“Did you guys see the ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window?” Ricky asked.
“Yes,” Stan and I both responded. “Is it a full-time job?” I asked.
“It is,” Ricky said. “If you know of anyone looking for a job, please send him or her our way. We really need some help!”
“Will do,” Stan said, before Ricky hurried away to get our breakfast.
“Full-time position,” Stan said. “Just like being a disciple. That’s what God is looking for, believers who are willing to be disciples all of the time.”
“Not just some of the time?” I replied. “Can’t a person be a part-time disciple?”
“While I think that’s certainly possible,” he said, “I also think that’s not what God has in mind.”
“And,” he continued, “I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about when He was telling the people about being disciples.”
“Denying self, doing what He has for us to do, and following Him,” I responded. “Full time?”
“I think so,” Stan replied. “It would be just like if someone was hired here to be a full-time worker, but only showed up once in awhile for a few hours. That’s not going to work out very well. Same with being a disciple. It’s to be a full-time commitment.”
“But what if a person doesn’t have the time to do that?” I asked.
“Time to do what?” Stan replied. “Be a disciple? How could a person not have time to be a disciple?”
Continuing, he added, “Jesus put it in terms of if you want to ‘be’ a disciple, not in terms of if you want to ‘do’ discipleship.”
“But,” I responded, “isn’t being a disciple supposed to result in doing something?”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And that’s the whole point. I have to first be a full-time disciple before I can see what it is God has for me to do in being a disciple.”
“And,” he concluded, “after I see what it is God has for me to do as a disciple, then comes the part about obeying what He has shown me!”
If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his own life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24, 25.
If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:23, 24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of eternal salvation through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Thank you, too, for the provision of being able to be a disciple before it’s time for me to spend eternity in your presence. Thank you that being a disciple is a full-time commitment and that, as a disciple, you will show me what it is you have for me to do for you and your kingdom. I confess that too often I do not listen to what you have for me to do in being a disciple. Also, if I do listen, I don’t obey. Please help me in being the full-time disciple you intend for me to be, doing what you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you agree that being a disciple is a full-time commitment? Why or why not? If you agree that it is to be full-time, how are you doing with that? What is the connection between “being” a disciple and “doing” what disciples do? Again, how are you doing with that? If you sense you are not a disciple, but would like to be one, do you know how that can happen?