Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31).

READ: John 8:30-32

The church at Smyrna, which was supposed to be rich, lived in poverty probably out of ignorance. The quality of life made available to you is a function of your knowledge. Speaking of which, there is a link between spiritual knowledge and spiritual accomplishments. In John 8:30-32, while addressing some Jews who newly believed on Him, the Lord Jesus disclosed some truths. The first is that it takes a process to move from being a believer in Christ to being a disciple of Christ. In other words, everyone who believed and received Christ is a believer, but not all of them are disciples. One major difference between a believer and a disciple of Christ is what they know. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). From this scripture, it is evident that there are certain conditions that a new convert must satisfy before becoming a disciple. Time is of great essence here. That means, you must be prepared to give time to cultivate your relationship with Christ and to know Him more. A believer who cannot invest his or her time into his new-found faith may not become a disciple. It is equally important to note what the believer spends time doing. You can believe in Christ and yet after ten years, not be His disciple. This could happen because you are not taking the time to develop yourself in the things of the Spirit. What do you use your time for? Building yourself spiritually or to feeding your flesh?

Secondly, Heaven certifies disciples. In other words, receiving a certificate from the School of Disciples does not automatically make you a disciple. Rather, you must be more concerned about what God calls you than man calls you. School of Disciple, Bible College and other training programmes are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. They are only to help you become a heavenly Certified Disciple. Some people go to sleep after acquiring such earthly certificates, failing to realize that God’s major criteria is ‘continuity’. In addition, verse 32 of our reading says, “You shall know the truth”, that means as you continue seeking to know more of God and His Word, God will unveil His truths to you. There are truths that may never get to you as a new convert until you become a disciple. It is the truth you need to access freedom. Are you ready to pay the price to be a true disciple?

One major difference between a believer and a disciple is that while the former is in the raw stage, the latter is a work in progress in Heaven’s factory.

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