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What are the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus according to the Bible?

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What are the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus according to the Bible?


A Disciple Abides in Jesus’ Words

Abide means – “to stay, to continue, to dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand”.

This means someone who not only studies the Bible, but also applies and lives by it. Someone who stays very close to Jesus and who shares the words of Jesus with others. There was a story of a young man who had been raised as an atheist and was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's messages, but he heard them often. One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by. The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body in the shape of a cross. Instead of diving, he knelt and asked God to come into his life. As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on. The pool had been drained for repairs.

John 8:31 Jesus says: “…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

How often do you read or listen or study God’s Word. Not someone telling you what it says, but doing it yourself?

Are you dedicating time to God daily?

A true disciple will make time for God.

A Disciple Loves Others

John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A disciple is one who wants and yearns to become like their teacher. Jesus was willing to leave heaven, live a human life, sacrifice time, effort and His own life for everyone in this world. So should we if we are His true disciples. We should make every effort to save the lost, serve the church, use our gifts, give our all, get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ, and encourage and build them up as often as we can. We also must hash out differences and extend grace and forgiveness any chance we can.

Does this sound like you so far? If not, what do you need to be doing to get there? Don’t know? Seek God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

A True Disciple Bears Much Fruit

John 15:8: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

The Lord is not talking about a good deed here and there, but a fruit-filled lifestyle which causes people to glorify God because of how you live. Are you living your life for God? Are you living your life in a way that brings attention and glory to God? Or are you living life according to your own desires?

Do people see you or do they see God working in, with and through you for His honor and glory?

A disciple is not magnified – the Teacher is.

Matthew 5:16: "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven".

Are you bearing "much fruit” for God or are you bearing the wrong kind of fruit? Sadly, many people are producing that plastic fake fruit that you see sitting on someone’s dining room table. Why? Because they do not really want to follow the Savior as His disciple. They want to be a disciple by acquaintance. What that means is that they want all things in Christ fulfilled in them without counting any cost just because they know Jesus.

There is a Cost to Being a Disciple

Luke 9:59-60: Jesus says to a man "Follow me”, the man replied, Lord let me first go and bury my father. Jesus answered, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God".

This issue wasn't that his father was dead and needed to be buried; he wanted to wait until his father died, then he would follow Jesus. How many people live this way? You know, the “I will get right with God later” types. Jesus lets him know that following Him is something you do right now, forsaking everything else. This man didn’t want to cause conflict, and this shows us an example of how human relationships can at times interfere with our love for God. You take risks following Jesus Christ. Are you willing to risk struggles in your life to be a disciple of Christ? Many times, we do not understand God’s plan, but we seek His will and follow it regardless. That is what disciples do.
We almost have to be like the game “Simon Says” to do things correctly. God says take one step; you take one step then stop. But we tend to take another step or steps or turn another direction, what have you. But what does that do? It takes us out of God's perfect will because He only told us to take one step. A great lesson we can learn following God is that you never, ever, ever, assume anything with God’s plan for your life. So that means at many times it will make absolutely no sense at all! God does not allow these things to toy with our emotions. These things are used to grow us, to refine us and to fix our attitudes. And it will be very humbling. We must be the ones who eat the crumbs that fall off the Master’s table.

Luke 9:23-27

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

This verse says a disciple must be willing to suffer and even die for Christ. This is a tough one. That is what makes a disciple of Jesus a disciple. They give their all to Him.
“One Sunday morning during service, a 2,000-member congregation was surprised to see two men enter, both covered from head to toe in black and carrying sub-machine guns. One of the men proclaimed, ‘Anyone willing to take a bullet for Christ remain where you are.’ Immediately, the choir fled, the deacons fled, and most of the congregation fled. Out of the 2,000 there only remained around 20. The man who had spoken took off his hood, looked at the preacher and said, ‘Okay Pastor, I got rid of all the hypocrites. Now you may begin your service. Have a nice day!’ And the two men turned and walked out.” - Author Unknown

We are "to be in the world, but not of the world". Luke 14:27 says:" Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple".

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