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One thing the disciples of Jesus Christ did that made them the disciples we talk about today is that they spent time with their master. They spent time with the one they followed. Do we spend time with Christ? How do we spend time with Christ? To become Christ’s disciples, we must spend time with Him. Coming from Africa, I have always heard the saying that when a leaf stays long connected to soap then it also becomes soap. Essentially it means we become like who we hang out with. When we spend enough time with Jesus, our attitude, our outlook, our heart also begins to look like that of Jesus. The Bible says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” – 1 John 2:6. Whatever life we lived before must change and our new life must be lived as Jesus lived. The only way we know how Jesus lived is to have intimacy with Him. The idea of spending time with Jesus Christ is about intimacy, because the more time we spend with Him the more we know Him and the more we can emulate Him.
It has been said that even our good works can become evil, when we do not have intimacy with Jesus. Naturally when we have a heart like that of Jesus, it motivates us to do good works. However, there are other motives for good works that are not good. Therefore, all our good works must be predicated on the knowledge and love of Jesus. The Bible teaches that there are true disciples and there are false disciples. The first indicator of a true disciple is their knowledge of the Lord and how much time they spend with Him. The Word of God says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” – Matthew 7:22-23. As we continue our strive towards becoming a true disciple, let us make it a point of priority to spend more time with Christ so we can know Him more. The essence of having that time with Jesus is to put our action where our heart is.
How do we spend time with Jesus? Different people do it different ways. Some spend time reading the Word of God, some set aside time to pray, others spend some time daily to just commune with Christ by sitting quietly with Him, and some may find it easier to just join a Bible Study group. The important thing is to give ourselves the opportunity to hear from Him and these methods and many others not mentioned can put us in good stead to hear from the Lord. There is no perfect way to do it, and in any case, the essence of spending time with Christ is about pursuit and not perfection. Each must do it in the way they know how. We do not need to do it the way someone else does it. The story of Mary and Martha in the Bible is a great example of two sisters who know Jesus very well but who have chosen different methods to get to know Him and hear from Him. In rebuking Martha when she complained that her sister was not helping her, the Lord told Martha that what Mary has chosen will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42). Spend time with Jesus and whatever method you choose to do this will be counted for you.
If we want to be disciples who make disciples who love God, and love our neighbors, then we need to spend time with Jesus. We must do it consistently and it must be a priority in our lives. The time we do it is irrelevant. It could be in the morning, afternoon, or nighttime, as long as it accomplishes its main purpose, which is to change us completely from the inside out. Spending time with Jesus is transformational. When we spend time with Christ we end up with a spiritual heart transplant. Jeremiah 24:7 says, “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” When we spend time with Christ our heart becomes the heart of a disciple.
May 1, 2022 – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya