Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:1-4, emphasis added)
So, here’s the question: What are we keeping back in our discipleship? Are we laying all before the Lord?
The topic of discipleship is one that occupies much of my spiritual study. I am continually in admiration of the disciples in the time of Christ who simply forsook their temporal livelihood in a supreme manifestation of belief, commitment, and faith (see Mark 1:18, Luke 5:11). What might this look like in my own life? In my banquet table of offerings to the Lord, what am I hiding away in my “I’ll give, but I won’t give that!” pile?
I like this quote by President Utchdorf. He says on the topic of discipleship: “It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport.” (“The Way of the Discipleship,” President Dieter F. Utchdorf, April 2009)
Yes, I can go to church. I can read my scriptures. I can stand up and say, “Yes! I believe!” And these are important things. But they are merely the beginning of discipleship, which requires service and conversion of “all your heart, might, mind and strength.” It means knowing the gospel is true, and that the Savior lives, and because of that knowledge and conviction, being willing to leave your own personal “nets” behind without looking back. It means getting in the wheelbarrow.
Elder Holland says: “…we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it. It was this truth, this reality, that allowed a handful of Galilean fishermen-turned-again-Apostles without “a single synagogue or sword” to leave those nets a second time and go on to shape the history of the world in which we now live.” (“The First Great Commandment,” Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2012)
This is the kind of person I’m working to become. A true disciple.
“He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple…” (D&C 41:5)
“…men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ-Gifts and Expectations,” December 1988 Ensign)