To make disciples, it is important to first BE a disciple. Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 9 what a disciple of Jesus looks like. There are 3 parts: deny yourself, take up your cross daily, follow Jesus.
Jesus wants us to understand that our life is to now be lived for Him. Jesus makes it clear in Luke that his followers will deny themselves. We can deny ourselves in the way we give (money), the way we fast (food), the self indulgence we choose or don’t choose (comfort) and many other areas of our life. When we follow Christ, we deny ourselves because we realize the value of living for Jesus and not just ourselves.
Jesus wants us to take up our cross daily. He carried a cross and he asks us to carry ours. This means we voluntarily die to ourselves each day to follow Jesus. While we can’t do this perfectly, every day we start new, living less for ourselves and more for Jesus.
Jesus wants us to follow him. He doesn’t just want us to deny ourselves, but to also follow Him. Following him is reflected as we live focused on others. The Bible tells us that people will know we are his disciples by the way we love one another. We are to follow his example in every part of our lives.
It is difficult to follow Christ. It will likely cost us something, and maybe everything. But Jim Elliot said it well, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
What change in your life do you need to make today to follow Jesus more closely? It is important to be disciples as we make disciples.