“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
The Great Commission encourages us to not only proclaim the good news but also to teach others to observe God’s commandments. This is the inherent in the process of discipleship, wherein we teach disciples to obey all of God’s commands to become more Christlike, which is in fact God’s prescribed way of bringing about salvation and change. Similarly in Acts 1:8 we are reminded “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses”. We are to be ”the light of the world and let our light shine before men in such a way that they may see our good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:14).
Many times in the New Testament we are reminded that as a chosen people we are to live lives that are glorifying to God, to be good witnesses. (1 Peter 2:9-12; 1 Cor 10:31-11:1). Paul even tells us that we should imitate him, just as he imitates Christ.
This in essence is discipleship. . . That we imbibe in our character Jesus’ characteristics so that we can become good imitators of Him, and then encourage and lead others to imitate us as we strive to become more like Christ.
The challenge for us today is to look at our lives and honestly examine ourselves — are we truly striving to become Christlike? Are we really exerting effort to become imitators of Christ? Have we opened ourselves to become disciped? To be taught how to obey God’s commands? Are we allowing ourselves to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ?
Often times we make excuses for our inability to decide to follow Jesus’ footsteps — we make excuses that we are human, that we are weak, that we are frail, that we are not Christ. This maybe true but these cannot be used to justify our choice to become stagnant in our spiritual life. Becoming Christ-like is a process that begins with a decision to surrender our lives and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once we relinquish control to God — He takes over and He will mold us and conform us to the image of His Son. It is not by our own efforts but by the grace and power of God.
We have to renew our belief system shrugging off the idea that being Christlike is not possible or realistic for us because of our imperfections. We just have to take that first step — to come and follow Jesus, allowing ourselves to be discipled and eventually transformed.
When Jesus lived on earth, He was fully human but He did not allow His humanity to become a hindrance to His obedience to the will of the Father. He chose ordinary, unseminaried men to be his disciples — to show us that it can be done. And that it is possible. That we too can be discipled. All we have to do is to come and follow Him.
Today let us challenge one another to allow ourselves to be intentionally and actually discipled so that we can become Christ-like . . . It is only in this way that we can become good witness . . . And the only way that we can make Him known. When others see the change and transformation in our lives — this is the best way we can share God’s love to them.
So today, let us decide to:
1. become GOOD WITNESSES for Christ to make Him known
2. Discipleship is possible and it is God’s will for all of us
3. That becoming Christ-like is possible.