Becoming a True Disciple of Christ

True discipleship demands a great sacrifice. All those who want to become a disciple must renounce themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus. To become a true disciple is to die to oneself, to sacrifice one’s own desires and feelings. Persecution is inevitable, but you will be rewarded. Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.” (Mark 10:29-30)

THE DUTY OF A DISCIPLE:

Many have the desire to become a disciple or an evangelist or a preacher, but the Lord is asking, are you ready to speak to rebellious people? Even when they refuse to hear, will you continue to speak His Word? The duty of a disciple is to continuously speak about God, whether people accept it or reject it. ‘Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.’ (2 Timothy 4:2)

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP:

You cannot avoid suffering if you want to follow Jesus. To become a true disciple is to accept suffering and persecution. ‘My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing.’ (Sirach 2:1) ‘Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ (2 Timothy 3:12).

Prayer provokes the devil. Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days but was immediately met by the devil, who tried to tempt Him. If you want to be a true disciple the devil will be roaming near, so be on your guard. ‘Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8)

THE STRENGTH OF A DISCIPLE:

God is always with us, and He is constantly reminding us of this. Our strength is in Him and He will never abandon us. ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20) ‘Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9).  

Every baptised Christian has been given power and authority. This is God’s promise, so we have nothing to be afraid of. ‘I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you.’ (Luke 10:19)

HOW TO BECOME A TRUE DISCIPLE: 

  1. Personal Prayer

A true disciple loves to do the will of God. Even Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38) If you want to become a true disciple, you should desire that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philippians 2:11) When you spend time with God in personal prayer, He will ‘pour out His thoughts to you and make His words known to you.’ (Proverbs 1:23)

We need to pray personally every day, and this could include:

  • rosary
  • divine mercy chaplet
  • reading these scriptures and meditating on them:
  • ‘Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone wrong.’ (Job 6:24)
  • ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Psalm 139:23-24)
  • ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.’ (Psalm 19:14)

  • 2. Intercession

A true disciple will intercede for others. People are suffering all over the world, and it’s our duty to pray for them all. We also need to pray for those who are in high positions, e.g. people in the government, police, army, hospitals etc, because they have big responsibilities and are required to make decisions that affect us all. ‘I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions.’ (1 Timothy 2:1)

  • 3. Live a sacramental life (confession & Eucharist)

A true disciple will confess their sins regularly. You cannot be a disciple by hiding sin inside you, as it blocks your prosperity. ‘No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.’ (Proverbs 28:13) We must also receive the Holy Eucharist regularly. ‘For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.’ (John 6:55-56)

  • 4. Declare that Jesus is the ONLY saviour

‘There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12) You cannot be a true disciple if you believe that all religions lead to the same God. We mustn’t entertain this idea or allow others to believe it. We know the truth, and we know that Jesus is the only saviour, so it’s our duty as a Christian to make this known. Be careful not to offend or insult anyone but keep proclaiming that salvation is found in no one else.

  • 5. Family prayer / prayer groups

A true disciple will have good relationship with their family, and family will be an integral part of their life. Bring your family together and start the family prayer. It’s important to take your family with you on your journey with God. ‘For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.’ (Ephesians 3:15)

  • 6. Always forgive

Never hold a grudge or keep hatred in your heart. A true disciple always forgives, because they know that it’s the devil who puts hatred in our hearts and tries to separate us from God. First forgive, then ask for forgiveness. ‘For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matthew 6:14)

  • 7. Fasting

A true disciple will fast and pray because they understand the importance it. When you fast, you are denying the desires of the flesh and God’s grace comes to dwell in you. ‘Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin).’ (1 Peter 4:1) When you fast and pray, God hears you. ‘So we fasted and petitioned our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.’ (Ezra 8:23) Sometimes, you might even hear the voice of God.  ‘While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

Based on a talk by Fr Anthony – https://youtu.be/G1kgPBpq82E



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