“The Six Marks of a Disciple”
God speaks often in His Word about the importance of serving others. Jesus emphasized to His disciples that serving others was a large part of what it meant to be one of His disciples. He used Himself as the ultimate example, saying that He came into the world “not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Jesus was the perfect teacher, always setting the example and not telling His followers to do something He Himself was not already doing. Yet He was much more than a good teacher and a consistent example!! Because Jesus is God in the flesh, having ascended into heaven Jesus sent His Spirit in order to actually enable and empower His disciples to DO what He had told them to do. Serving others does not come naturally for the one who is still dead in their sin, but Jesus gives to His disciples a new vision of servanthood along with a new attitude toward giving of oneself in the service of others. Jesus not only told them what to do, but also taught them the importance and necessity of serving with a willing and cheerful attitude, doing everything to the glory of God! The rest of the New Testament writers passed on the truth that selfless service pleases God, builds up the Body of Christ and bears witness to others than God is at work among us. The first three marks of a disciple lead naturally to the fourth. Intimacy with God, along with the pursuit of holiness and the desire to live together in true spiritual community are the catalysts that inspire us to serve others in the name of Jesus. May we be found doing so when He comes!!