Psalm 34:11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
When you think about it, this is simply another way of talking about making disciples for Christ. David is inviting those spiritually younger than himself to become disciples, which in OT terms would be “those who fear the Lord.” Knowledge of God can be taught, but it must also be caught, because head knowledge alone won’t do it. There are, sadly enough, seminary graduates who aren’t disciples of Christ, though they might even be pastoring churches. Discipleship stems first from an awareness of who God is, and then an awareness of what we are. When those two are firmly in place, discipleship is the only logical conclusion. Unfortunately, human beings aren’t necessarily logical! We might know that God is the omnipotent, omniscient Creator who is love personified, and know that we are weak, foolish beings who are worthy of destruction, but until we make the commitment to act on that knowledge and devote ourselves to obedience, we aren’t disciples. We are incredibly adept at believing lies to satisfy our lusts. The devil does all he can to encourage us in that, but we don’t make him work very hard! Every Christian needs regularly to examine himself to see how his life reflects the reality of God and ourselves. Anyone with a genuine grasp of those realities will not only be seeking to be obedient to God themselves, they will be seeking to get those they care about to do the same. That is making disciples.
My record to this point has been pretty spotty, but I think that my commitment is finally pretty clear. The problem now lies in the phrase I just used: those I care about. The more I understand God’s love and love Him in return, the more I do care about those around me, to the point of complete dilution of my efforts. To be an effective maker of disciples, I’ve got to focus on the few, at the same time training them to likewise go out and make disciples. That’s what I’m seeking to do at this point, with the Scripture list and the sermon series. Actually, I should say that is what God is seeking to do in and through me at this point. However, I’ve got to be a willing, active participant, or I can’t claim to be a disciple myself.
Father, thank You for all You are doing. I’d love to have a turn-key system, where I could plug people in at one end and they would come out disciples at the other, but Your Word and my experience both say it doesn’t work that way. Help me stick in there as a true disciple myself, not trying to carry people along in my own strength but allowing You to do it through me, so that we may become a self-replicating community of disciples indeed, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!