When Jesus told His closest followers, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), He wasn’t just talking about the one-time event of Salvation; He was referring to the life-long process of “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded” (Matthew 28:20). The process of discipleship actually begins prior to Salvation as we are taught the truth of the gospel message, and it continues as we are “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). The need for discipleship is made clear as Jesus explains the parable of the soils.
“The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop.”
Praise God for those who are sowing seed! The Word of God will never be received if there are not those willing to sow into the lives of others. However, receiving the word, or even initial growth, is not Salvation! Receiving, and being initially excited about the Word, can occur without conviction and certainly without a change of heart. Without proper nourishment and protection – without some form of discipleship – the received word will die and never produce fruit.
Discipleship prepares the soil and leads those who receive the Word to a true understanding of words like, “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Discipleship then helps our roots go deep and provides water for sustained growth; it teaches how to recognize and eliminate the thorns which choke and kill; it provides the necessary nutrients to produce a bountiful crop.
We must commit to being discipled through reading God’s Word, seeking Him in prayer, receiving biblical teaching, and being in fellowship with other believers. We must also search for other young plants who are beginning to grow, and disciple them as they “come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
A true relationship with the Living and Holy God is not a one-time event or prayer; it is a lifetime commitment. Let’s reach up to our Heavenly Father and reach out to those He places in our path. Let’s nurture and encourage at every opportunity. The world is searching and the precious life-giving seed is being sown. But the planted seed will only produce fruit and live to bring Him glory and honor as each of us commits to a life of discipleship.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Apr 16 Joshua 13:1-14:15; Luke 18:1-17; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 13:7-8