“ Convinced of this, I know that I will remain,
and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,
so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.”
After discussing the fact that he would like to go to Heaven, he admits that he knows he is supposed to stay here and continue to disciple those believers through his writings. His heartfelt desire was that they would then go out and witness to others.
Discipling others is a long term commitment. We can’t stop at just getting people saved. If we lead them to salvation then we must follow through and disciple them as well. Jesus told us to go and make disciples. Remember the parable of the seed and the sower? Matthew 13:3-9
Behold, a sower went forth to sow;4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Now I know Jesus did not say this in His explanation of the parables, but I think some in the first three groups might have made it if they had someone walking through it with them. Someone to talk to when the initial thrill wears off. Someone who will call them and say “Hey, let’s have a cup of coffee”. Someone who will listen and pray with them when they are struggling. Someone who can help them in their bible reading and understanding.
To disciple someone, I must be committed on three levels. First, I must be committed to God in my own prayer and devotional time. It must be planned and carried out daily. Just as the sun rises and sets to show Gods faithfulness to me, I must pray and meditate with God to shoe my faithfulness to God, and my commitment to grow in grace and truth.
Second, I must be committed to myself. Committed to grow spiritually by taking the time and making it fruitful. Not just reading scripture but studying it out to find it’s real meaning for my life that day. The Word is alive and can speak to us on many different levels. As I’ve said before, I have read and studied the entire Bible several times, but I try now to read it as if I’d never read it. When I have done that, it is amazing what God will show me.
Third, I must be committed to the one I am discipling. Give them time when they need it. Be proactive and not reactive, not overly zealous, but letting them know II really care. I have heard it said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” And this is so true. We must make ourselves vulnerable, and lead them gently without condemnation, always remembering they are just babes in the faith.
I fall short in all three areas, and am praying and working hard at changing that. Writing this blog has opened my eyes to Paul’s heart, and is changing mine. It is challenging me to be better as a discipler of men. I hope t is doing the same for you
Lord, help me to reach out to the lost and help them see why they need Christ. And when they accept Him, please help me to follow up with them and make sure it takes root in their lives. Help me to stay in your word daily, and to be praying for those I know need prayer daily. Help me to take time out to praise and worship you each day. Not for my sake only Lord, and not for those I might touch, but to bring you glory.