Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6 v1-6 ESV
Our call as a church is to make disciples, not churchgoers, converts etc, so: what is a disciple?
- Often about the hidden things; the test of a person’s faith is what they do in solitude, when no-one is watching
When you pray, when you fast, when you give.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7 v21 ESV
Salvation is not by what we do, but following Christ does involve doing.
The call to discipleship has to be accepted as the norm for every Christian. And that has to begin with the understanding that we need to learn how to follow Jesus. It does not happen automatically. After all, unless we are convinced that discipleship is the core vocation of the church, it will stay as something that the keen ones, or the committed ones, get involved in. It will be seen as A level Christianity for the ones who are really serious about faith, when most of us feel that we have settled for the GCSE level.
Imagine Church, Neil Hudson.
Discipleship is for all Christians, not an optional extra.
What are the marks of a disciple?
- Will worship God
- Obey God.
- Loves people, forgives people
- Sacrifices, gives.
Which of these things seems most difficult to you? That may be what God is challenging you on.
Are you a disciple?
Do I worship and obey God? Read the Bible and pray regularly? Give willingly? Yet it is not all about us, it should be about God, a love response, not out of guilt or condemnation.