Dig In Devo: What Is “Discipleship”?

Image (c) depositphotos.com/ vitanovski

Image (c) depositphotos.com/ vitanovski

The word “discipleship” is tossed around a lot in Christian circles. What is “discipleship”?

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says to talk about God’s Word with your family. Why not do it now? Call the kids and get ready to dig into the Bible with this week’s family Bible study.

What does “discipleship” mean?

The word “discipleship” has a suffix. Can you find it? According to dictionary.com, the suffix “-ship” describes the condition, character, office, skill, etc. of a noun. Let’s look at some examples of what this means.

  • Fellowship means that you are in the condition, or experiencing right now, the company of a fellow or friend.
  • Leadership means that you show the character traits of a leader. What are some character traits leaders should have?
  • Statesmanship is holding a government office like congresswoman, mayor, or president.
  • Horsemanship is the skill of knowing how to care for and ride horses.

Based on the information above, what would you guess “discipleship” means? Do you need more information to answer that question?

What does “disciple” mean?

A disciple is someone who follows and tries to learn all they can from a teacher. Their goal is to live their life like their teacher. They want to have the same character traits and skills as that teacher, so they learn from him or her and practice all they can.

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

1 John 2:6 (NIV)

Who is the “he” in this verse? Who teacher Christian disciples follow? The name Christian means “little Christ.” Christians are to imitate Jesus Christ. When we do, people see Jesus in us.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NASB)

Living like Jesus is not always easy. We mess up and face hard times. Others might make fun of us or try to get us to stop living for Christ. We might be tested. (For example, a friend might ask you to “give in” a little and compromise, bend, or change what you know to be true or the right thing to do.) Has any of this ever happened to you?

Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me.

Luke 9:23 (ERV)

Jesus knew following Him would not be easy. He prayed for us and told us to take courage, be brave, because we know the end of the story. Jesus conquered sin and death. That means He’s won the battle. In the end, there will be no more sickness, pain, sorrow, death, grief, or sadness. Jesus paid for our sins so that anyone who believes in Him will be saved from those things as well (Revelation 21:3-5. Until the day comes when we experience those things we have been promised, God promises to live with us now and give us the courage to live for Him.

“I have told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”

John 16:33 (ERV)

That is a disciple of Christ. Are you one? Learn more in this video.

Take time today to talk with Jesus. Tell Him what is hard about following Him. Ask Him for help. He will give it to you (James 1:5; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank God for Jesus. Thank Him for the happy ending we know is really coming one day (Revelation 21:3-5).

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