life. It’s the commitment to fulfill the greatest commandments of loving God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Then we also embrace the 2nd greatest commandment to love others as we do ourselves. Discipleship begins with committing myself to put God and others first in my life as a follower of Jesus.

A disciple is not only one who loves God and others, but is also one who is always learning more as well. One of the definitions of the word “disciple” is “learner.” Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We learn from Christ by reading the scriptures, studying them, memorizing them and meditating on them. God has given us the greatest resource for learning about Christ in the character and example of others. Paul says, “My friends, I want you to follow my example and learn from others who closely follow the example we set for you” (Philippians 3:17). Thus, a disciple loves God and others and he learns from God and others.

A disciple also lives for God and for others. Jesus made this clear to us while he was still alive. Not only did He wash the disciples’ feet leaving them an example, He exhorted his followers to live like He lived: “Be like the Son of Man. He did not come to be served. Instead, he came to serve others” (Matthew 20:28). Peter explains this perfectly. He says, “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). But discipleship finds its ultimate fulfillment when obey Jesus’ great Commission and share our faith with others. He said, “Go, Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24