Lifelong Discipleship


Last week we began to look at what it means to be a disciple.  In biblical times, being the disciple of a noteworthy teacher was one of the highest honors one could receive.  Because the quality of the disciples reflected directly upon the teacher, teachers would seek the very best and brightest as disciples, and most would only consider members of the nobility.  Therefore, when the Lord commanded His disciples to go and make disciples, this was a truly remarkable commission.

When one was chosen as a disciple of a notable teacher, it was assumed that learning from their teacher would be the disciple’s foremost focus in life.  The most esteemed teachers would not allow a disciple to marry or have any other endeavors during the period of one’s discipleship.  For a disciple to even consider having other interests while studying under one of the great masters would be considered a major affront to the master.  How much more should being a disciple of the King of kings be?

Of course, there are a number of differences in the Lord’s disciples and those of other teachers at the time.  Some of the Lord’s chosen disciples were already married when He called them, such as Peter.  Even so, all of the Lord’s disciples had to leave their professions or positions to follow Him.  Some did return to their professions from time to time, as we see when the Apostle Paul occasionally returned to his tent making.  Even so, the most serious thing one could do is become a disciple of the King.  Without question, true discipleship requires the highest level of commitment and devotion.

The Lord made every person unique, and He deals with each one uniquely.  Attending school as a profession or working in a job or occupation can be an important part of our discipleship.  When studying the great heroes of the faith in Scripture, I could only find four that were Levites, or in professional ministry.  The rest were merchants, farmers, soldiers, government workers, and other such occupations.  Some were even slaves.  The Great Commission to “go into all the world” is not just geographical, but is about going into every field of knowledge and influence.  So preparation for that field can be a part of our discipleship.

The usual period of discipleship in biblical times was four years or less.  Ours is for a lifetime.  We never stop learning from our Master, and we should keep this as a primary devotion our entire lives.  As has been said, “We should not stop learning until we stop breathing.”  Keeping our discipleship to the Lord should be a primary devotion of our lives.  Our eternal reward will be determined by how well we do this.


~ Pastor Rick Joyner

Rick JoynerPastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.

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