Tag Archives: discipleship

March 25; Next

Joshua 3-6

I was thinking about Joshua today and wondered what he thought about his new position as leader of the nation of Israel. Forty years earlier as a spy, he had encouraged the people to take the land. We know they chickened out, and as a result wandered around in the wilderness for decades. But now it was time to go into the land God had promised to give them.

It’s very likely Joshua was close to Moses during the wandering years. We know from Deuteronomy 33 Joshua was with Moses when Moses shared his song in front of the people. In Deuteronomy 34 Moses commissioned Joshua with the laying on of hands. What I see is Moses mentoring Joshua, teaching him to be a leader, introducing him to leadership by degrees. I think it’s a picture of discipleship at its finest.

I trust you who have walked with the Lord for a while are involved in discipleship, coming along side a new Christian, teaching and encouraging them, and helping to prepare them for leadership opportunities.

It was 40 years before Joshua was given the responsibility of leading God’s people. I think sometimes new Christians are eager to jump in and be teachers, youth workers, and take on leadership roles in the church. Who wants to dampen their enthusiasm? Not me. And, hey, if they want to do that stuff, why not? I’m tired.

Yet, it would appear that God places value on the growing years before a child of His takes on the important role of leader. Paul is an example of that. Even Jesus went into the wilderness before beginning his ministry. Often God tells us to be still, to wait on the Lord before we jump into battle.

If you are a seasoned Christian, I urge you to reach out to a new Christian. Be the Moses to him or her as you teach them, encourage then, and prepare them for what comes next.

And if you are a new Christian, let me suggest you find that seasoned Christian who will invest themselves in your growth.

I said I wonder what Joshua felt as he stood before the people as their new leader. I can only imagine he felt humbled, scared, yet prepared and determined. After all, he had had a pretty great example to follow, a mentor worthy of imitating. Joshua was ready for what came next because God had given him time to prepare.

I pray that we will all be working together, young Christian and old, to prepare for what comes next.

January 31; At Least Until They Are Settled

I Chronicles 4:1-23; 7:1-5,30-34; Genesis 46:13-26; 47;1-12

When Jacob finally got to Egypt, and he and his family were saved from the famine, Joseph didn’t just sit in his office and assume someone else was going to show his dad how to get to Goshen. Joseph went himself. He couldn’t wait to be reunited with his father, and share with him what he had received while living in Egypt.

Joseph, already a resident of Egypt, went to Pharaoh and prepared the way for his family’s transition. The Bible tells us that it was Joseph himself who settled his father and brothers in the best part of Egypt.

I think this is a picture of what the Church should look like. Think about this:

  1. Joseph had been saved. First from slavery, then from the famine.
  2. Joseph invited his family to join him.
  3. They did.
  4. Joseph stayed with them, and fed them until they were settled.

Are you with me? (1) We believers are like Joseph. We’ve been saved, we live in a blessed eternal kingdom and have everything we need in this life.

(2)Many Christians invite family and friends to join them. We share the Gospel, (3) and sometimes they do join us by receiving Jesus as their own. I think the Church is pretty good at the first three things on the list above.

I’m a bit concerned about the fourth point, however. When we lead someone to the Savior, do we stick with them until they are settled in their new-found faith? Evangelism doesn’t stop at salvation. Discipleship needs to follow. And we who have inhabited God’s Kingdom for a time need to be nurturing, feeding, encouraging new believers until they are rooted and firm in their faith.

And maybe beyond that.

Joseph wanted to be the one to lead his family to Goshen. I pray that each of us will want to be the one who leads that new citizen of Christ’s Kingdom into a solid relationship with Jesus, and an understanding of God’s Word so that they are ready to do the same for other new believers when the time comes.

October 27 – Counting The Cost

Luke 14&15

Have you ever agreed to do something before your really checked it out? Or bought something before you read the fine print? Started a project you weren’t sure what to expect? Or even accepted an invitation without knowing the details? How did that work out? Yeah, bummer.

Luke shared that Jesus wanted His disciples to know what they were getting into, because it’s not easy being a disciple of Jesus. It wasn’t when Jesus was walking this earth in bodily form, and it’s not easy today. Jesus wanted all of us to know this. So He spelled it out so we’d know exactly what following Him costs.

In 14:26 He said the first requirement of being a disciple is to love Him more than anything or anyone. He went as far as to say that, in comparison, our feelings for our family should look like hate. Now, Jesus wasn’t advocating we turn on our loved ones. We need to remember to read every verse in light of all of Scripture, and Scripture talks an awfully lot about how we should love one another. But Jesus wants me to ask myself if my love for Him is so complete, so intense, so exclusive, that all other relationships pale in comparison? That if I put it on a scale of 1-10, other relationships would be at zero, while my love for Him is at an 11.

In verse 28, Jesus asks us to consider the cost of discipleship. Can following Jesus strain our pocketbooks? He might call you to pastor a tiny church instead of being CEO of some big company. He might ask you to give sacrificially to His work to the point where you are unable to drive a new and fancy car. You might be overlooked for a promotion at work because of your stand for the Savior. So, yes. Being a disciple of Jesus might effect your finances.

And it might cost you in other ways, too. Relationships, certain parties or social events, not being able to join in the conversation in the break room when people are talking about the latest episode of Modern Family or Dating Naked. Being a disciple of Jesus might cost you your social standing.

Jesus also asks us to consider the fact that His disciples have battles to face (verse 31). This is war. There will be times when He asks us to stand and fight, others when seeking peace is the answer. Are we ready to follow His lead in both cases?

Then, in verse 33 Jesus says this:

So then none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

That’s the fine print we need to read. Being a disciple is not a part time job. It’s not Sunday thing. It’s everything.

Are you a disciple of Jesus? It’s not easy. It’s not even politically correct these days. But if you are His disciple, I imagine we both can agree it’s worth it. I know for myself, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right there with the One who loves me more than even I can understand. I count everything else a loss except for knowing Him.