Friday, February 18, 2011
Food For Thought Friday: Christian or Disciple??
The word “Christian” is only mentioned three times in the whole Bible (KJV)….in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16. The Greek word for Christian found in these passages is: Christiano meaning a follower of Christos (Christ). These are some definitions for the word Christian:
• Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
• Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
• Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
• Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
• Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
The word “disciple” is mentioned once in the Old Testament and 258 times in the New Testament, for a total of 259 times throughout the Bible. How many times did I say the word Christian was mentioned? 3!! Obviously God cares more about us being DISCIPLES than CHRISTIANS. What do you think of when year hear the word “disciple”?? The 12 men that followed Jesus, right? The men who were the very closest to Jesus during his life on earth, right next to Him, watching, learning from him, trying to live like Him, his servants. The men that sufferred right along with Jesus, faced the same challenges and obstacles that Christ did. A disciple is defined as “one who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another; a scholar; one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matt. 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69).”
So, what’s the point of these numbers (Christian- 3 times vs. disciple- 259 times) and definitions?? I believe the Lord is trying to reveal something to us here. There are LOTS of people who CLAIM to be a Christian. They talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They wear the t-shirt, wrist band, and have the sticker on their car… maybe they post Scipture as their FB status or attend church weekly. However, their thoughts, actions, attitude, speech, dress, prayer life, and willingness to truly be a SERVANT and spread the Gospel do not reflect their claim to be a “Christian.” (And I’m talking to myself here….) This world has way too many “Christians” and the term almost has a negative connotation in society now because of the choices we are making.
God has called us to be DISCIPLES. Which are you- a Christian or a disciple? It’s time to step it up and start being true DISCIPLES for Christ.
Just some food for thought for ya on this Friday. Have a blessed weekend!