Have you ever thought about the everyday opportunities God gives us to love, care for and help people take those next steps in the Christ-like life?
Discipling people does not require an elaborate plan. It may be a family member who is struggling with reading the Bible every day. Or maybe it is the coworker going through a difficult time and needs some TLC (tender love and care).
These are opportunities for discipleship. They are right in front of you, and all you need to do is pay attention. But we do not know what to do…
When you feel like you do not know what to do, look at Paul’s example of what discipleship looks like:
“For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result…after we had previously suffered…we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God…so we speak, not to please men, but rather God…we never used flattering…or had greedy motives…and we didn’t seek glory from people. Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. …You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers. As you know, like a father with his own children, we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but…the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.” – I Thessalonians 2:1-16 (HCSB)
Paul cared for people just as a mother cares for her children. He did not see people as projects or throw his weight around claiming he was better than everyone else. He wanted others to grow in their faith and take the next steps in the Christ-like life.
Paul discipled the Thessalonians by, “encouraging, comforting and urging [them] to live lives worthy of God, who calls [them] into His kingdom and glory.”
Paul encourages us to do the same thing in our everyday life. We can text that friend who is struggling with reading the Bible every morning with a gentle reminder to read. We can comfort the coworker who is going through a tough time by talking to them at work and assuring them that God has everything under His power.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
When we regularly come alongside someone that needs help it creates a significant form of discipleship. We just need to be there for people. We need to help them take the next steps. We need to celebrate the wins.
Watch today and see the opportunities God gives to you to serve as His disciple; making disciples of Christ; assisting someone in taking the next steps in the Christ-like life. To His glory and for His honor.
This is so simple, and it is the simple things God uses to make extraordinary things take place.
Until next time…
Dr. Jeff Fuller is pastor of Rockford Baptist Church. You may reach him through the church office at 256-377-4900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.