Sunday, March 31 2019
As followers of Christ, our hearts hurt to see others fall away from the faith. What did they not know, believe, or practice? What shame upon on us if we do not finish making disciples by teaching them and we do not continue living as disciples by observing all that Christ commanded.
When Christ rose from the dead and was about to ascend into Heaven, He left instruction for the disciples to make disciples by teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded (Matt 28:19–20). When Paul faced His death, he instructed Timothy to continue in what he learned by knowing the sacred writings and all the God-breathed Scriptures that profit for doctrine and equip one completely for every good work (2 Tim 3:14–17). As Peter came near to death, he wrote the churches throughout the Anatolia to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18 ESV).
The common instruction through the Scriptures is that Christians are to grow by remaining in God’s Word. Jesus revealed, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31a–32 ESV). That freedom is to be free from the slavery of sin (John 8:34–36). How can the followers of Christ abide in His word? The apostle Paul noted that he wrote Scripture for believers to read and know the mystery of God revealed by the Holy Spirit to His apostles and prophets (Eph 3:3–5).
As disciples of Christ, believers should commit scriptures to memory upon the heart so as to meditate and dwell upon God’s Word (Heb 8:10). “Let the word of God dwell in your richly” (Col 3:16a). The Psalmist expressed, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11). How else is the mind to be renewed and the life transformed? The apostle encourage, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2 ESV). Anyone who wants to see transformation in their life must commit the Word of God to their hearts and minds.
How can Christians encourage one another to keep reading the Word? They all need the encouragement of other believers (Heb 3:13; 10:24). With 260 workdays in the year, Christians can at least read 5 chapters a week and read all 260 chapters of the New Testament in a year. People keep what they learn when they use what they learn. The Christian needs to share their reading, study, and memorization with others whether they meet with brethren in the church or with others at work or in the community. Sharing what you read with others is going to make disciples and open doors for others to understand the gospel and obey it. Furthermore, Christians can share their reading and study with their family encouraging salvation and growth. In fact, the overflow in one’s own life will make a great difference.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Ps 1:1–3).