Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 49 : Make Disciples | Day 338

Deepen Relationships by Discipleship!

A significant conversation took place when the boy was about 12 years old. His father took him on a special outing and during their time together said, "Son, every man faces moral temptations. I want to have victory in my life, and I am sure you do also. Let's keep each other accountable by sharing how we overcame temptations with the Word of God." The son agreed, and a deep fellowship began between that son and his father and it has continued for more than 20 years!

Discipleship involves building relationships around the commands of Christ and the goal of becoming conformed to His image.

Jesus is our chief example of how to make disciples. Not only did He invite others to listen to His teaching, but He invited them to share in His life as well. Jesus walked and talked with His disciples, discussing life's situations, taking the time to answer questions, and further explaining the truths of God that He had taught. The disciples were committed to the goal of advancing God's kingdom; however, they needed to be taught how to do it. As Jesus spent time with His disciples, their understanding of Him and His way of life increased, and they became equipped to advance God's kingdom.

One of Christ's earliest presentations of kingdom truths was His Sermon on the Mount. (See Matthew 5-7.) He began by explaining several vital attitudes that should characterize the lives of believers, beginning with humility. Then He addressed the topics of anger, reconciliation, lust and adultery, making promises, lawsuits, relating to enemies, personal disciplines, handling money, judging, and entering the strait gate that leads to life.

In addition to presenting messages to multitudes, Jesus made use of "teachable moments" in the lives of individuals to teach specific commands that related to the needs of those He met along the way. Over the years, I have found that people usually experience problems in four primary areas: marriage conflicts that often result from personal failures, such as anger and lust; conflicts with sons and daughters; health problems; and financial pressures often caused by debt and bills.

Discipleship is not merely an opportunity to give our advice; it is an opportunity to seek God with a fellow believer and grow in the wisdom that comes from Christ's commands.

Deeper relationships can be built by entering into the joys and sorrows of other people before trying to give them any direction for solving their problems. We are told to “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). Only when others see that we truly care about them as individuals will they be interested in a discipling relationship.

One practical way to enter into the joys and sorrows of other people is to ask sincere questions about their health, children, goals, and any pressures they are facing that they would allow us to pray for. It is then important for us to bring their requests to God in prayer and ask Him to bless them with the qualities they need in order to mature in Christ. As we invest in the lives of others through this type of sharing, a loving relationship that will provide the basis for presenting the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and helping individuals make application of them to their lives will develop.

Let's ask God with whom He would want us to develop this kind of relationship and begin taking steps to do so today!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard