To be an intimate disciple

 

116 Clique – Tedashii – Carry Mine

 

Esther challenges me to prepare myself to be the intimate disciple that God has asked me to be in order that I may carry out His plan and His will.

She has become an example of how to live the obedient life. She did the right thing, made the right decisions, and said the right words.   She moved in faith.

It almost feels that we were able to watch Esther grow up spiritually. I would say that when introduced to her she had a weaker character and by the end of her story she definitely had a heroic moral stature.

I would like to believe that she modelled a disciple’s life by listening to her mentor.

Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her. – Esther 2:10-11  ESV

I get two things out of this – Esther, I am sure, had no way of knowing why her mentor left her these instructions, but she followed them anyway and did not question the intent. The other is the amount of time and energy her mentor put into her life. He was available to her every day. He invested into her life.

Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordeci just as when she was brought up by him. – Esther 2:20  ESV

They ended up working together as a great team accomplishing God’s plan for their day and time. Each had to do their part.

Another model is the disciple Thomas – who does not get much respect – but he laid down his life for Jesus. He was discipled by Jesus and knew what it meant to follow Him.

So Thomas, called the Twin,[b] said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” – John 11:16  ESV

Thomas statement here led him to a place where he could lay down his life at anytime for Jesus. He eventually did as he preached the gospel in Persia and India.

Imagine, if we found ourselves in a worship service filled with unrestrained praise to the tune of Psalm 150. Is that not unrelated to Thomas’ move from restrained disciple toward a proclamation of unrestrained praise —

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” – John 20:28  ESV

 

 

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Doing what we do

 

I have found this truth to be very real in my life – in my diligent performance of present duties I am engaged with, opens the door down the road for further usefulness and honour. David and Gideon are two examples from the Old Testament that come to mind and Levi and the fishermen (James, John and Peter) were the others from the New Testament.

Coming then into a relationship with others, I have to respect Paul’s teaching methods.

But I, brothers,[a] could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready. – 1 Corinthians 3:1-2  ESV

Discipling others is definitely a face-to-face experience yet I do come into instances where there is a group setting. I had best get to know the group setting first.

The value of what I put into those I disciple matter too.

 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:14-15  ESV

The last part of this is a little bit harder to understand. I believe it is saying that I can mess up my work in discipling others but if my foundation is sure in Jesus, and is built up in faith and holiness, then all my work may be lost but I will not.  I found this quote from Dr. Macknight. I am not sure it clears things up, but it attempts in a lengthy fashion to enlighten me a bit.

“Other foundation of God’s temple, no teacher, if he teaches faithfully, can lay, except what is laid by me, which is Jesus, the Christ, promised in the Scriptures. Now if any teacher build on the foundation, Christ, sincere disciples, represented in this similitude by gold, silver, valuable stones; or if he buildeth hypocrites, represented by wood, hay, stubble, every teacher’s disciples shall be made manifest in their true characters; for the day of persecution, which is coming on them, will make every one’s character plain, because it is of such a nature as to be revealed by the fire of persecution: and so that fire, falling on the temple of God, will try every teacher’s disciples, of what sort they are. If the disciples, which any teacher has introduced into the church, endure persecution for the gospel without apostatizing, such a teacher shall receive the reward promised to them who turn others to righteousness, Daniel 12:3If the disciples of any teacher shall, in time of persecution, fall away, through the want of proper instruction, he will lose his reward; he himself, however, having in general acted sincerely, shall be saved; yet, with such difficulty, as one is saved who runs through a fire.”

What I do know is that the power of God is with me to fill me and make me capable of so much more than I could ever imagine.

And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:10  ESV

So my takeaway is this as I do what I do – one of the defining trait of a disciple is faith. Faith in God will give me the power to become a disciple, and to make more disciples by leading others to faith.

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