Discipleship with Purpose

My wife and I have found that there is absolutely no shortage of opportunities to obey our Lord Jesus’ command of going and making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). In fact, we have found that there is an abundance of discipling opportunities just with our students here at NBBI and our junior high young people in our local church where we serve together. As we interact with them, we look for opportunities, not only to share in their lives, but to purposefully use God’s Truth to shed light on their thinking and behaviour. The Bible is clear that for any one of us the key to making disciples is found in first being a disciple of our Lord Jesus. A disciple is one who purposefully places himself under the influence of God’s Word. “Then said Jesus, to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. In verse 30 the word “continue” carries the idea of puposefully remaining under the influence of the Word of God. Jesus used this same Greek word in John 15:4 when He said to His disciples, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” Jesus makes it clear that a disciple is one who abides, or purposefully remains under His influence, and, of course, He influences us through His Word.

Daily, each of us is confronted with a myriad of influences from family, friends, and society itself. There are many who would seek to influence how we think and who we become. The discipleship that our Lord had in mind takes place when one responds to the influence of God’s truth. In our context, sometimes the influence of the Word is presented formally, such as classroom instruction, Sunday school or a home Bible study, where we examine the Scriptures with purpose. At other times, it is informal, as we engage with our young people conversationally and look to commend or correct their thinking according to how it lines up with the Scriptures.

We have found that when we purposefully seek to bring God’s Word to bear upon our own lives, and that of others, there is no shortage of Truth to be found. For every life question that can be asked – God’s Word has the answer. For every wrong attitude that can be experienced – God’s Word has the response. For every dilemma one might face in the process of life – God’s Word gives wisdom and hope. For every fear that might be felt – God’s Word gives courage and peace.

My friend, may you find yourself joyfully and purposefully remaining under His wonderful, merciful, gracious and all-wise influence in your life today.

Post by: Keith McMahon, NBBI Faculty

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