In 12 minutes, this video recaps the entire Becoming message series.
We’re going to start a new series today called Becoming: Life as a Disciple. Life in response to the story and who Jesus is and what he has done. And over the next few weeks, we’re going to ask ourselves this really simple question, who are you becoming? Which is an interesting question to ask because when you hit those big milestones in life, that’s not the question the world teaches you to ask. The question the world teaches you to ask is what have I accomplished? But that’s the wrong question because identity is far superior to behavior. Like are you growing? Are you maturing? Are you getting healthy and free? Is faith, hope and love showing up in your life?
Are you becoming quicker to repent and apologize and forgive? Are the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control showing up in your life? Are you starting to do the things that Jesus did like be a servant and live on mission and make disciples and give to the poor? Like who are you becoming? You see the moment we put our faith in Jesus, what he invites us to do is to become a disciple. So what’s discipleship? It’s the delta between who you already are and how you actually live your life. It’s not changing your behavior so you can become holy, it’s I already am holy, now I want to learn to live in alignment with who God says I already am in Jesus. See, I think we’re in a season where God is inviting us back to discipleship, to being a disciple, a learner, a follower, a becomer, one who longs to be like the one that they’re following.
Discipleship happens through relationship. In fact, it’s impossible to be a disciple without a relationship because the moment Jesus invites you to be his disciple, he’s inviting you into a relationship. We have made discipleship about information. We have for years we – in the American church we have excelled at this. We have like crafted this thing down where discipleship is all about what you know. But the whole point of content is to lead you to a connection. The whole point is not about information and knowledge, it’s about experience and encounter. When was the last time you enjoyed God, just listen to His voice, spent time in His presence, telling Him what you what you like about – like when was last time you liked God. To try to become like God without God is religion.
Because it’s I’m going to conform the outward realities of my life to align with God even though I don’t want to know God. Come on, God wants to fill you to the measure of the fullness of Him. How? Through relationship, not information. Are you becoming someone who knows about God or are you becoming someone who knows God? The disciple is someone who lives a Jesus-focused life because you can’t become like someone you aren’t focused on. And if you think of the word focus for a moment with me, focus simply means to intentionally take your attention off of distractions and place it on that which matters most. That’s a disciple.
A disciple is someone who is intentionally taking their attention off of the distractions of life and putting it back on what matters most, Jesus. We want to focus more on what Jesus has done for us than on what we have to do for him. And when you start to focus on what Jesus has done for you, you naturally start to change and transform and become more like him. You’re in a race. And when you’re running a race, where do you look? Ahead. If you look down, what’s going to happen? You’re going to trip and fall. So when it says let us throw off the sin and the sin that the things that so easily entangles, we don’t look at the sin or the things that we’re entangled by, we look at Jesus. And as we begin to run towards Jesus, those things naturally and effortlessly begin to get removed from our life because we’re so fixated on him and who he is and what he has done that it begins to change what has even entangled us along the way.
You can break things up into this category. There are absolutes, there are interpretations, there are deductions and then there are opinions, preferences, passions and experiences. The problem is when we take all of this stuff and try to put it here when Jesus is supposed to be our absolute. We’re not disciples of politics, of education or healthcare, we’re disciples of Jesus. See, if we learn to focus on Jesus and his kingdom, we start living an inside out reality. We start having kingdom interpretations, kingdom deductions, kingdom opinions, kingdom preferences, kingdom passions and kingdom experiences in Jesus’ name. Listen to me, you are a disciple of whatever you’re the most focused on. So what if you started to live a Jesus-focused life?
Inherent in this concept of being a disciple is this understanding that Jesus becomes our Lord. Jesus says, hey, if you want to be my disciple, a learner, a follower, one who becomes like the one they’re following, a student, then I become your Lord, the leader, the authority, the master, the one who gets to define truth and make decisions, the one who gets to sit on the throne of your heart. In other words, Jesus says like straight up, let me go ahead and let you know that if I’m your Lord, you will obey what I say. In fact, that’s why when people get baptized the thing we ask the question, we say, is Jesus Lord and will you follow? Is Jesus Lord? Is he now a leader? Are you a disciple and will you follow him? That’s the whole point. And when we start to follow him, he starts to make us, shape us, mold us into his image and to his likeness. And so then we have to actually ask ourselves this question, if I am not changing, am I actually following?
Here’s the deal, we get all stressed out. We’re like so then as a disciple I have to be perfect? No. It’s not perfect, it’s quickness to repent. A disciple, when they are confronted, convicted, challenged with truth, they are quick to repent, to get in alignment and agreement, to be in submission and surrender to the lordship of Jesus. We obey not to become, we obey because we already are. And if Jesus is really Lord and I’m living as a disciple then at any point in time you should be able to answer these three questions. What has Jesus been saying to me? Where is Jesus inviting me to submit to his lordship, to come under who he is and what he has done? And what is my next step? How do we know we’re becoming? How do we know we’re growing and maturing and becoming freer and healthier?
Like what’s the measure of a disciple? How do we know if we’re actually becoming? Well, Jesus tells us, “Love one another. By this all men will know that you are my,” say it with me, “disciples if you love one another.” He says love is the measure of a disciple. It doesn’t matter how gifted, how talented, how much ability you have, how much money you have, how much knowledge you have, how much wisdom you have, how much influence you have, how many followers you have, how good looking you are. He says, if you have not love you have nothing. Nothing. Why? Because God is love. Do you spend your life trying to love God or do you spend your life allowing God to love you? Because that’s what begins to change us. You are not the disciple who loves Jesus, you are the disciple whom Jesus loved.
We have to remember that because we love because he first loved us. In other words, until you receive the love of God for you, you have no love to give. It’s the love of God that changes us and creates love within us to give back to Him and to the world around us. Romans 5, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, love was at its best when we were at our worst, when we were enemies and hostile and against God. He still sacrificed, laid down his life, gave. It wasn’t an emotion. It wasn’t a feeling. It was an action. You know you’re loving, you know you’re loving when you can be taken advantage of. Ain’t that how Jesus loves you? He extends so much grace and so much spirit and so much kingdom that you could take total advantage of it?
That’s the kind of love that sets free. That’s the kind of love that’s so secure in the heart of God that they’re okay being taken advantage of because they know that God will take care of them. That’s love. If we’re called to live like Jesus, then the question we kind of have to ask ourselves is what did Jesus really do? For three years, he made disciples. And if we’re supposed to do the things that he did then to be a disciple is to make disciples. The resurrected Jesus looks at the disciples, he says, guys, it’s time. Go make disciples. In other words everything I’ve been doing for you I want you to now go and do for other people. Baptize them, declare their identity, the new reality that they have in me through the gospel and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. In other words, guys, you have a responsibility to give that which you have received.
And this great commission wasn’t just for them, it’s for us. Go and make disciples, baptize them, help people discover who they are in Jesus. And then you have a responsibility to give that which you have received. Teach them everything he has commanded you. Not everything there is in the kingdom, everything that you are currently aware of. The paradox is when we say we follow Jesus but we never get involved in making disciples. And if you don’t engage in the mission of God, eventually you will stop moving forward with God. In the kingdom of God you will lose whatever you try to keep, but you will always be given back more of whatever you give away. Think about this, in God’s wisdom He decided that you would grow as a disciple by helping someone else grow as a disciple. That as you take that which God has shared with you and share it with them, it actually gives you even more revelation, even more wisdom, even more insight into that area as you’re helping someone else grasp it in their own life.
See, every one of us needs to be able to say follow me as I follow Christ. This is a disciple. I’m following Jesus with everything that I’ve got and everything he gives me I will turn around and share with you because this is how the kingdom of God works. I’m always following him and I’m always inviting you to come on the journey with me. And I will be inconvenienced with, for you so that you can come to discover who he is. This is the process of becoming. This is the life of a disciple.