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How to Live as a Disciple of Christ

Pastor Shana Wise

Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Point 1-Being a disciple requires self-discipline (“deny themselves”)

· Denying yourself requires self-discipline.

· Lack of self-discipline leads to the focus being on your wants and needs rather than God’s will.

· What areas of your life are you disciplined in? What areas do you have to work on?

· Doing what we want to do is easy but the consequences do not benefit our walk with Christ. Walking with Christ (obeying Him) is only hard if our mind is not made up to follow him.

· Many people, places, and things compete with for our time that should be spent with Christ. It is through daily discipline that we put those things in perspective and order. Self-discipline helps us to put Jesus at the center of everything we do.

· Hebrews 12:11, No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

· The Need for Self-Discipline. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

· Lack of discipline with our walk in Christ will lead us to be stagnant in him. We will only be able to wear the title of a “Christian”, but not be able to display the Word of God manifested in our lives.

· Self-discipline requires reading God’s word and applying what is revealed through His Spirit in our everyday lives. Many persons can quote the bible, but the fruit of the Word is being able to demonstrate it daily.

· Has anyone ever workout out and started eating healthy and lost weight? The weight was kept off by daily discipline, but many times the weight comes back because chose not to keep up with the lifestyle change. Has anyone ever saved money? Saving money requires discipline not to spend. Many people have more assets than others because they choose a lifestyle of saving. Self-discipline becomes a way of life if we stick to it.

· Having or lacking self-control (discipline) can reap us benefits or consequences: 2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

· According to the verse above, self-discipline is a virtue that believers should have. Goodness, Knowledge, Self-Control, Perseverance, Godliness, Mutual Affection, and Love keep our focus on Christ. They help us to love God and each other better. However, for the one who does not want to possess these virtues, through lack of self-denial, vs. 9 states that they are nearsighted, blind, and forgetting that God has made the holy through Christ.

· What godly virtues and blessings are you missing out on because of lack of self-discipline?

Point 2-Being a disciple gives you Kingdom purpose (take up your cross)

· God disciplined himself, to leave glory, and come to earth through his son Jesus Christ. Once, here on earth, Jesus' mission was to restore the Kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth through his teaching, preaching, healing, and deliverance, and ultimately the cross. Jesus’ Kingdom purpose of coming to earth, was to die on the cross and raise from the dead so that we can have eternal life.

· Jesus is our greatest example of how to live daily a life of discipline and devotion. If we are needing inspiration on starting this life of discipline, let us always take time to read the word and find out more and more about the God we serve. Scripture will show us the love and discipline of our Lord.

· Love for God and each other is the guiding force of this walk with Christ.

· When we decide to deny ourselves for Christ, daily, it will give us purpose and clear focus.

· Do you know the purpose that God has for you? If not, keep trusting and following Christ and he will show you.

Point 3-Being a disciple separates you from the world because you follow Christ (follow me)

· Sanctified disciples follow Christ through the Holy Spirit. Many disciples of this world follow many peoples, places, and things, but only the ones who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are the sanctified ones (meaning set apart for God’s special service).

· The world should be able to see a difference between Christ's disciples and other types of disciples. The difference will show up through the discipline of our walk with Christ. If the world is unable to tell us from itself, then something is wrong. We must daily self-examine our walk with Christ according to the Word. It is the Word that gives us directions on how to walk with Christ.

· Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will seal us with the Holy Spirit. Our part, after salvation, is to maintain our growth in God through his Word and his Spirit.

About the Author

Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, The Impact of Your Election, and co-author of Basic Ministry Training Manual (available on Amazon) and Chief Women Arise. She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married to Deacon Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.

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Acts of Intercession

The Impact of Your Election

Basic Ministry Training Manual

Chief Women Arise

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