Begin each day with “Our Father” and end it with “In Jesus name, amen.”
2 Timothy 2:1-7
I had been a Christian for about twenty-five years. I had taught college and career. I had been ordained as a deacon at a large local church. I had been on several mission trips, stateside, and international. I had been to seminary. I had NEVER been discipled.
I was on staff at a church when a family came forward on a Sunday morning for membership. As we talked about their story, it became evident that this man had something that I desired. I made an intentional attempt to put myself in his life. The more I got to know him, the more I wanted to know about him. After several months it was apparent that this man loved Jesus with all of his heart, and he loved people equally the same. After consistently meeting every Saturday for close to a year, it finally dawned on me that this man was discipling me without me knowing. After our year together of praying, scripture memory, learning to share my story, and how to study my Bible, he very politely said now you go and find someone in your circle and teach them what you have learned. It is with excitement that I tell you that from that time until today, I have sat with many men to teach what I was taught.
Jesus gives us our last commandment before He leaves this earth in Matthew 28, and it is to “Make Disciples.” So how do we do that. In 2 Timothy, Paul gives us three lessons from three different illustrations that I would like to point out. 1) In verses 3 and 4 Paul illustrates it like a soldier in the battlefield. Soldiers in the battlefield fight. Soldiers expect difficulty in the battlefield. A soldier lives to please the one who enlisted him. A good soldier knows the mission and stays on that mission. Following Christ Jesus is not the easiest way. It is the only way. We have bought into the lie in our Western culture that if we say yes to Jesus, everything will be easy. As the Soldier fights the battle so it is with the believer. 2) In verse 5, Paul illustrates the Athlete in the ball field. If the Athlete doesn’t compete by the rules, he is disqualified, and so it is with the Christian. What is it in my relationships, morality, and greed that could disqualify me? 3) It is verse 6 that illustrates the farmer and the bean field. The farmer is faithful day in and day out to cultivate the ground. We, as disciple-makers, need to be faithful in the harvest. There will come a time, after a season of faithfulness, that you will see the fruit of your labor. Stay the course, stay faithful.
Who is it in your circle that you can pour into? Who is it in your circle that can pour into you?