“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Tim. 2:1,2 (NIV)
In these two verses, the Apostle Paul lays out both the mandate for discipleship and the essential process as he gives this instruction to his own disciple…Timothy.
As followers of Jesus, we have benefited from the wisdom and maturity of believers who have gone before us. They are the ones who have led us to Christ…taught us…and mentored us and continue to help us draw close to Jesus.
We owe them a great deal.
But if we were to ask them how we could best thank them, they would say that we should pay it forward.
We thank them by actively discipling others.
Paul tells us that to begin the process of discipling, we must first find others who are reliable.
New and younger believers who earnestly desire to grow in the Lord and who will be reliable to share what they learn with those behind them.
Discipling should be a life-long process.
We don’t need an advanced seminary degree to disciple.
We simply need to be one step ahead of those who follow, sharing with them what we have learned.
It’s like a long line of hikers slowly walking up a mountain. As we come to a place in the trail that requires care…we listen to the hiker in front of us and share with the hiker behind us…who in turn shares with the hiker behind them.
We never see the end of the line of hikers…but we have played our part in helping them up the mountain.
This is not just something nice to do for others…it is the command of our Lord.
The enemy will try to keep us from discipling others by making us too busy in our professional lives. He will minimize the importance of discipling. He will divert your attention to other “more important” tasks.
Resist those tactics…and remember the simple command of the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, help me set and keep my priorities correctly so that in the midst of my busy life, I’m still able to obey your command to disciple others.