Jesus Wants True Disciples
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” (John 8:31)
When Jesus was on Earth, He called people to come and follow after Him. You’ve probably heard the stories of how He called different men to be His followers, or disciples. He called Peter, Andrew, James, and John while they were fishing. He called Matthew, who was a tax collector. He even picked Judas, a man who would betray Him, to be His disciple. Twelve men were Jesus’ special followers who traveled with Him throughout His ministry on this Earth.
Women and children followed Jesus, too. Often there were crowds of people around Him wherever He went. But was everyone who followed after Jesus really His true disciple?
The word disciple means “a learner,” or someone who follows the teachings of another. Here are some things Jesus said about His true disciples. First, His disciples have to be people who have believed on Him (John 8:31). His disciples love Him more than anyone or anything else – even themselves (Luke 14:26). His disciples love each other (John 13:35). His disciples keep His Word – not just when they feel like it, but all the time (John 8:31). And His disciples bear fruit (John 15:8). In other words, people can look at them and see that God is changing their lives in good ways. He is making them like Jesus.
Jesus still wants true disciples today. Does it sound hard to be His true disciple? Jesus didn’t say that His true disciples would be perfect people. He did not say they would never fail in their love and obedience to Him. The word disciple means someone who is learning to love, obey, and bear fruit. Even disciples need the Holy Spirit’s help to make good changes in their lives. A disciple is someone who wants more than anything else to become like the perfect Teacher, Jesus Christ.
Jesus wants true disciples who are learning more and more to love and obey Him.
» Am I a true disciple of Jesus?
Truth In Real Life
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!”
Before Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, or Fanny Crosby were ever born, Thomas Ken became known as “England’s first hymnist,” or England’s first hymn writer. His birthday is unknown (he was born in 1637), but his hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow” – also called “the Doxology” – is one of the world’s best-known hymns. Churches throughout America and England sing the Doxology every Sunday.
Ken was born in London. After his parents died, he was raised by his married half-sister. From a young age, Thomas enjoyed both poetry and music. When he entered college, he joined music groups and was given solos in important choirs.
Thomas Ken felt strongly that his fellow students should spend time reading the Bible and praying every day. He felt so strongly about this that he wrote three songs about spending time with God. Until this point in history, there was no such thing as an English hymn. Christians had been taught to sing only the Psalms in church. When Ken introduced his three songs, people began singing hymns. The chorus of one of those songs is what eventually became known as the Doxology:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Ken was eventually given the job – and honor – of being the chaplain for England’s King Charles II. He tried to point people to God with his life and spent time daily in devotions. He died on March 11, 1711.
In your mind, what does it mean to praise God? Do you praise God daily? Do you have a favorite hymn? Why do you think it is that your favorite hymn ministers to your heart?
Psalm 146:2 – While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.