By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
To be a disciple we are to bear fruit – John 15:5-8
- Fruit is demonstrating quality character traits – Galatians 5:22-23
- Fruit is worshipping God – Hebrews 13:15
- Fruit is doing the will of God – Matthew 7:15-21
- Fruit is living the truth – Ephesians 5:8-11
- Fruit is doing good deeds – Colossians 1:10-12
- Fruit is sharing the gospel – Colossians 1:3-6
To be a disciple we are to prioritize our relationships – Luke 14:26
- This means putting God first – even ahead of family
- This does not mean we actually hate our family and forsake them
We don’t focus on God to the exclusion of our relationships, rather our relationships should be centered around God. However, if you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have the same beliefs as you, God needs to be the most important thing in your life, even above your family.
To be a disciple we are to follow Jesus and carry our cross – Luke 14:27
- Following Jesus goes back to walking as Jesus walked
- Carrying our cross means that we can expect hardships because of our beliefs
To be a disciple we are to turn over our possessions – Luke 14:31-33, Acts 4:32-35
- God does not expect us to just give of our abundance but to give sacrificially
- This includes not just money, but our time and talents as well
There is a lot if argument over whether a 10% tithe is still a requirement in the church age. Jesus never mentions it specifically and therefore a lot of people don’t think much about giving to the church at all. However, the example given to us in Acts is sacrificial giving that went well beyond even the 10% of the Old Testament as people sold their property and possessions in support of the budding church.
Adapted from the Missionary Church’s Healthy Church Initiative www.mcusa.org