So as we saw last time one of the great problems in our churches is everyday discipleship. The vacuum that seems to exist in training people in living as followers of Jesus.
Deuteronomy 6v6-7 gives us the model of discipleship Israel were encouraged to follow:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
It was everyday, every opportunity conversations, about what it meant to love the Lord their God and to follow in him all of life. It was the responsibility of parents and the wider family. We see a great example of this in the book of Ruth, after the family flee to Moab and both sons die Ruth has seen enough and heard enough of the LORD that she will not leave Naomi but adopts the LORD as her LORD. Naomi despite having left the land of promise and the covenant people has shown and talked enough that Ruth can make that choice. And once back in Bethlehem Naomi’s discipleship of Ruth continues in teaching her how to live according to the law in gleaning and in dealing with Boaz.
Now Naomi isn’t an exemplary Israelite in many ways, but she does disciple Ruth. Such discipling is in part why the book of Proverbs was written by dad for his son, it is why Song of Solomon is written for a daughter. The wisdom literature is discipleship written down. Teaching people to live following the LORD in every area of life.
In the New Testament we see lots of examples of discipleship; Jesus and the 12, Paul and Titus, Timothy and so on. We see it with Priscilla and Aquila and Apollos. We hear of it exemplified and praised with Timothy’s mum and grandma’s discipleship of him.
The bible doesn’t leave us short of models of discipleship. It doesn’t leave us bereft of ideas about how to do this. It’s sheer frequency ought to cause us to see its importance and commit to doing it. It should be a disciples default.
To hear God’s word and engage with it with others. To want to talk of our Saviour and Lord. To want to spur others on to follow him more closely. Yet all to often we fail. We’ll think a bit more about why next time.