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We often refer to Matthew 28:18-20 as the Great Commission. It reads: "Jesus came and told His disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'"

Notice that Jesus says we are to make disciples and that we are to teach them to obey His commands. Sadly, most of the time we only endeavour to get people saved. Once they are saved, we move on to the next one, leaving them to fend for themselves. We don’t make disciples, only converts.

But what exactly is a disciple? How do I know I am a disciple? 

Jesus said the following about being a disciple:

1. "
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you" (Matthew 28:20a).

A disciple spends time in the Word to learn the ways of God and walks in obedience. 

2. "
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, 'You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free'" (John 8:31-32).

A disciple is serious about the Word of God, and he remains faithful to what the Lord has been teaching him. He continues in the Word until he really knows it. This isn’t just head knowledge. It means he is experiencing everything the Lord provided for us through His death on the cross. The disciple knows the truth, and it has set him free.

3. "
But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father" (John 15:7-8).

A disciple bears fruit. Not just a little, but much fruit. And as he continues to walk with the Lord, his fruit-bearing increases. The fruit is an outward sign of an inward change, and it brings glory to the Father. 

4. "
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 'If you want to be My disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be My disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple….So you cannot become My disciple without giving up everything you own'" (Luke 14:25-27;33).

A disciple puts the Lord first. Always. His relationship with the Lord is more important to him than any other relationship. He is willing to lay down his own will and desires to obey the Lord. God’s plans are more important than his own because he knows His plans are always better anyway.

5. "
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples" (John 13:34-35).

A disciple walks in love. He loves God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind. He loves his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus loves him. And he loves his neighbour (those who are not yet part of God’s family) as he loves himself.

These are only a few marks of being a disciple of the Lord. When you judge yourself according to these verses, what do you find? 

Are you a disciple of the Lord?

PRAY WITH ME: Lord, I don’t want to just believe in You, I want to be Your disciple. Please help me live out this decision.