Why Some Christians Are Not Devoted
I have wondered many times why it is that some Christians do not seem to be truly devoted to their Christianity. I now believe it is because they do not understand what it means to be a genuine disciple of Christ. One can never hope to be the kind of Christian God intends for one to be if one has not learned discipleship. Webster defines disciple as: "A pupil or follower of any teacher or school; A follower of Jesus". Every Christian must learn that one must forsake every person and everything and put Christ FIRST in their life. To forsake is to "give up; renounce; leave; abandon; desert". Those unwilling to do so will not enter into heaven and will never become the servant that Jesus expects one to be! When a Christian can truly grasp the importance of following Christ, doing ALL His commandments, then one will become an effective servant in God's kingdom. When one does not learn this lesson first and foremost, then one will find that they are spinning their wheels and being unstable because "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt 6:24).
Every Christian must first strive to do Christ's will. Jesus said that only those that do His will enter into heaven and those that don't will be cast away into an eternal hell (Matt 7:21-23).
We Must Take A Stand For Jesus Above All Else
In Matthew 10:32-39 we can learn a valuable lesson on what Jesus truly means by being a true disciple of His. We have got to be willing to confess Jesus each day of our lives before men. No matter where we are, or what we are doing others should see us living a life as a Christian "proclaiming godliness". It is only when we take a stand FOR Christ that He will take a stand for us: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt 10:32-33). One of the toughest things we must do as Christians is to go against the personal beliefs of our own parents, brothers, or sisters. Jesus addresses that in this passage. We must be prepared to even put our physical family second to Jesus if we ever hope to have eternal life with Him. He said "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt 10:37). When we make decisions to do things with our family at the expense of doing Christ's will then we are not worthy of being His disciple (Matt 10:35-38).
We Must Be Willing To Deny Self & Serve Jesus
This may be the hardest lesson for a Christian to learn. Until one can put their own interests, passions, and desires, second to serving Christ, then one is not ready to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus said "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt 16:24-25). Many will be cast away into hell on the day of judgment because they would not deny their own lusts and desires and put Jesus first!
Excuses Won’t Cut It - We Must Not Look Back
In Luke 9:57-61 Jesus urged several to follow Him. But in each case they made excuse for why they had to do something else first. Jesus sums this up by saying "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luk 9:62). Then later in Luke 14:16-33 He told the story of the man that made a great supper and invited many. But those that were invited made excuses why they could not attend. Jesus invites us to join Him in teaching others and living the Christian life but many make excuses on why they can't put Jesus first in their life.
A disciple of Christ truly loves Jesus and one another (John 13:34-35; 14:15,21,23) A true disciple will continue in His word. Jesus said: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31). See also Acts 14:22. A true disciple will be faithful until death (Rev 2:10). Only a dedicated disciple is worthy to wear the name Christian (Acts 11:26).
Each and every Christian must be determined to follow Jesus. If you do, you can have peace through His word which says; "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Let us be determined to walk in the light of Christ, serving Him because we have a sincere desire to and not looking back because we KNOW that our reward is ahead of us if we remain faithful to Jesus until the day of our death! May God bless each of us as we strive to put Jesus FIRST each day that we live!