1 Timothy 4:6-10
What is in the Way?
Disciples are those who learn and follow the way of Jesus’ life. But, what does it mean to follow Jesus or to grow as a disciple? How do you start? It can be easy to become quickly overwhelmed by our daily schedules while simultaneously trying to figure out how discipleship fits into the ebbs and flows of life. Paul seems to say that two common outcomes of people trying to jumpstart their discipleship is either going with the cultural flow of non biblical ideas hoping for just a piece of life that we are searching for or just giving up. Paul gives encouragement to people who are trying to fake it until they make it or those have just given up. Often times we end up feeling burnt out on discipleship when in reality we never truly practiced authentic discipleship because we were grasping for it in the wrong places.
Reorientation around the Gospel
In order for healthy discipleship to occur we must have a reorientation around the gospel. We see what it looks like to be godly through the life of Jesus Christ. In order to be godly we must look at the gospel of Christ because it is only through the gospel that we come to know and gravitate towards Christ. Therefore, if we want to know what it means to train in godliness we must reorient our lives around the aspects of the gospel.
Aspects of the Gospel:
Cross: the historical facts of what happened at the cross and Christ’s resurrection
Kingdom: Jesus is on the throne of the true kingdom and it is coming in its fullness
Grace: While we were sinners Christ died for us by God’s grace and we extend that grace to others
Glory: The glorious demonstration of God’s very heart and love to redeem all creation
The Rhythms of life which are the outcome of Gospel Aspects:
Study: the cross
Serve: the king
Share: his grace
Seek: his glory
“True life isn’t about orienting my life around church things or whatever happens to be popular right now. True life in Jesus Christ is about reorienting our lives and the church around the whole gospel.”
The Plan for Growing in Godliness
1. We start with our identity:
We don’t want to start with the outcome of what we hope to achieve. But, we start with the fact that our identity is in Christ meaning we are a new creation within a new kingdom. We are called to strive because of who we are in Jesus.
As Christians, we live our lives in two contexts. The first is the gathering which is where we are formed and rehearse the gospel. The second is scattering which is wherever God has placed our sphere of influence and the relationships we have with the people around us.
“Grace isn’t opposed to effort, it’s opposed to earning”
2. The Process
Aspect: Cross Kingdom Grace Glory
Rhythm: Study: The Cross Serve: The King Share: His Grace Seek: His Glory
Gather: Rehearse the truth Stewardship Come & See God’s Glory in Worship
Scatter: Live the truth Serve Others Go & Be God’s Glory in Prayer
3. Start Small
It is important to understand which practices we are already implementing in our daily lives and those that we need to start including in our routines. Remember that transformation is a journey that takes time so start small with one rhythm and then slowly stack on more rhythms and more time in each rhythm. If you struggle with studying God’s word consider just reading for five minutes at the start of your day. Find where you struggle, begin to incorporate the practices to strengthen that struggle, and give yourself time/grace as you begin your journey in discipleship to Jesus Christ.
“While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”