Devotion Day 16
…continuing the subject of “Discipleship” *
The apostle Paul describes his heart attitude towards those he was discipling in 1 Thessalonians 2:3-13:
1. They were single-minded in purpose (vs. 3-6)
2. They care for the believers as a mother cares for her children (vs. 7-8)
3. They became “role models” for the new believers (vs. 9-10)
4. They gave individual attention and instruction as a father (vs. 11-12)
5. The Word of God was an essential component of discipleship (v. 13)
Paul’s concern for the believers went beyond that of just a “teacher.” He was committed to their spiritual welfare and growth.
▪ 2 Corinthians 11:28 – 29 “…there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without me being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
▪ 2 Corinthians 12:15 “I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls…”
▪ 2 Timothy 2:10 “I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen…”
A goal of the discipler should be to help the disciple (apprentice) to mature, function, be fruitful, and to spiritually reproduce. The benefits to the disciple are secondary.
A disciple is a “model” (real, transparent) for the disciple. The goal is for the disciple to emulate the convictions and passion of the disciple.
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 4:15, 16; Philippians 4:9; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 7; 2 Timothy 3:10, 11; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9; Titus 2:7, 8
Jesus commanded us to make “disciples,” not just converts. In the Christian community there are many immature “converts,” but very few disciples.
A newborn child requires an extra amount of individual attention. AS the child matures guidance can increasingly take place in a group setting. Since each child is unique, it should be expected that both group and personal attention would be needed on the road to maturity.
“When you bring a newborn baby home from the hospital, you don’t just set them down and say, ‘Welcome to the family, Johnny. Make yourself at home. The towels are in the hall closet upstairs, the pantry is right here, the can opener is in this drawer. No crying after 10pm. If you have any questions, there are lots of people in the family who would love to help you so don’t be afraid to ask.’ You laugh and say that is ridiculous, but that is usually what happens to new Christians. Someone gets saved and starts going to church services, but never gets much personal attention. We devote 18 years to raising our children, but don’t even spend six months helping a new Christian get started in understanding the spiritual world. As a result, many Christians have been Christians for many years, but have not grown very much. Hebrews 5:12 refers to this phenomenon. So, new believers need someone to give them guidance and help them grow.” (taken from http://www.bible.org/reg/toc.htm-3/16/96)
Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” – February 9 “Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God.” Read this statement by Oswald Chambers again. Ask yourself, what can I give a new believer?
*This devotion taken from notes taught in Discipleship by Design by Pastor Sam