John 8:31- “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”
Interpretation: Here Jesus is talking to some Jews who believed in Him. He is telling them it is not enough to simply believe in Him if they want to be His disciples, but that they must cling to Him and His teaching and never let it leave their hearts. To be a real follower of Christ it is not enough to just believe in Him. As we’ve heard it said- even Satan believed in Jesus. But to be a real, true disciple of Christ we must continually abide in Him as written in John 15:6 where Jesus tells us, “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers: such branches are picked up thrown into the fire and burned.” and, as written in Mark 34, we need to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and then follow Him. I tried to be a follower of Christ for years. But I was just a lost believer- floating in the fast lane of the world not realizing it was impossible for God’s word to take root in my life as I was constantly ruining the soil of my heart. But I was breaking the truth of 1 John 6-7 where it says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.” Jesus makes it very clear to us that in order to truly follow Him we need to deny ourselves and take up our cross. In Luke 14:27 He says, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Being a disciple isn’t just a one-day thing. The 12 disciples of Jesus held to Him for three and a half years, and when each new day began they needed to cling just as tightly to Him as they did the day before. We don’t have Jesus walking with us today physically, but we have His word, which is interpreted by His Holy Spirit. We need to cling to the word of God and abide in Him daily in order to correctly follow Him and be His disciples.
Application: I will IBS my daily devotion scripture tonight to hold more of God’s word in my heart, to be a better disciple of Christ.