In modern times there is a focus on self. From how fast and easy things can be to make one’s life better to taking a pill to hide sexually transmitted diseases keeping the pleasure in one’s life while ruining someone else’s life. This same mindset has bled into how the modern church operates. Churches accommodate to make things easier for the attendee, receiving gifts for coming to church, and making things focused on each parishioner. With this standard of church operations does it line up with the biblical precedent of what Jesus says makes His disciples? The answer is no. Sure, it may get people in the door to give them a sermon, but by using these methods people are not coming to hear the truth of being a disciple of Jesus they are coming for the social factor or the opportunity to be served while feeling religious. Let’s look at what Jesus says makes His disciples. In the Gospels, Jesus says that His disciples must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). The word deny in each of these verses means to abstain or disown. Being a true disciple of Jesus means getting rid of the selfish motives and desires to take up the cross or the plan God has for each person’s life and following Jesus. The cross was God’s plan for Jesus (Psalm 22:16-18; Isaiah 53:3-7) to redeem anyone who would choose to accept this free gift (Romans 6:23). Each believer has a plan and purpose that God designed for them (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 3:5-6). These plans may at times seem like a hard load to carry especially when one’s flesh desires easier or to be selfish. Jesus did make note of His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Both of these aspects reflect being associated with Jesus and working with Him to accomplish what God wants completed, not leading one’s own life and fulfilling aspirations. When one’s heart is aligned with God and the Word of God their desires are more focused on pleasing God rather than selfish ambitions. A true disciple also keeps the commandments of God because of their love for Jesus (John 14:15; John 15:10). To practice sinning is lawlessness which is the opposite of being submitted to Jesus Christ’s commandments or the Word of God (1 John 3:4). The sinful nature within each person desires to be selfish. Christians are to be selfless (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:14; 1 John 5:3; Luke 11:28), and faithful (Luke 16:10; Proverbs 28:20; 1 Corinthians 4:2). Jesus led by example of His selfless lifestyle by putting God’s will above His own desires (Luke 22:42; John 5:30). The definition of being a Christian is not only one who professes Jesus with their mouth but bases their life on His teachings by conforming to the Word of God. The word conform is powerful meaning to have the shape of or to bring into harmony with through obedience. A person must allow God to have power in their life not just a form of a Christian (2 Timothy 3:5). May Christians everywhere not be selfish people who have a religious air to them but be true disciples of Jesus. Christians who truly deny their sinful desires daily, who live out God’s plans and purposes for their lives, and who follow Jesus by working with Him to give glory and honor to God by obeying the Word of God. For more information about discipleship and Abundant Grace Church visit agcsparta.org.