The Call to Discipleship

He would carry a pencil, a piece of paper, and a calculator in his shirt pocket. At any moment, he was ready to race in a simple game. His opponent would write down ten 4-digit numbers to be added up. He would simply add the numbers with paper and pencil while he gave the unsuspecting prey his calculator. In the dash to add these numbers, I never saw him get close to losing. He didn’t have any tricks or gimmicks; he just loved math.

His name was Mr. Dick, my high school algebra teacher. Why do I mention him as we begin to think about discipleship and spiritual mentoring? Because in my path to become an engineer, he not only taught me algebra but spurred me on throughout my college years. I am sure you can relate; because if you have succeeded in anything, you likely had some mentors along the way.

The same is true in our discipleship journey. Our growth to be like Jesus has likely been spurred on by pastors, parents, Sunday School teachers, mentors, friends, etc. We are very similar to Timothy, a young man in the New Testament who grew to be an influential pastor. Here are a few verses that describe how his growth occurred.

“To Timothy, my true child in the faith.” (1 Timothy 1:2) This is how the apostle Paul described his relationship to Timothy. He considered him a “true child in the faith,” because Paul had discipled him through the years. They went on missionary journeys and planted churches together. All the while, Paul was spurring Timothy on to grow in Christlikeness.
 
Timothy was already a follower of Jesus before he met Paul. Others had invested him as well. Paul reminds him of these people in a different letter. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.” (2 Timothy 1:5) These women are named right here in the New Testament because of the sincere faith they passed on to Timothy. 

So who are the people who have invested in your walk with Jesus? If you are like me, you can provide a list with names like Grandad, Mom, Wally, Mike, Jamie, to name a few. If so, will you spend a few moments thanking God for their work in your life?

But Jesus’ call to discipleship isn’t just about receiving. We are to invest in others so they too can grow as followers of Jesus. Who has God placed in your life that you can “stir up to love and good works?” (Hebrews 10:24)

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife Stacy have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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