Every born-again believer who believes in Jesus is a disciple and needs to learn what that involves. Jesus commissioned His disciples to be witnesses to His resurrection and to make disciples (teach all nations):
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28.19-20)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1.8)
That commission applies to all true believers. Once a person is saved, by trusting in Jesus Christ alone and in nothing else, he is a disciple of Jesus. Yet even though every believer is technically a disciple one needs to live like a disciple. A Christian lives like a true disciple by engaging in several spiritual activities on a daily and a regular basis.
- Pray (Matthew 7.7-11; Luke 18.1-8; John 14.13-14; 16.24; Ephesians 6.18; James 1.5; 1 Thessalonians 5.17).
- Listen to Scripture (Deuteronomy 4.9-10; Proverbs 8.34; 23.12; Luke 8.15, 21; 11.28; James 1.22; Revelation 1.3).
- Read Scripture (Deuteronomy 17.19; Psalm 42.1-2; 63.1; 143.6; Revelation 1.3).
- Study Scripture (Deuteronomy 8.3; Matthew 4.4; Proverbs 2.1- 5; 8.34; 22.17; John 5.39; Acts 17.11; Romans 15.4; 2 Timothy 2.15; 3.15).
- Memorize Scripture (Deuteronomy 6.6; 11.18; 30.14; Psalm 37.31; 40.8; 119.11; Proverbs 2.1; 3.1, 3; 4.1, 21; 6.21; 22.18; Isaiah 51.7; Ezekiel 3.10; Romans 10.8; Colossians 3.16).
- Meditate on Scripture (Joshua 1.8; Job 22.22; 23.12; Psalm 1.2; 4.4; 19.14; 63.6; 77.12; 104.34; 119.15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148; 143.5; Colossians 3.16; 1 Timothy 4.15)
- Fellowship with the brethren (Psalm 22.22; 119.63; Proverbs 13.20; Acts 2.42, 46-47; 5.42; Heb. 3.13; 10.24-25; 1 John 1.7)
- Share the Gospel (Psalm 9.1; 26.7; 35.28; 96.2; Proverbs 11.30; Mark 16.15; Acts 2.47; 1 Peter 3.15).
- Be discipled (Proverbs 1.8; 4.1; 6.20; Ephesians 4.11-13)
- Make disciples (Deuteronomy 4.9-10; 6.5-7; 11.18-19; 32.46; Psalm 78.3-7; Proverbs 1.8; 4.1; 6.20; Joel 1.3; Matt. 28.19-20; Ephesians 4.11-13; 2 Timothy 2.2).
Christians who develop discipline in these basics of holy living will be active disciples of Jesus. It does not happen overnight. It takes many years to become a mature disciple, but it starts with the daily discipline of being in prayer, the Word and fellowship with other believers. “Apply your heart to discipline, and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23.12).
Pray in the morning and throughout the day. Set up a daily Bible reading program. If you read four chapters a day you will read through the Bible in a year. Read three chapters in the Old Testament each day and one chapter in the New Testament.
Try to memorize one verse a week. Meditate on verses you have memorized. Let the Holy Spirit teach you. Learn how to share the gospel and then share your personal testimony, and the gospel as the Lord leads.
A good beginning program of spiritual discipline is reading four chapters each day of the Bible (three chapters in the Old Testament and one chapter in the New Testament). Pray twice for five or more minutes when you wake up and as you lie down to sleep. Also pray short prayers throughout the day. Set aside 15 minutes a day to memorize and review Scripture. Also set aside 15 minutes a day to meditate on the Word of God. Try to do this during the day, but if you cannot meditate on Scripture during the day, do so after you have prayed, as you lay in bed. Get into a habit of meditating on Scripture as you lie in bed at night. It is a most blessed way to fall asleep.
It is important to find brethren to fellowship with. A home Bible study is one way to find fellow disciples. Look for a study where the teacher knows the Bible and knows how to teach. Avoid a study where the people share their ignorance. We recommend you only attend a church that has a solid discipleship program. If it does not have one give the pastor a copy of this book and encourage him to start one. If he does not start one using this book or another program consider going to church that has a discipleship program.