“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” –2 Timothy 2:2
How did you get to be a part of this Body—the Church? How did you get to a place where you believe that when you read the Word, pray, or even as you sing a song, you trust that Jesus is all?
How did you get here?
There is a person or a list of people who took the time and the risk to tell you, speak to you, and share with you the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are people who taught you how to read the Scriptures. Who modeled for you what it looks like to pray, worship, celebrate who God is?
Whose names are on your list? It could be a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, a relative, a friend, a boss, a co-worker, or just a stranger who shared who Jesus is with you. And because of what they have shared with you, the Gospel movement continues.
On and on it goes. Helping people follow Jesus. Passing on everything you have been taught, everything you have learned. You have been shaped and prepared for this moment to entrust this valuable faith and confidence in Jesus to others who are reliable and will pass it on to others.
This movement has always been about discipling and following Jesus. Who are you helping get here today? Who are you showing and sharing God’s love to? When we encounter these people, we must share Jesus with them in action and in words, lest we be confused with what we believe.
When we study God’s Word, we’re not doing it merely to learn, get insights, or discuss. We are to move insight and discovery into action, to help someone know Jesus while there is still time. When we are equipped by the Word, we get that “aha” moment. A response is formed in us that we must go and act on it. The Word never leaves us unaffected. It transforms us.
As we strive to become household wells, we must be committed to compassion, to become witnesses in Jesus. We pastor, and we disciple to multiply. Like fire starters, we are to engage in such a way that God’s Word spreads like wildfire. It doesn’t have to start and end with one person.
“Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.” –2 Timothy 3-7
The Apostle Paul talks about soldiers, athletes, and farmers in his letter to Timothy. He picks these three jobs or vocations for a reason. To be a soldier and an athlete, you must abide by the rules and live with discipline. There is also discipline and dedication required when it comes to farming. As farmers work, the fruit of their labors take care of the food and in their community, in their region, in their own country, and even outside of it.
These positions, these jobs are all about lifestyle. They are not necessarily nine-to-five jobs. One must be fully committed and devoted in these fields. We can say the same about discipling. It is a lifestyle. It is not one more thing that we add to our schedule. It is not just one task that we pencil in our to-do lists. Discipling is everything. Discipling is THE thing. Helping others and being helped by Jesus is everything in this life. Paul reminds us to “Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach (2 Timothy 2:8).”
Jesus is the Good News that we preach. Our discipling must never be about us or about how we’re doing it, how good or advanced we are, or even how needy we are. It’s all about Jesus. It always has to come back to Him.
Who are you following Jesus with? Who’s on your rope? Who is with you as you wander through the wilderness, navigating uncertain terrain ?As we think about this, let us consider what others have committed to do with each other, their fellow disciples. Let us think of a simple, reproducible, multipliable way of following Jesus with someone else.
1 to 1 to 1
There’s a way to share Jesus with another person. You invite one other person to follow Jesus with you. They do the same. And the three of you follow Jesus together. When you’ve formed a group, start by reading the Gospel of Mark. This book in the New Testament is a good place to start because it’s always about Jesus. The Gospel of Mark is also the most straightforward and most attainable documentation of Jesus’ life. You can read one chapter a week. You can even read one chapter a day for repetition. Discuss the discoveries with SFP, which we will discuss later. Then, invite another person to your group. If you’re not ready to invite, read the Gospel again. See Jesus through the Gospels.
Pastor Justin Rossow shared with us the SFP, which stands for Standard Following Procedure and for this purpose, Speak-Form-Promise. We will discuss each term one by one.
Speak: Where is God speaking in my life?
For many of us, God can speak to us during our time in church. We receive a message, and He reinforces this to us over the week. A friend’s encouragement, something you’ve read, or something you’ve heard will remind you of that thing you discovered over the week.
When this happens, ask the Lord Jesus to speak to you. What is He saying to you? As He reveals it to you, pray about it. Keep listening to His voice and reflect on it. In doing this, you would be blessed, encouraged, and see God clearly. When you do this alongside others on your journey, you will see Jesus together.
Form: Holy Spirit, what are you challenging me to do?
Spirit of the Living God, dear Holy Spirit, what response are you forming in me? Listen for His voice, His prompt. As you study His word and soak in prayer, you might be prompted to encourage, ask forgiveness, and even forgive. Your response could be memorizing a passage, so you don’t lose sight of God’s promises, His truth. Pray specifically about what’s been taught to you for your household and neighborhood. Seek Him about the response and the actions you must take.
Promise: What you need to remember
Ask the Father, what promise covers my next step? What can I hold on to as I take on this action?
As we continue to disciple, it can be challenging, and it can be difficult to follow through on. It could be doing something you’ve never done before. Some of us deal with the anxiety that we might not be able to do it. When this happens, let us remember the promises of God. He assures us with His words like “I am with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6),” “I will give you the words you need to speak (Luke 12:12),” “Don’t worry (Matthew 6:25),” I will send someone to go with you (John 15:26),” or “I have redeemed you (Isaiah 43:1)”. God gives us these promises regardless of whether you take the first step.
God’s commitment to us never fails. He promises to be with us to guide us and show us will never be lacking. Let us praise Him for the Gospel privilege that we can be a part of His business while we live on this earth. He has blessed us with His everlasting Presence and deep abiding love.
Lord, thank You for the people that have helped us. Thank You for the faithfulness of the people who taught us how to pray, obey, read, and share, Your Word—those who have impacted our faith, our knowledge of You. Thank you that we can also help others. Thank You for this privilege that we can serve You alongside many others. We commit to do this for Your glory as Your commitment to us never fails. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.