I started this blog on June 30, 2005, as a result of peer pressure and God's calling. The peer pressure was from other ladies at my church to add more estrogen to our church family's blogosphere. God's calling on me came a month after the "pressure" when I couldn't stop thinking about the silly blog. I think that He must have known that I would be forced to blog about my bible reading because of a) my love for God's word, b) I love to share what I learn with others, and c) I had to blog about God's word because I didn't have time to blog about anything else and keep up with my bible reading. :) Hence, Bread Crumbs was born.
A lot has changed in my life since then - new friendships gained, old friendships lost, a new church home - but the one thing that has remained constant is my desire to partner with others to help them grow closer to God through His word and to equip them to be able to teach others how to have a daily walk with their Savior. In simple terms, I am a disciple of Jesus, and desire to fulfill Jesus' commandment to us when He said:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are to be disciples of Jesus and we are to make disciples of Jesus. So what is a disciple, anyway? Webster's definition of a disciple is the following:
disciple n. 1 a pupil or follower of any teacher or school of religion, learning, art, etc. 2 an early follower of Jesus, esp. one of the Apostles.
Okay. Simple enough, right? I found a more complete definition in a book entitled The Adventure of Discipling Others by Ron Bennett and John Purvis. From p. 54, I'll quote:
"The simplest definition of a disciple is found in Matthew 4:19 when Jesus said, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' A disciple is one who follows and consequently becomes like the One being followed. Discipleship was more than adhering to a set of teachings or principles: it was a relationship of transformation."
Indeed, discipleship is a process of transformation. It is a process of continual renewing of our minds and hearts so that we can become more like Jesus with every new day. Is every believer a disciple of Jesus? Unfortunately, no. Being a disciple has a cost. Being a disciple takes discipline and courage to not worry about what someone else thinks about you becoming a "fanatic". Being a disciple means that you are serious about conforming your life to what the bible says rather than trying to make what the bible says agree to what your life "says". Are you a disciple of Jesus? I counted the cost of becoming a disciple 10 years ago and I've never regretted it. We had a discipleship program at our church where we were matched one-on-one with a more mature believer who shared with us how to develop a walk with God, how to study our bibles and how to approach life with a biblical worldview. What a blessing it was. I encourage anyone I meet to get involved in an opportunity for one-on-one mentoring of this nature.
I've come to realize that I was rather spoiled to have had a mentor early in my "serious" Christian walk. (Note: I have been a Christian since age 13, but didn't get serious about my faith and service until I was 23). If only I could be so fortunate to find another mentor today! I just spoke with a woman today who had been a Christian and attending church for more than 30 years who had never been discipled but was longing for the opportunity. My heart goes out to her and others like her. I wish I could "disciple" everybody!
So in closing, I have some questions for you, dear readers. Would you be so kind as to leave a comment behind? I'd really appreciate it, and I'm sure others would too. :)
1) Does your church have a discipleship program?
2) Have you ever been discipled/mentored?
3) What would you say has been a key ingredient during your greatest periods of spiritual growth?