John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

How do we truly know that we are a disciple of the Lord? Do we join a church? Sing in the choir? Give our money to the poor? Feed the hungry? While all of those might be good things, none of them are what Jesus said would identify us as one of His disciples. Nope, Jesus said that to be one of His disciples we had to abide in the word.

Funny thing, this word abide. It denotes a continuous effort, rather than a one time thing. Our Lord said we were to abide in His word, or continually read and study the scriptures. It is not a Sunday only thing where we go to hear someone preach a sermon or teach a lesson. A casual glance of the scriptures at Easter and Christmas won’t cut it either. I think Jesus is telling us in the passage of John that the study of God’s word is to become an everyday part of our life. So much so that if we were to skip a day we would feel as though we lost something.

He said that if we would abide (there’s that word again) in the word then we would know the truth, and that truth would set us free. One of the things I love about the word of God is that it has a cleansing,or freeing effect on our lives. When we read and study His word it will clearly reveal unto us just where we are in our relationship with Christ. If we are living on the edge,lukewarm one day and cold the next, the word will reveal that to us for it will call to us to forsake our sins and return to Him. If we are in a right relationship with the Lord then the word will confirm that as well.

Yet for all this, from where I set on the front row I see many who have so little desire to become one of His disciples. Oh sure, there is no shortage of folks clamoring for the attention of the pastor or leader. I see and hear folks who on the surface seem to have it all going on to the point they actually believe the church is lucky to have them. Really? These same people fear the cleansing,freeing power of the word of God because it means they will be forced to forsake their dual life and cast their lot once and for all with Christ. They fear having to cast aside the works of darkness they derive so much pleasure from while still maintaining their position in the church. Indeed.

Where are those who are willing to count the cost to become one of His disciples? Where are the “examples of the faith” that many of us learned from when we started on this journey? Those disciples of yesteryear who carried the scars of battle and whose knees were calloused from countless hours of prayer. To become a disciple of His will cost you something. It will cost you a lifetime of commitment and devotion to Him.

Might you become one of His Disciples?