2022 Discipleship Series: Growing in the Word
Why does the word discipleship seem to scare so many of us? Perhaps because we think of the Great Commission and feel so utterly unqualified to obey the Lord in this. Perhaps it is because we don’t really understand what discipleship is or means, but we know it is important, and we know that we are supposed to both be disciples and make disciples — whatever that means!
Through the months of 2022, we will be digging deeper into what discipleship is and what it should look like in our lives. In February, our articles centered around love. The first and most important thing for any disciple of Christ to know and understand is the love of God for them. We cannot go any further in our walk with Christ or carry out His commission if we do not know the love of God for ourselves personally. A person who knows how deeply they are loved by God loves Him and trusts Him, and this is the basis for our faith.
The second critical aspect of being a disciple of Christ is to know His Word, so that is our topic through the month of March.
The Word of God is the most powerful weapon God has given us, but it is only as good as we know how to use it! When the Word of God fills our heart, soul, and mind, we have a strong defense against the enemy’s lies. But if we do not know the Word, or if we do not believe the Word, then we will be easily be deceived and/or live a life of bondage rather than freedom.
So, how do we grow in the Word? The most important way to grow in the Word is to open it and read it. That may seem obvious, and it is, but it is shocking how many Christians never (or rarely) open their Bibles.
Hearing what others are learning in the Word whether that is your pastor, small group leader, Sunday School teacher, or Bible Study facilitator may encourage you, but if that is your only nourishment in the Word, you will remain weak and easy prey for the enemy.
I mean no condemnation or judgment by this statement, friends. I can remember when I was convinced that I did not have time to be in God’s Word. “God knows and understands how busy I am,” I told myself. Satan uses this lie to keep God’s children weak and powerless.
Like the Israelites in the wilderness received daily Manna from God’s hand, we must be nourished daily in His Word. By this nourishment, we can flourish and grow.
It is not, however, simply time in the Word that is important. We must engage with the Word. It is not so much how much time we spend in the Word, but how much of the Word of God we believe and put into practice in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. In order for the Word to transform us into the image of Christ, we must know it, believe it, and practice it. The Holy Spirit is longing to teach us how to walk in God’s ways, for this is how we grow. This is how we become vessels of His glory that can then reach out and disciple others.
A disciple is one who first follows the Lord. Then, and only then, will we be empowered to disciple others as we have been commanded to do. I am in the practice of reading through the Bible each year. For the past two years, I have invited others to join me in this quest by way of a Facebook group called Daily Manna 2022. I never get tired of the treasures of Truth the Lord shows me as I read. The Word is truly living and active. It is truly good for teaching, instructing, correcting, and training in righteousness. God loves treasurer hunters! When we dig into the Word because we want to know Him better, to seek Him more, to learn His ways, He is delighted to teach us and train us to be more like Jesus empowered by His precious Spirit.
May you find great joy as you seek the Lord in the reading of His Word. He is waiting to meet you there! He longs to teach you His ways and show you how to live according to His truth. He wants to set you free from every sin and stronghold as you apply His Word to stand against the enemy’s lies. I invite and challenge you to spend time with God in His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what is important, where to read, and how to apply it. You will be forever changed if you do!
Living Boldly for Christ,