discipleship training“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” – Luke 6:40

Imagine yourself living in ancient Israel. You’ve heard the rumors of the man who walked on water, fed thousands with a little boy's lunch, and raised dead people to life...literally. Now imagine you have the opportunity to go and hear this man teach. His reputation is unparalleled. They say he speaks with captivating authority. So you decide to go for it. In this particular case you travel some 15 miles by foot just to witness this man for yourself. You notice the crowds before you notice the man. There must be three thousand people crowded at the waters edge. The teacher’s voice amplifies across the shore. He’s standing on a boat about 20 feet out. He indeed is speaking with authority, but he’s talking about birds and soil and plants. Is this a riddle of some kind? You become all the more curious. You can’t help but want to hear more.

What is it about this man? He’s relatable. Mixing it up with the people, unafraid to be touched and speaking with compassion, but relentless conviction. After a long while, he finishes. You’ve been hanging on every word because truly, no one has ever spoken like this man (John 7:46). At the moment, though, you can’t continue to follow him. Duty calls. If you want to make it back before dark you better start moving now. When will you hear this man again? How can you learn more of this Jesus? When one surveys the gospels, the following becomes clear:

Jesus taught the multitudes, touched some, but only trained a few.

 

Think about the unique position the disciples found themselves in. Jesus personally called, befriended and loved them yet they did nothing to merit his pursuit. They didn’t have to travel great distances to catch a glimpse of this miracle worker. He directly sought them out. He taught them many things but more than that: He trained them. He sharpened their lives by daily lessons, selfless love, and personally modeling the way. He demonstrated to them what life was like in his Father’s Kingdom.

Educated is not trained.

I can still hear the voice of Alex, the man who discipled me in college. “Men, the goal is not to become smarter sinners!” Who cares what you know if it doesn’t produce practical fruit in your life. Education is not the same as training. The Pharisees, Scribes and other religious “leaders” of Jesus day knew everything there was to know. As one pastor often says, “They were educated beyond their intelligence.” Their knowledge, however, never produced God’s true righteousness (Matt. 23:27-28). So, today I ask you: How are you being trained? Have you given permission for others to speak truth into your life? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to bring you along into conformity with Christ’s character? If so, then you have to commit to being trained and training others. This means purposeful relationships grounded in love. At the Shoreline we believe everyone should be involved in a Home Group, Triad or some other form of intentional community. These are transforming vehicles God faithfully uses to grow us up in Christ! “…we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” – Ephesians 4:15

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