On three consecutive Saturdays, the Christ Church community celebrated and mourned at the death of beloved fellow-believers. Just prior to these weeks, author and fellow disciple, Dallas Willard died of cancer. Willard was known for his wonderful work of deepening the Christian Church’s understanding of Spiritual Formation and Discipleship.
In light of our fall series, I am a Disciple! I want to share some quotations from conversations and writings of Dallas Willard worthy of our serious rumination.
Disciples of Jesus are those who are with him, learning to be like him. That is, they are learning to lead their life, their actual existence, as he would lead their life if he were they. (Renovation of the Heart)
The mature disciple is one who effortlessly does what Jesus would do in his or her place.
Willard taught me that a disciple is a student who sits at the feet of Jesus day in and day out. A disciple is someone who is with Jesus, learning to be like him, so that when we encounter the world around us, we do exactly what Jesus would do if he were in our shoes.
We cannot be Christians without being disciples, and we cannot call ourselves Christians without applying this understanding of life in the Kingdom of God to every aspect of life on earth. (The Great Omission)
When asked, “What is death? “ Dallas responded:
Jesus made a special point of saying those who rely on him and have received the kind of life that flows in him and in God will never stop living.
Willard also challenged us to take the Sermon on the Mount more seriously, especially the parts about seeking first the Kingdom of God. He called it “The cost of non-discipleship,” referencing Bonhoeffer’s famous “Cost of Discipleship.” He put it this way:
“If you think it’s hard being a disciple of Christ, you should try living the other way. Living to make a name for yourself or secure your own future is way too expensive. Stop now before you ruin yourself utterly. Jesus was talking in these stories about the cost of non-discipleship, and it’s breathtakingly high.”
“So then, whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord!” (Romans 14:8)
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE ‘COST’ OF NON-DISCIPLESHIP?