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Devotional - week of June 25, 2017


GUIDANCE FOR DISCIPLING OTHERS

He must increase but I must decreaseJohn 3:30

To be born into the Kingdom of God is the most important event in the lives of all Christians. At this time Jesus enters their lives. We must remember, though, that at birth the baby is an infant.

Spiritual infants must be nurtured. This nurture may come largely from personal Bible study. But it also may come from the pulpit, from Bible study groups such as a Sunday school class, or from the personal attention given by a mature believer. The nurture may come from all of the above.

When pastors, Bible study leaders, and caring individuals are involved in the nurturing process of others, they must be aware that they must decrease and Jesus must increase. John the Baptist’s ministry is a good example of this thought.

If Jesus is to increase in the life of a person being discipled, the discipler must center his work in truths about Jesus. If we are satisfied just to teach the new-born believer some of our favorite Bible themes that do not keep the attention on Jesus, we will fail.

Consider the following words of Jesus:

… when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, … He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.  John 16:13-15

It is essential that the one who disciples must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to do his best work of nurturing the new-born babes. With this in mind, we must continually seek to live out our oneness with Christ.

The “letting go” feature of discipleship is no different than that of a child and his parents. When the child grows up, the nurturing period is over.

Just as there is a sense of fulfillment to parents who know they have succeeded during the nurturing period, there is also a great sense of fulfillment to the one who gives spiritual nourishment to others. The new disciples are bringing honor to the Lord Jesus.