Do not learn the way the world does it

 

Lauren Daigle – Trust In You 

 

Jeremiah gives me this warning. In fact, he might have been saying that I should not be a disciple of this world.

Thus says the LordLearn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them. – Jeremiah 10:2  ESV

Paul stated in Timothy what it means to disciple God’s way.

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,  and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,[a] who will be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:1-2  ESV

What does “entrust” actually mean?  I think it means a relationship that has intentionality to it. It is not just a transfer of information but there is a loving appreciation of each other, spending time together where time is not only spent in being discipled but also real life.

They hung out together for the purpose of advancing the gospel and for the purpose of multiplication. Paul wanted Timothy to know what it looked like to disciple another. I mean, look at all the relationships in the short verse above – Paul, Timothy, faithful men, others also. I think this is how discipleship works – entrusting the gospel from disciple to disciple, generation after generation.

I am pretty sure there is no formula for discipleship. This chapter in 2 Timothy does give some key characteristics though.

Be strengthened: The Christian life is not easy and disciples need down-to-earth resilience. Not our personal strength but strength in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. It is important for me to remember where my strength comes from.

Able to teach: Down through history master craftsmen have taught apprentices, who then became master craftsmen who taught apprentices. If the chain of teaching had been broken, the craft would have been lost.

Be a soldier: How easy it is for me to think that there will only be blessings and happiness for me as I follow Jesus. With Jesus there was suffering and death. There is no easy road in following Him. I have to be tough.

Do not be entangled: It is pretty clear, obedience matters. There are no debates, distractions or compromises. As a follower of Jesus, I am expected to listen to only one voice – Jesus’.

Follow the rules: Why do I think I can live and walk with Jesus my own way? If I want the prize, I have to know God, His rules and then follow them.

Hard-working: This is the one who receives the first harvest and the largest portion. It involves having a sense that I must be dedicated to loving Jesus, learning about Him and serving Him as a disciple.

Think things over: I know it is not common to take down notes these days. Maybe the sermons are not making a difference. But there has to be some gems in there and if they are there, I need to reflect on them, see the truth and apply them to my life.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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