Let us be sincere with ourselves that the terms and conditions attached to being a true disciple of JESUS CHRIST is one of the most hardest things to do for human being! Unlike every other Gospel or religion, the Gospel of CHRIST disagrees totally with the carnal nature of human being. For example according to the Gospel of CHRIST, the best way to live and be fruitful is to die John (12:24-25) In that passage says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
(John:12:24-25) This, without any doubt, disagrees totally with what the flesh will want to do or accepts.
So when we talk of what it takes to follow Christ, we’re actually saying the journey is not going to be easy! That the journey might leads to you losing your life! That it may also requires you to abandon all you’ve acquired for His sake! For example as human being we must aspire for mansion, we must seek cars and every other material possessions, but the Gospel of Christ says ” Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and these things (Cars, mansion, private jets) will be added unto you Matthew 6:33. So with all these rules and regulations governing the discipleship of Christ, will you be able to follow Him? To the end? Without looking back? If your answer is yes, please read to the end as you will see what and what we must let go or welcome in if we truly want to follow Christ. Because He said in Luke 14:27: “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
(1) You Must Accept Him As Your Lord And Saviour.
This is the first and very crucial step in following Christ, all other follows! Now, accepting or acknowledging Christ as the Lord and Saviour of your life goes beyond saying it with ordinary mouth. Christianity in many Africans counties and across America have deceived a lots of people by telling them once they say it with their mouth that Jesus CHRIST is their Lord and Saviour they are going to be saved. But this is not true and it’s far from the truth. Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior means placing your own personal faith and trust in Him. No one is saved by the faith of others. No one is forgiven by doing certain deeds. The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins and His resurrection as your guarantee of eternal life (John 3:16). To accept Jesus CHRIST means turning away from a life that is without God, that is focused solely upon ourselves. It means giving up the obsession with our needs, our wants, our pleasures, our comforts, our importance, our egos, and our power. Can you forsake all these so Christ can be the Lord over your life? Make a decision today if you’ve desired to follow Him.
(2) YOU MUST LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING
Please let us note that loving Jesus more than anything means nothing should stand between you and Him. Just as nothing stood between Abraham and GOD when He told him to sacrifice His only son for Him, so also nothing should stand between us and Christ if we want to be a true follower. Now, there are two loves in Greek language. One is Philia. To demonstrate this type of love would not require any substantial sacrifice on the part of the lover. This love is shown through a cordial attitude and an allotment of time. This type of love will easily fade, however, if the loved one moves away or is not often encountered. Thus, this is not the type of love that would be adequate for the kind of love Jesus wants from His followers.
The second one is Agape. This is love that is considered unconditional. This is the love that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13 and is most appropriate for understanding what it means to love Jesus. Paul explains this type of love by what it does and what it does not do. According to 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, agape is patient, kind, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping in all things, and enduring through all things. In contrast, agape does not envy, boast, or rejoice in wrongdoing; it is not arrogant, rude, selfish, irritable, or resentful. Most importantly, agape does not end. It will not fade away like philia. Agape is not based on circumstances and will never end.
To love the Lord is to follow Him wherever He leads, to obey Him whatever He asks, and to trust Him whatever the trial. To love Jesus is to reflect the love that God has for us, for “this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10). To love the Lord is to care for the ones He loves (1 John 4:19; see also John 21:16).
Agape is not based on emotion but on the will. Each characteristic of agape is a deliberate choice to act in a certain manner. Thus, when Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), He was teaching that loving Him would be a demonstrable action, not an emotional feeling. If Jesus is to be loved as He commanded, then a conscious choice must be made to act according to the pattern described in 1 Corinthians 13. Jesus was clear that loving Him is a service (John 14:15, 21, 23, 28) and that disobedience is evidence of a lack of love (John 14:24). Therefore, to love Jesus is to willfully act in such a way that our devotion to Him is proved through our actions toward Him and our obedience of Him. You must love Him more than your wife! You must love Him more than your husband, children etc. Because Himself said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26) So with this can you still go further to follow Him? Can you afford to lose your family? Make a decision today for a crown that shall not fade away laid down for everyone who continue in His love.
(3) YOU MUST HAVE HUMILITY
Again, according to the Gospel of Christ, contrary to what the flesh and human reasoning can bear, JESUS said the way of exhortation is by humility, that the way of greatness is by servants hood. In the new Testament, JESUS made it very clear that no one can really follow Him expect the person has humility. “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
(Matthew:20:26-27) When he washed the feet of his Apostles in John13:2-17 He was actually teaching them humility! That is, if me who is your Master could do this for you, then there is no excuse if you cannot do this for each other. That is a combination of love and humility. Also He said no one can enter the Kingdom of God without having an humble heart like small children “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3) Now, I know you’re rich. I know you’re the head of the family, but won’t you forsake all those mentality and personality for the sake of Christ? Won’t let go of your ego and do like a servant even to your employees? Can you still meet up with all these requirementsh needed to follow Christ? May God give you the Grace
(4) YOU MUST KILL YOUR FLESH DAILY
Paul explains to the Galatians the process of dying to self as one in which he has been “crucified with Christ,” and now Paul no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. Paul’s old life, with its desire to sin and to follow the ways of the world, is dead, and the new Paul is the dwelling place of Christ who lives in and through him. This does not mean that when we “die to self” we become inactive or insensible, nor do we feel ourselves to be dead. Rather, dying to self means that the things of the old life are put to death, most especially the sinful ways and lifestyles we once engaged in. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Where we once pursued selfish pleasures, we now pursue, with equal passion, that which pleases God. Can you die to self now so you can save your life and also qualify to follow Christ? Please do. It pains!
(5) YOU MUST LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR & ENEMY
Now according to the Gospel of Christ, you must love your neighbour and not only that but also your enemy. That is why we said the Gospel of Christ disagrees totally with human nature. The Gospel is totally different from every other Gospel or religion. Because let’s face it, people don’t love their friends deeply not even to talk of loving their enemies. That is very common among us. And loving one’s labour is not the same as lusting after them. In today’s world, many people can’t differentiate between brotherly love and lust. This is what love means : “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13) It must be noted that immediately after Jesus gave the commandment of loving God with our whole heart, what follows is : “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)
Also He said : “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect Matthew( 5: 43-48) What JESUS was trying to say is that look, even if your fellow human being do you wrong or did something that worth you putting them to death, you must not. You must love them more! You must show them love because your father who is Heaven is love. You must give them food when they need it, shelter and everything you could afford to help them. That the fact that the person kills your wife or child yesterday doesn’t mean you should not help them. Now to clarify and buttress his points He says in verse 43: “that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Having known these, can you still follow Christ? It takes a lots to follow Him but if you can discipline yourself to do it there’s much gain in it.