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“Teaching “about” the Faith is not the same as “discipling,” a distinction the Lord Himself makes in His Great Commission: “Going, therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [then] teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19,20). Teaching has a place, but discipling is essential. One is “begotten...through the Gospel” (1 Cor 4:15). Teaching must occur, followed by discipling. “Fathering,” which begets, must have the greatest weight within each disciple so that any rational learning about the Faith is formed in the heart…disciples mature as they imitate the living substance in their fathers-in-God - rather than as they accumulate mere facts from teachers.” (Dynamis 11/30/2021)

“To the standards of this age, this advice of staying in place is against our values. Our norm is that one should always try to better oneself and one’s social circumstances. But St. Paul contrasts our calling Kingdom of God to the vocation of one’s career or occupation. In this world, people define us by our social group, occupation, and achievements. These are markers of our social standing… our calling to be disciples in the Kingdom is paramount. But our standing in this world is incidental. Wherever we find ourselves in the social order, we can be content and we can use our position in this world, whether a high or low estate, serve the Lord and advance the Gospel.” (Fr. Basil) 

“Just as any skilled job requires training, so too we need to be instructed in how to live the Christian life in a fallen world and we must practice imitating the saints. Practice makes perfect, they say, and so we have consciously to put into practice our faith. Good deeds happen because we choose to love the other rather than serve the self. As people talk about ‘muscle memory’ – in which we repeat an action so much it becomes virtually habitual and we become near perfect in accomplishing the act – so too, even if good deeds or virtuous actions do not come automatically to us at first, if we practice them enough, they can become our default mode in dealing with others. We are after all called disciples, which means we agree to be trained by the Master.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“ ‘In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions,’ (Luke 14:33). The application of the saying is this: Discipleship requires that God be in first place. The reference to renunciation of all his own possessions refers to all earthly attachments that have first place…discipleship needs to be centered in and fueled by our immersion in the body of Christ.” (NET Bible, Luke 14:33, James Smith)

“…through His Resurrection Jesus supplies His disciples abundantly with the life-giving grace of the Spirit. A disciple's responsibility is to live by this grace.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 2:7)

“Let us carefully how Levi’s [Matthew’s] life changes when he follows our Lord. First, Levi “left all” (vs. 28). We should not assume, from this statement, that he suddenly abandons everything…Levi did not leave at once but began withdrawing, bit by bit, from his former life. First he left his occupation, then his home, and finally even his native land…We too have answered the call of Christ, the Wisdom of God. We began dropping our former values to follow Wisdom more fully. Much of this “leaving” required by true repentance is actually interior. We may let go of relationships, jobs, places, and even thoughts – it is an ongoing inward process.” (Dynamis 10/10/2020)

“According to the spiritual sense, it is clear what it means to follow the Lord. . . . You follow the Lord if you imitate him. You follow the Lord if, insofar as human weakness allows, you do not abandon those examples of humility that, as a human being, the Son of God demonstrated. You follow [the Lord] if, by showing yourself to be a companion of his sufferings, you painstakingly long to attain communion in his resurrection and ascension.” (St. Bede)

“ ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple’ (Luke 14:26). How do we understand such strong language? Our Lord is concerned here with our priorities – where we choose to place on our affections. He surely expects us to love and give ourselves to our families before others. Christ’s call to follow Him, however, is of a different order. It calls us to go into combat, where we are willing to accept deadly risks on behalf of our loved ones. The way of the Lord is called the “unseen warfare” because it is a battle with spiritual dimensions. It takes place in that realm where we express our affections of heart and soul. It all comes down to our preferences. Do we value things that concern the body more than matters of the soul and heart? We must sometimes choose between our natural affections and our overarching commitment to be “members and partakers of the death and Resurrection of Christ our God.” (Dynamis 11/17/2020)

“Some people think that pursuing the Christian life should be an easy endeavor of good feelings and success that requires little struggle. If we think that everything is going our way in life, perhaps it could be very appealing to fall prey to the temptation of thinking like that. Of course, that kind of faith is actually very weak and cannot hold up when reality slaps us in the face. We need to gain the spiritual strength to follow our Lord as people whose souls are far from healed in a world that remains enslaved to the fear of death.” (Fr. Philip Le Masters)

“Don’t expect most people to approve of or understand your decision to follow Christ. It all seems so silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate fine music, the person who rejects Christ cannot understand God’s Spirit…When we follow Christ, we must be prepared for new ways to live, new ways to look at people, and new ways to serve.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, Matthew 9:17)

“When Christ our God commands us to “provide neither gold nor silver,” etc. (Matthew 10:9), He uses a verb that implies possession, but with a lack of complete control. The Lord’s meaning is that we disciples should not invest our foremost life energy in guaranteeing ourselves a supply of money and material goods. If we seek to amass a strong cash reserve, it requires us to abandon our primary task as disciples. The Lord’s point is very simple: we cannot focus on two opposing life tasks. Our lives are dedicated to proclaiming His kingdom, whatever our work may be.” (Dynamis 6/23/2020)

“Anyone who is considering ordained ministry, lay leadership, or active participation in the Church must give the Lord first place in his heart. To become disciples, we must be certain of the urgency of the work to which the Lord calls us.” (OCPM 8/22/2017)

“Many times God shows up without any help from us. Yet He has also called us to be about the business of making disciples, which means showing (not just telling) them how to trust Jesus, live for God, and participate in the Spirit’s work. People want to meet God, so let’s make sure we’re helping not hindering.” (David Kinnaman)

“ ‘Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me’ (Luke 18:22)…it was not Christ's intention that we should all renounce our property, nor did he mean to tear up the roots of society as we know it, and to propose a new social order of any kind…although Jesus knew of the dangers and temptations of material possessions, He did not ask everyone who wished to be a disciple to entirely renounce their earthly goods…we know that neither Joseph of Arimathea nor Nicodemus, both men of considerable substance, were told to sell all and to give to the poor. It is clear in the witness of the Gospels, therefore, that although Jesus knew of the dangers and temptations of material possessions, He did not ask everyone who wished to be a disciple to entirely renounce their earthly goods…each one of us is called to personal assessment. If God becomes our all, then we live more simply, ask more questions about accumulating possessions, and are more conscious of the needy. It is not so much a question of surrendering things; that just creates a feeling of emptiness. Rather it is a question of acquiring a spiritual treasure in our hearts that does not leave room for the endless acquisition of earthly goods.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)

“Being a disciple of Christ calls for total commitment.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 14:18-20)

“As Jesus said to His disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). So we should be able to say, “When you have seen me, you have seen Jesus.” This is a tall order, but it should be our desire and goal as Christians." (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for things plagued first-century disciples just as they do us today. How easy it is for our daily routines to become overcrowded. A life packed with materialistic pursuits....leaves us unfruitful for Him…Being His disciple means putting aside selfish desires, shouldering one’s “cross” every day, and following Him. It is simple and yet so demanding.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 4:19, Luke 9:23)

“Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, it costs exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring.” (Dallas


“We must learn to walk the tightrope of living for God in the context of the postmodern culture. By striking the proper balance we are—by God’s grace—living in obedience in the culture, and modeling true, biblical discipleship for all those who come to faith.” (Walt Mueller)

“Like the disciples, we are not to be sheeplike in our attitude but sensible and prudent. We are not to be gullible pawns, but neither are we to be deceitful connivers. We must find a balance between wisdom and vulnerability to accomplish God’s work.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 10:16)

“A disciple of Christ must follow Him. This means that in all deeds and actions we must try to be like our Lord Jesus Christ in His virtues. We must strive to live and act as He lived and acted. For example, Jesus Christ always thanked His Heavenly Father and constantly prayed to Him. Thus we also should constantly thank God and pray to Him in all circumstances, whether successful or difficult." (St. Innocent of Alaska)

“God expects each disciple to endure and be faithful in this life. Our first task as Christians is not to acquire an education, get a job, or tend a business. Nor is it instructing our children in the faith, nor teaching them how to love the Lord. Before any of these worthy goals, we must tend our own soul by seeking purity, living uprightly, and pleasing God in word and deed.” (Dynamis 3/14/2015)

“...those desiring guidance and support in the way of Christ and the Holy Spirit will find and receive it. The sayings, “When the disciple is ready, the master appears,” and “The elder’s mouth is opened by the seeker’s insistence,” are...convictions, based on the Lord’s promises, that have proven true in the lives of countless people.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“Two issues face us when we seek to conform to the will of God. The first is discernment, the second willingness. Our first task then as disciples is to be spiritual so that we may more readily judge the will of God aright in every circumstance…In order to become a disciple – a beginner in the life in Christ – we must first be “converted” to humility. Unless Christ-like humility is our goal, we cannot even begin to approach the kingdom of heaven.” (Dynamis 8/4/2015, 5/25/2015)

“Real discipleship implies real commitment—pledging our whole existence to His service.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 16:25)

#StInnocentofAlaska #FatherThomasHopko #WaltMueller #DallasWillard #FatherDavidLFontes #Dynamis #StInnocentofAlaska #OCPM #DavidKinnaman #FrAndrewDemotses #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StBede #FrPhilipLeMasters #Dynamis #FrBasil #FrTedBobosh #NETBible #JamesSmith #OrthodoxStudyBible

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