“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. Surely, I am with you to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24

What is a disciple? A disciple is one who has been baptized and is willing to take upon him or her the name of the Savior and follow Him. It is a person who is being changed by Jesus, is committed to Jesus’ mission in this world, and seeks to become like Jesus.

To help spread the gospel to the people of many nations after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus needed disciples—men who could walk away from their present life and take on an all new life—one of a student to learn all that Jesus could teach them about their Heavenly Father and His love for them, and then apply that knowledge to Jesus’ earthly mission of proclaiming the gospel.

After a night filled with prayer, and with the ability to prophesy, Jesus made His decision. In the morning, He chose 12 apostles to carry out His Father’s work. The newly-appointed disciples were Peter, James, Andrew, Phillip, Judas Iscariot, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alpheus, Bartholemew, Judas Thaddeus, and Simon Zelotes. These 12 men, while traveling with Jesus for nearly 3 years, would have many new experiences and challenges, much of it involving long days, extensive travel, and multitudes of people crowding together to hear Jesus speak. And then they’d be left to carry on alone after His death on the cross—a selfless act of love that gave all mankind the gift of eternal salvation if one truly believes in Jesus as their Savior.

Jesus knew each of His disciples’ hearts, their minds, and their future, and still He chose them. He knew that Judas would betray Him in the garden as He prayed; Peter would deny knowing Him 3 times before the rooster crowed; and Thomas would doubt that Jesus had come back to them from the tomb. He needed proof, and needed to see Jesus’ wounds and place his hands on them.

Just as Jesus asked the 12 imperfect men to be His disciples, He asks us to follow Him as well. Following Jesus is proclaiming our love for Him, following His commandments, helping and showing love toward others, even those who are hard to love, and sharing our faith in various ways, including through personal testimonies so as to not only strengthen our faith, but to encourage others on their faith journey–and even awaken those that do not yet know Him.

You might ask yourself, “If Jesus handpicked His disciples and they failed Him, why should I even try? I’m just a sinner who fails often.” Well, Jesus’ disciples were just like us—human and born into sin. They made mistakes and sinned just like we do, but they also loved Jesus, asked His forgiveness, and won hearts for Him. So, if we give our hearts to Him, and ask His forgiveness when we fail Him, He will give us the ability to touch other hearts and change lives for Him. So trust in the Lord! If you step out in faith, He’ll step out with you and equip you for the journey. And as the saying goes, “If He leads you to it, He’ll surely lead you through it.”

He’s waiting for you to ask Him to walk with you. Be brave and say, “Here I am, Lord, take me! Let me be one of your disciples so that I may shine your light onto those that I encounter on my faith walk, and show them the way to your door.”

The following is a Christian motto that I simply love, and I think you will too–“KNOW THE FAITH, LOVE THE FAITH, LIVE THE FAITH.” And I know that Jesus would whole-heartedly agree.