In high school, I was involved with a group of guys that met on Monday evenings. We were a group of about eight or so that were disciples of a more mature man in the faith. We were a close knit group and we encouraged each other to be disciplined in the ways of the Lord. We would learn from each other and be accountable towards each other. If one of us sinned then we were there to encourage repentance.
Through discipleship, I was encouraged to experience discipline and love it. There were so many things that I learned from being discipled by this guy and my group of friends. They encouraged me to confront sin. They encouraged me to talk to my father about my sin in which many occasions I was disciplined by him. Discipleship forever changed my life.
What does this mean for you though? Well, I have a couple of suggestions that may forever change your life. If you are reading this and are young in age, faith, or in both, seek to be a disciple and be disciplined. If you are reading this and are a mature man in the faith and of age, seek to disciple someone. If you are a parent, know that you have disciples. Being a person who disciples and being a disciple both bring discipline to each other’s life.
First, A Neat Connection:
The origins of the word, “disciple” and the word, “discipline”, are the same. The English words originate from the Latin words, disciplina and discipul. A key phrase in Proverbs is, “Hear my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching,” which is basically saying, “Hear my discipline.” Proverbs is basically a documentation of all that Solomon’s father, David, had instructed him. King David had a disciple, his son Solomon.
Couple of things to take away here for students:
- Know that when your parents discipline you, they are discipling you.
- Therefore, you are already a disciple set up by the Lord.
- Love discipline. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 (For parents who don’t like the word, stupid, the Bible said it not me.)
Couple of things to take away here for parents:
- You have been given the privilege to discipline your children by God.
- Disciple them in the ways and love of the Lord. “Whoever withholds his correction hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
- Therefore, know that disciplining should not be out of anger or passive correction but out of diligence of discipleship in the ways of God.
Second, Discipleship is About Lifestyle:
While my college and high school mentor did not discipline me in the ways of punishment, they did teach me how to be disciplined through accountability, reproof, and teaching. There were many times in my life that I was not following the Lord. I knew that I would have the people in my life that would come alongside me and rebuke me and my sins out of love for me. Many times they were hard things to hear and my flesh would be at war with my faith. Yet through loving reproof and accountability, I learned different character traits and began to be more disciplined in my ways of life. Ultimately, discipleship is a way of training in worship since worship is a lifestyle.
God Disciples Me:
We know that God is our God. That is pretty simple theology. I know though that God disciples me as well through discipline. A couple things to remember, God is a Father. Many that read this may have earthly fathers that are unjust. Remember that God the Father is supposed to be the example of an earthly father. The earthly father is not supposed to be the image of God the Father. So remember that when God the Father disciplines us it is out of love and for our growth and never out of sinful reaction or desire.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom He loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives…All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:5-6,11.
We are trained, aka discipled, by God through discipline. One major way we are discpled in discipline by discipline is through God’s Word.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 3:16-17
Remember that we are disciples of God to go and disciple in God’s Word, which is the gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to grow in all wisdom and understanding. Remember these words by Solomon:
“To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the naïve, to the youth knowledge and discretion, a wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:2-7
Disciple and be a disciple to be disciplined in the way of discipline and love it!
Ryan Thomason works with Transform Student Ministries as the product development and events coordinator. He has voluntarily served Precept Ministries for close to 10 years before coming on staff full time. He has interned with their media department in 2008 and with the student ministry in 2009. He has lived in Guatemala to learn Spanish.
“I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints.” Colossions 1:25-26