I’m just reading an awesome book called “Sacred fire” and its about discipleship and growing into maturity. It has some really good stuff on the basics of discipleship. He asks what is Jesus’ formula for discipleship and he has 5 but powerful things from reading the Gospels and the NT. Jesus clearly asks several things from us. First private prayer. 1st and foremost we have a relationship to both his father and to him in secret, in private. The invitation is everywhere in the Gospels. How’s your private devotional life with the Lord. As disciples we called to intimacy with Jesus in private.
2 private integrity. Simply stated Jesus tells us if you love me, you will keep my commandments. Our prayer is honest only when our lives back it up. Keep his commandments and keep your private morals intact.
3 charity and justice. The quality of our faith will be judged by the quality of justice in the land and the quality of the justice in the land will be judged by how the weakest and most vulnerable groups in society (widows, orphans, strangers) fared while you were alive.
Jesus gave the notion that God is in the poor, that we meet God in the poor and how we treat the poor is how we treat him.
4 Involvement within a community of others. The community itself forms part of Christs body and how we relate to one another is as important as how we relate to God. Simply put discipleship is not something you do alone its something you do with others. Christian discipleship demands community. Being a disciple of Jesus demands a connection with some concrete historical community. Trying to do discipleship alone or on your own terms leaves us limping badly in following in the foot steps of Jesus. Being in community is one of the essential non-negotiable elements of Christian discipleship. Last one forgiveness and mellowness of heart. To do the right think from the right heart or right reasons. In the story of the prodigal son the 2nd son was doing everything right from a wrong heart. He was full of anger and bitterness and was standing outside the Fathers house refusing to come in when his bother came home. Even his father could not persuade him to come in. A bitter and unforgiving heart is a blockage to entering into Gods house as is any moral transgression. It’s about believing and doing the right thinks.