Making Disciples

In our curriculum “Two Becoming One” the three purposes of marriage are taught. #1. Reflect His image on earth. #2. Reproduce a Godly heritage. #3. Reign in spiritual warfare. In today’s blog, we are going to discuss the second purpose, reproducing a Godly heritage. This does not just mean our own biological children, but includes adoption, fostering and discipling those that God puts in our path. 

What is Discipleship?

If you have ever watched Rocky or Karate Kid, you have watched someone's discipleship taking place before your eyes. You saw Mickey work with Rocky Balboa and you watched Mr. Miyagi train Daniel. Someone with more experience train, teach and pour into someone that was listening and wanting to emulate the one that had walked before them. Christ is very clear and does not request but commands us to make disciples.(Matthew 28:19-20)  Many of us do not feel qualified to do this, but if He commanded it, he will give us the ability through His Holy Spirit to complete it. If we did not have the capabilities, He would not require it of us. 

Christian disciplers must be followers of Jesus Christ, walking in relationship with Him and wanting to be more like Him everyday. Everyone needs discipleship. A mature believer does not stop growing and learning. A new believer will need discipleship in order to grow. Even a child needs discipleship. Did you know that discipline is within the word discipleship? In this process one would find out that they need to look to a more mature believer. One that has walked down a path and came out on the other side. This does not mean that they did everything right, but that they consistently pursued Christ through it and radiated Jesus on the back side of the event. Let’s look at a couple of things concerning discipleship. 

How Do I Disciple?

Revelation 12:11 says that they have conquered him (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony… This says to me that we have a couple of things in our arsenal. The blood of the Lamb is our salvation itself. The experience we have had of Jesus rescuing and restoring us. In truly understanding this, we should speak of it to others. It should be a natural outpouring from us. The word of our testimony is just speaking of how God has shown up for us. Telling of the times where we have clearly seen the hand of God in our lives. 

Talk about Jesus. Speak of what you know to be true about Him. Proclaim what He has done for you. Disciplining should not be a struggle but an organic overflow. Yes, it may stretch us out of our comfort zone a bit, but again, if we fully understand what has been accomplished for us on the cross, this will pour out of us. In time it will become easier. Listen to God and seize the opportunities that He gives you. 

Most importantly, live what you believe. Walk it out in front of those whom God places in your life. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, have a degree or know the Bible inside and out. If we mess up in front of someone, repent and ask forgiveness. If we don’t know the answer we tell them we don’t know, but offer to search with them for it. 

What is Discipleship?

Discipleship could be classified as mentoring, coaching, or even parenting! Discipleship can easily take place right within the relationships around us. These times can happen organically or be planned ahead of time. 

David Platt says in his book “Radical”, that you must have two things to disciple others: knowledge and relationship. I have had ladies tell me before that Beth Moore, or Priscilla Shirer disciple them. I would disagree with that. You may be learning from them, but you are not being discipled by them. They do not know you and cannot speak into areas of growth in your life. 

What does Discipleship look like?

Proverbs 27:17 says that Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. For me, I would not let myself be sharpened by someone I don’t know. They would not have permission to speak into my life. Why should they? They don’t know me, they're unaware of my areas of strength or weakness, do not know what I like and do not like. Having no knowledge of what my tendencies are. They have no history with me.  A relationship brings value and weight. If Gray (my husband) speaks truth into my life, I may not like it, but I must process through it. He knows me better than anyone on this earth. He sees things about me that no else does. 

Trust is core in discipleship.

My Mentors

I have 4 different ladies in my life that I would consider my mentors. Two of these women have gone on to be with the Lord. One of them moved quite a distance away from me several years ago. The meetings between me and them have now marked pivotal moments in my life. The amount of times and truth they have given me cannot be repaid. I still live by much of what they have taught me.

If I ever get in a place where I feel like my back is against the wall. A place where I don’t know what to do. I call the one that is still living and in close proximity to me. Believing that I am who I am today in part because of these women, I cannot thank God enough for them. I trust these ladies with my darkest secrets, and with my greatest failures. I vent to them about whatever is troubling me. They have proven themselves not only trustworthy, but their love never changes for me. Their love is not contingent upon my behavior. 

Who Benefits From Discipleship?

We all do! When we are asked to do something, we often believe it is for the benefit of others. God works in beautiful circles. He requires something from us that may be hard but in our obedience we are blessed. 

How many of you have been on a mission trip? You have gone to help and bless other people less fortunate than yourself? You come away being the blessed one. 

How many times have you given money away, to have it richly returned to you in some form?

How many times have you squeezed out a kind word or even a smile and felt so much better afterwards?

This is how discipleship works. As you pour into others there are times you get to see the “fruit of your harvest”. You are able to watch the growth in front of your eyes. There are times when you gain a new life long friend. One that loves and prays for you. There are also times when you have stepped into another’s mess and see God show up in huge ways, like only He can. Seeing  this strengthens your faith and increases the hope you have in Him. There are times when you may get discouraged, but do not become weary of doing well. Plant the seeds of discipleship and in due season the harvest will come!

For more information on this topic, listen to the podcast on the same topic https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/christianfamilylife/episodes/Can-You-Reproduce-A-Godly-Heritage-Without-Biological-Children-e2ktq9r

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