Discipleship is training others in Godliness
The problem with discipling another person is that no matter how good you live your life for the Lord before them, they still have to choose to live theirs as unto the Lord for themselves. There is only so much that you can infuse into them whereby they can catch your vision for themselves. The rest is between them and their God. We have no control over that except by prayer. Scripture says that a student is not greater than his teacher, and that we must mind our lives and doctrine so that our students can be saved, but they still have to take the steps for themselves. All we can do is to encourage them to respond to God in faith as we continue to do ourselves- Rom 1:11 and 1 Cor 11:1. As disciplers we are commended to train faithful men who can train other faithful men as well, but we may be humbled by those whom we thought were faithful men, when we stand before the Lord. Those we thought were successes may not be. Even our estimation of ourselves must always be evaluated. It requires us to faithfully teach, but keep our eyes on God and let Him worry about the results. After all, God is the one who gives the increase, and God is the one who promises to perfect every believer’s faith in his time, not ours.
Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians
2 Cor 12: 11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. 16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who loves you and is drawing you back to myself by my mercy. “Tricky fellow that I am”, I will woo you because I want all of your heart. Romans 2:4 says: by my mercy I will lead you to repentance if you would let me. But one day there will be no more time to repent; every person will face a reckoning with me as to their love of me.
I AM the God who perfects your faith. Every challenge and trial is my work f drawing you back into dependence on me for life and godliness. Boredom is your soul and spirit crying out to you to return to me. You have a choice to fill your mind with the novelties that this world has to offer, or to let my Spirit fill you with thoughts of my love for you. The more you turn to the world and quench my voice and drawing the less likely that you will be able to point others to me, to be a light to the world. If I cannot win you back by my mercy, look for me in your troubles.
Discipleship is helping others love God like you.
Paul is writing of his feelings toward his children in the Lord, but just as the prophets of old who wrote to the Israelites as God’s people being like an unfaithful wife, Paul could be writing God’s feelings toward his wayward church. He could be asking us right now, “Why do you take God for granted, since all he does is shower his blessings on us.” Why do we show contempt for his unconditional love, mercy and adoration? His love for us should motivate us to live more fully for him and his desires for the world; to live righteously, and love others in return. Father please forgive me for living blindly for myself. When we live blindly for self at the expense of God’s mercy and longsuffering, we tend to naturally gravitate to our own sinful indulgences. Revelation 3: says that we have left our first love and need to repent and do the things which we did at the beginning. Which was to love Jesus and be infatuated with his amazing thoughts toward us. So discipleship is basically sharing your vision and love for Christ with another in real ways, so that they in turn can share that joy with someone else. Discipleship is caught not taught. If it is real to you, it will be real to others. And the more it is real to you, the better chance you have it will stick.
More to come,