In 1 Thess 2:8 Paul said “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” Paul gives us a picture of what it truly means to disciple someone. It is so much more than just teaching someone what is in the Bible. It is allowing someone access to your life in such a way that you model the message for them.
Jesus did this. For three years he spent most of His time with the 12 disciples. Ate with them, traveled with them, played with them, He allowed them access to His life as a model for them to follow.
For both Jesus and Paul, discipleship was so much more than just imparting knowledge through teaching or lecturing. In fact in 2 Thess 3:7 Paul says: “For you know that you ought to imitate us.” The word he uses here is a Greek word that was used for actors that we get the word in the English language mimic. The power of this word implies we are to intentionally study the actions, thoughts, attitude and attributes of this person so that we can mimic their life in every way. A picture of discipleship!
Paul was not afraid to tell others to follow his example. He showed them how to live as followers of Jesus. As others watched the Word work in Paul’s life, the message of the Bible was more powerful than just learning it in a lecture or a reading.
Do you allow those around you who are under your spiritual influence to get close enough to see the Word of God working in your life? It’s great that we teach the Bible, but people need an example to follow, a life to mimic.
There may be areas of your life that you feel you do not want to expose to others for fear they will think less of you or that you would not want them to follow. These are areas we need to be honest about with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to give us the power to help our lives line up with our words and most important His Word.
Make it a prayer of your heart that your lifestyle and choices will make the message of the gospel stronger. People need good examples that they can follow. They need you to be a model of the grace and mercy of God.
Take a few moments and reflect on the time when you first gave you life to Jesus. What kind of access did those who had an influence in your spiritual journey allow in their lives? Who are you allowing that kind of access to in your life now? Making disciples…
Most important if there are areas of your life that you would not want anyone to mimic, be honest with the Lord and allow Him to touch you in that area. Because those areas of our lives will keep us from allowing people to get close to us and keep us from being used to the full capacity that God wants to use us.