Discipleship Curriculum

Focusing on Christ

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
The call Christ gives us is for us here is to move forward under His produce to produce the goods of "produce" by the Fruit of the Spirit with our faith. So, how can we do this? My proposal is that we do this from our committed and continual faith formation. The basics on how to grow closer to Christ and deeper in our walk with Him, and also how to draw near to the heart of God are the essential elements to put the "go" into action.

Is your focus on Christ?

…The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you… Luke 10:2-3

The call Christ gives us is for us here is to move forward under His produce to produce the goods of "produce" by the Fruit of the Spirit with our faith. So, how can we do this? My proposal is that we do this from our committed and continual faith formation. The basics on how to grow closer to Christ and deeper in our walk with Him, and also how to draw near to the heart of God are the essential elements to put the "go" into action.

In practice, this means continual prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other mature believers, and the exercise of our faith in the daily events of our lives. This means we have our reliance in Him, becoming submissive and allowing His lead so we can proceed forward where He provides opportunities. When we realize we have the responsibility to "go," to move in our faith, we can better have the intention and motivation to get up and get under Him. This works for a new Christian who may have no idea of what to do or where to begin, as well as with the experienced pastor who has walked with God intimately for decades. This can even work for the Christian who has stagnated and forgotten what faith and purpose were all about. This works for me, and it will work for you, regardless of personal experience, spiritual growth, witnessing experience, developmental level, disabilities, or age. We are called to God and

Our Focus Must Be On Christ!

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." John 5:8

How do you know if Christ is your focus? Look at your life. Do you confess God with your lips yet deny Him in your daily life? It is easy to belong to a church or recite a creed, but difficult to live the Christian life. Yet, He gives us the love, grace, and means to do so. How do you define faith? Remember, faith without action is a contradiction, and love without obedience is impossible.

As we walk the road of the Christian life, we must be careful that in our strategies and struggles, we do not lose sight of God and His purpose. We typically try to come up with some type of shortcut for success. However, in Him, there are no shortcuts. Maturity and discipleship are lifelong pursuits, and we are to always be growing and bettering ourselves through the Word, prayer, spiritual disciplines, and our godly relationships. These are the tools. He is the means.

Our total dependence upon God will produce a better attitude that creates better actions. You may ask, why should I be willing to give up riches, comfort, fun, and even friends to follow Christ as His disciple? When we read the Gospels, especially Luke, we are given a very compelling motivation-the salvation and blessings that Jesus gives us. These things are eternal while what we give up is very limited and temporary. The best part is that we really do not give up as much as we gain. Giving up a lesser benefit for a superior one is smart and practical, both in business and in being a disciple of Christ.

Do you realize that our dependence on God helps remove our frustrations, prevents disillusionment, and keeps us centered on what is important in life, which is Christ? We can depend on God's grace because God will provide a way out, in His time. When we are not focusing on maturity and dependence, then we are focusing on our selves which ends up distorting, even destroying the Lord's work rather than building His kingdom. We will not be perfect. It is a question of spirituality that we are to submit as we are called because Christ did. Without a life-approach of submission, we will reveal that our foundation for life is not spiritual maturity. Hence, we and our churches will be hindered in growth, as will our outreach. We cannot be a caring community if we are not submissive and humble in our relationship to God and then to one another.

If you think this is just too much and you are feeling overwhelmed, remember, it does not happen overnight; it takes a lifetime. If you are still unsure, then consider this. One of the main reasons people leave their church is they have no real relationships there. Discipleship is the means for relationship building. We are designed for something more in life than just pursuing wants and pleasures. That is why people who "have it all" still feel empty. God did not create any Lone Ranger Christians. He created us to be in community and in relationship with one another; discipleship is the key to that community. God calls us to lift one another up. There should not be a single person in the church that does not have at least one person they can call a friend and have a relationship with outside the church campus and programs.

Being His disciple means going His way to His purpose. It means following His plans, not our own; obeying His will, not our own. Jesus is saying, Look; if you want to be a disciple, you will have to choose to whom you will be loyal. Will it be God the Creator and Savior, or your own limited ideas and things? Being His disciple also realizes that the world hates Jesus because it knows that He has priority over all things and all relationships. The world wants to be god even though there already is a God!

So, what does this Mean?
 
We all are called to be discipled and to make disciples. Consider this: the cost of discipleship means asking the question, What does Jesus want me to do? or If Jesus led my life, how would He be and what would He do with my gifts and opportunities? If you are thinking, hey, I cannot do this, consider that there are only two kinds of people who cannot disciple, and they are ones either who are not followers of Christ or who disobey God's command and refuse to disciple. Jesus wants us to see that the cost of discipleship involves understanding that there is a higher calling on our lives than doing what we want to do. We cannot say to God that we are only available two hours on Sunday. We must respond with the attitude of Isaiah: Here I am God, ready to be used by you.
How much does discipleship cost? It costs everything! However, the rewards are limitless as we are entrusted to a Savior who loves us more deeply and rewards us more completely than we could ever comprehend. He desires the best for us, He has a plan and purpose for us in the kingdom of God, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him. There is no better way. To whom would you rather entrust yourself and your wealth of opportunity? True discipleship cannot begin until we learn one important, key aspect of life: there is but one God and you are not He! We must learn to yield to the Lordship of our God and not to the desires of our will. When we do this, the discipleship process can begin. However, when we refuse, we will become the strife and conflict that gives Christianity a "black eye." We become the problem rather than the solution.
 

Questions to Ponder

  1. How much does discipleship cost?
  2. Does it scare you? If so, why?
  3. What can you do to abandon your fears?
  4. So, is your focus on Christ? If not why not?
 
© 1992, 2004, R.J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.discipleshiptools.org/
Into Thy Word � 1978-2016