Whether you are aware of it or not, if you consider yourself a Christian, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. I think there are several of us who hear the word disciple and tell ourselves the term has been reserved for members of the Jesus all-star team. We often get the word confused with Apostle, signifying the original 12 men Jesus chose to spread the Gospel.
A disciple is simply a student or a follower. Someone who spends time learning the teachings and doctrines of another. So, if you spend time reading your Bible, studying Scripture to the best of your ability, you meet the criteria.
I bring this up because of a recent conversation I had with a friend. We were in the middle of discussing some of the things going on in our country and sharing our opinions on a few matters. Because of the fact we all live in this amazing country, we are each allowed to have our thoughts and have the right to express them.
Politics Isn’t the Answer
To keep this article from becoming too political, I won’t go into the details of the conversation, other than a statement my friend made that changed the course of the discussion. He let me know that if Jesus’ disciples were still present in the world we live in today, maybe things would look different.
Picking up on the term he chose to use, I asked if he was referring to the original Apostles? “Yes,” he replied, “If there were still disciples, things would be different.” I guess you really can’t blame him for the misunderstanding. I would rather question the preacher of the church he attends on a weekly basis. Much to my surprise, after asking a few questions on social media, there were more people than I care to admit sharing the same misunderstanding.
Regardless of the political party one identifies with, the area of the country called home, or the church denomination a person claims, there seems to be an increasing trend. Many individuals in almost every area are crying out for a change. I think if we, as Christians, began looking at ourselves as disciples of Jesus instead of a republican or a democrat, things would start to take on the change that so many are seeking.
If we made the decision to take the teachings Jesus gave His original disciples, who became Apostles, later on, we would see the difference between needing a change and creating one. Like I mentioned, we all have our thoughts and opinions, and a right to voice them. One of my opinions is that if you are unwilling to do more than constantly cry about the state of our great nation on Facebook, maybe you should keep your opinion to yourself.
When Did Rights Become More Important Than Obligations?
We have rights as American citizens. In my opinion, too many Christians choose to focus on these rights instead of the obligations of our faith. Now, I don’t want to give the wrong idea. Before you start calling me a hypocrite, yes, I fail in several areas on a daily basis. There are several times that I do a better job of demonstrating God’s grace at the gas station than I do in my living room. That being said, I have been putting more effort into acting like a disciple of Jesus, rather than looking for someone else who will take action. As I mentioned, some days are more fruitful than others.
Creating a Noticeable Change
I am by no means trying to pat myself on the back. I am only looking for a change, just like many others. However, I’ve finally realized this difference is going to have to take place right here in my world, not the world out there. I have an opportunity to make a change among the people and places I come into contact with on a daily basis. Anything other than that is outside of my control.
But, when I take action on creating a change in the world I live, the world around me begins to act differently. Don’t think about that too much, just roll with me here. When someone becomes aware of the way they feel when they interact with me, that feeling carries over to their next conversation. Change a home, change a neighborhood. Change a neighborhood, change a community.
Learning From Scripture
When enough of us make the decision to begin acting like disciples, the world will start feeling like disciples are living in it. When the neighbor across the street notices the joy and happiness that is being experienced by another family, they will want to share in the same blessings. If one political party starts seeing a difference the other is making, authentic change will finally begin to happen. Or, we’ll all keep huddling around second base at a congressional baseball game and asking God for someone to do the work for us.
Luke 10:2 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Now, before you run off to the comment section to start screaming, “You told us to stop praying and start doing. Jesus told them to pray to the Lord.” Keep one thing in mind. The twelve men Jesus told to pray, ended up creating a change in the small little world they lived in that is still being experienced today. They were able to turn the world upside down by changing their community.
We can’t expect to work like His laborers until we learn to live like His disciples. Once again, don’t think about that too much. I’m not sure it makes sense yet. I’m just simply saying, start doing something different.