Having A Passion For: Discipleship

13 Jul

“Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)”

I felt compelled to spend a few days discussing three things that I believe Christians should have a passion for. [As an aside, I want to say that these posts are undergirded by a desire to see God most glorified, and I believe these three things serve to fulfill that desire]

The first of these two ideas is discipleship (I’ll reveal the next 2 in the coming days…I know, suspenseful, right?).

Think hard for a moment.  What does discipleship even mean?  I’m not asking for a method or technique for discipleship, but rather, at its core, what does discipleship even refer to?  For my definition, I look to Jesus Christ’s words in Matthew 28, in which He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matt. 28:19-20).”  With this in mind, I define discipleship as the making of disciples (simple enough).

It begins when God transforms the heart of a person by the Holy Spirit and draws them to trust in the Gospel of God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ.  From there, I believe discipleship consists of the loving, teaching and guiding of believers in all that God’s Word imparts and instructs so that they might glorify God in all aspects of their lives.

Yet, I think that discipleship must be intentional.  There is a degree to which one grows through the corporate gathering of the body of Christ in the context of the local church, but the majority of true discipleship takes place outside of this time.  I believe that we must be intentional about wanting to see our hearts transformed and our minds renewed by the Spirit so that we can fulfill our callings as ministers to a broken world.   And while others may disagree or have other strategies to accomplish this, I think that intentional discipleship should include:

1. An older, mature believer leading a younger believer (perhaps its maybe 3 people meeting together, but one should be a wiser, more mature saint)
2.  There should be an emphasis on God’s Word and the role it plays in revealing God’s plan to redeem a people through His Son for His glory and how we live in light of the Gospel and God’s promises to us as His people
3. Opportunities for ministry (whether that means leading a Bible study, doing evangelism, asking people for prayer requests, etc.)
4. A chance for the younger believer to witness how the mature believer does life so that the younger believer can see what it looks like to lead a God-glorifying life as a husband, father, employee, employer, etc.
5. Consistence in meeting up and accountability

I think it is all too easy for us to coast and be comfortable in merely attending weekly corporate worship.  I also think it is all too easy to be satisfied with superficial relationships with other believers and of God’s Word.  Yet, I think there is so much more to be found in intentionally seeking discipleship outside of Sunday morning corporate worship.  The depths of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, obedience, understanding, wisdom and satisfaction are available to us as we seek to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ. As the verse at the top of this post says, one man sharpens another. We grow as we seek to live to the glory of God together. I want to end this with a passage from Psalm 1, which I think paints a beautiful picture of the man or woman who is passionate about discipleship and the result of seeking to be obedient to this calling of God:

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its lead does not wither. (Ps. 1:1-2)”

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