While looking at the various blogs listed at Faithful Bloggers, I noticed there were only five indicated as being for men. Five out of at least a couple thousand. I investigated Steve Becker’s Intersections4Men and this one about being a disciple caught my eye. As always you’re encouraged to read these devotionals at their original website.
This is one the toughest things for me to talk about because it is one of the hardest things for me to do. Sure people know that I believe in God and that I am a Christian. They know that if they ask me something I will tell them. They know that I could talk to them about Christ, but I don’t often do it. Again, this will be difficult to write about and may even end up helping me be a better disciple than anyone else.
First and foremost, we need to determine what a disciple is. For that, we will look at Webster’s Dictionary as well as Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
Webster’s Dictionary definition of DISCIPLE
1- one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as
a : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel account
b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual
2 - capitalized : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the United States in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity
Webster’s reads “one who accepts AND assists in SPREADING the doctrines of another”. Okay, I am really good at accepting. Seriously, accepting is no issue. As a matter of fact, if it were just about accepting, I would be SuperSteve. However, the spreading part is where I struggle the most. Now, some of you may be thinking “But you are spreading by writing this blog”. While that may be true in some sense of the definition, I believe I could be doing a better job by talking to others and working with them 1-on-1 to share the Word of God with them.
Let’s look at what Easton’s has to say now.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary definition of Disciple
a scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist ( Matthew 9:14 ), and of the Pharisees ( Matthew 22:16 ), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example ( Matthew 10:24 ; Luke 14:26, Luke 14:27, Luke 14:33 ; John 6:69 ).
Easton’s definition scares me and is a lot clearer. The scary part? It starts with two words that describe the opposite of me “a scholar”. Wow, how about some eggs, bacon and a side of added pressure? A scholar?!? Really??? However, when you read on, there is a better description of what is expected from a disciple:
- Believes His doctrine – We must believe in the doctrine we are spreading. This means “without doubt”. If we are going to excel at spreading the Word of God, we have to be rooted in God’s Word with zero exceptions. Does that mean we are perfect and never slip up? Heck no! If that were the case, we would have to change our names and I’m not perfect.
- Rests on His sacrifice – We have to rest easy on what we know to be true and that is that God sacrificed His only Son on a cross for all of our sin. All sin past, present and future. This sacrifice was the only thing we have that bridges us to God.
- Imbibes His spirit – Imbibe is a new word for me, so bear with me. It loosely translates to ‘drink or absorb’. This means we need to drink in from His spirit. We need to let ourselves be led and directed by the Holy Spirit and trust that wherever it takes us, He is in charge and does things for a reason.
- Imitates His example – This is about the most self-explanatory item on the list. We need to imitate Christ’s example. We are to be kind, loving, gentle servants in everything we do. Again, easier said than done, but it is part of what we are directed to do with our lives to become disciples of the Lord.
Spreading God’s Word is the only way we can bring others to Christ. There is no way around that. I mean, if there were no churches and no one to preach God’s Word, how many Christ followers would there be today? Not many, I can tell you that. It should not all land on our churches heads to do the work of God. It is our duty as well to bring others to Him.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:23-26 – NIV)
“But I’m not good at talking to others about God.” I know the feeling folks. I know the feeling. However, I am not going to let that stop me. I can sit and have a conversation for a long time with someone. I have been told, by more than one person (and ESPECIALLY my wife) that I love to talk and I am willing to talk to just about anyone. What I need to do is listen more. I need to listen for the times when someone may be reaching out to me for guidance. I need to be listening for those opportunities that I know are presented to me and be fully prepared with Scripture and a soft open heart to do what I am here for, sharing the Good News.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:1 – NIV)
Now comes the hard part. How well are we all doing with this? I can certainly say that outside of this blog, I need to be doing more. I have that on my improvement and growth chart now. Where do the rest of you see yourselves?
The author of today’s post, Steve Becker said in a more recent article that doing this type of writing is probably the last thing he thought he would be qualified for. You can read more in a post titled, Seriously? Me?