“Discipleship” today tends to carry spiritual connotations. Back in the day of Jesus, it was akin to what we think of as a vocational mentor-mentee relationship…but on steroids.
Today in the Christian context, we generally expect a discipler-disciple relationship to look something like this: meet weekly, study the Bible, pray, and have some kind of accountability agreement. They may occasionally engage in a project together, but it is generally a limited relationship.
Disciples of Jesus two thousand years ago were learning from him, but it wasn’t through a weekly sit-down study. Their relationship was more of an on-the-job learning scenario, a life-on-life and whole-life dynamic. Jesus’ teaching was caught as much as it was taught. Submission and sacrifice of the disciple were key to a successful relationship. (Jesus modeled submission and sacrifice better than anyone!) Nothing was off the table.
Obviously Jesus’ disciples were not perfect, even with the perfect discipler. That’s one of the wonderful things about the gospel accounts—they kept it real.
And it is one of the wonderful things about following Jesus—he still works with us even with our flaws. He never gives up on us, even when we want to.
As our congregation embarks on the theme of “Come, Follow Me,” we are embarking on a commitment. It might be a re-commitment or it might be a brand new start. There is space and grace for missteps and mistakes (just like the original twelve!) and a promise of his persistent patience and forgiveness.
Worship with us
God deserves our all, no exceptions, but he also understands that it might take some time to get to a point of no-holds-barred discipleship. We often focus on the the end goal of complete abandonment, but he also enjoys the journey it takes for us to get there.
Before listening to the playlist, take a few minutes to ask God for one area—just one!—that he wants to start training you in.
Perhaps it is an attitude toward someone that rubs you the wrong way. What if he wants to heal you from a past hurt that has shaped your present perspective? Maybe it is a habit that needs to be broken—or developed! Is there a new skill to learn that allows you to use a natural gift for His kingdom purposes?
Then ask him, “what is preventing me from following you in this?” Take some time to wrestle with him until, like Jacob, you can surrender to his blessing.
Close the time by asking him how he wants you to share his love with someone. Ask for specific actions to take to bless another person. Then follow through!
Hungry for more?
We encourage you to feast on the word of God. If you’ve got some resources on your bookshelf, dig in! If you’re looking for more translations, resources, and devotional guides, try any of the following links or search for more online.
Create an atmosphere to encounter God
During this historical time, we’ve been collecting songs along the way. You can find the playlists on SGPC’s Spotify profile (requires a free Spotify account). Listen to old favorites and discover new songs of the season! Spring off into some of the suggestions generated by Spotify or search for your own go-to songs. These also work well as background music for studying scripture (or anything else).