Jesus gave His disciples three disciplines to practice, which would set them apart as His disciples. Today in the middle of chaos, these timeless disciplines carry each of us into His kingdom reign of righteous, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Discipline One: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (John 8:31-32, NKJV)
Jesus made His first discipline of discipleship to abide in His word. The fruit of this discipline is knowing the truth, and knowing the truth, freedom. Spending time to dwell in His word brings more freedom than all other power moments in the kingdom. Why? Because the word has the authority to transform us into the image of the glory of Christ. It frames our world into His. The question I always ask people is, “Where are you in His word?” Where are you living, meditating, memorizing, reading, delighting in, and submitting yourself to the truth? Daily meditation in His word is required to bear much fruit.
Discipline Two: “‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’” (John 13:34-35, NKJV)
Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, “That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” This discipline’s fruit is evangelism, truth flowing in love, hearts filled with His love, and giving away His love. We have to be loved by Jesus to love like Jesus. That’s good news! We are to submit ourselves to His love, experience His love in daily prayer, receive His love, and share His love. It starts with our discipline of being loved by Him. Where does the Lord love you today?
Discipline Three: “‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.’” (John 15:7-8, NKJV)
Jesus said we are to abide in Him, and His words abide in us. As a result, we have answered prayer and bring glory to our Father, as we bear much fruit. Daily prayer establishes us in “Vital Union.” Life flows from Jesus, just as life flows from the vine to the branch. His words abiding in us are the words (Rhema; John 8:31) He has spoken to us that have come through our dwelling in His word (Logos; John 15:7). Now we can discern His voice, know His will, and pray His prayers. Fruitfulness brings our Father glory.
These disciplines practiced will bring us to delight ourselves in the Lord. With these three disciplines come rewards of freedom, evangelism, and fruitfulness. They are knowing the truth, loving as He loves us, and living in vital union, bringing glory to God through answered prayers and fruitfulness.