You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. -2 Timothy 2:1-2
The passage above is a critical text as it relates to discipleship - and not just any discipleship, but one-on-one discipleship in particular. I am encouraged to both hear about and see numerous discipling relationships that are currently taking place in our church family. This is such a vital part of our ongoing walk with Christ, and it pleases me to know that so many of you are taking discipleship seriously. In the text above, the apostle Paul, who led young Timothy to a relationship with Christ and then trained and discipled him, now encourages Timothy to follow Paul’s example and pass on that training and teaching to others. Paul tells Timothy to entrust the teaching to faithful men because Timothy is himself a man. The very same concept applies directly to women in discipling relationships as well.
Much of what we are learning in 1 John on Sunday mornings is discipling. It is the words of the elder apostle John, directed toward younger believers, encouraging them in their walk with the Lord and training them how to discern good teaching from bad teaching, true disciples from false disciples, godly wisdom from worldly wisdom.
Our Christian walk is a balanced walk. Knowledge is vital, for we must have something in our heads with which to compare and contrast what the world constantly tells us are the most important things (1 John 2:16). If we are not growing in our knowledge of Christ, we will constantly be duped by the barrage of messages that run counter to Christ coming at us from almost every source of information in our lives. At the same time, our faith is practical. It is meant to be lived out, and Jesus has called us to "produce good works in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8).
I am hopeful that many of you are being challenged by John’s words during our Sunday messages to get to know the word of God better. I am also hopeful that some of you more mature believers in our congregation are taking seriously the call to pass on what you have learned to younger believers by developing discipling relationships. If you have been challenged and you are looking for a few good books to read that will help you on your way, or to walk through with a younger believer, here are a few of my favorites, geared toward newer to growing believers. Each book is relatively short, running less than 150 pages generally.
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
- Basic Christianity by John R.W. Stott
- The Fight by John White
- The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper
- Now That’s a Good Question by R.C. Sproul
*I recommend this very quick read on the internet for those wondering how to go about discipling using a book: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-disciple-with-a-book
If books do not appeal to you, then by all means find a mature Christian friend and ask them to share with you their favorite ways to disciple and be discipled. You might consider an excellent video series entitled Christianity Explored. Even spending leisure time together and simply being intentional about discussing spiritual matters or memorizing Scripture together can be very fruitful.
Be about the task of filling your mind with precious things, and using your hands to put those things into practice. And when you are ready, do not forget to teach and train someone newer to the faith.
Grace and peace,