Please welcome Amy Juett, from Calamus Mom, to My Messy Desk for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday post on the often misunderstood word, disciple and how it relates to discipline. I think you will be pleasantly encouraged.
As a mom, the words disciple and discipline thread through my mind on a regular basis as I seek to raise my own children to be followers of Christ. I was delighted to be given a chance to dig deeper into them for #WordNerdWednesday.
Disciple and Discipline Defined
Both words are unique in that they can be used as either a noun or a verb.
Disciple- noun. from the Greek mathetes -meaning a learner, scholar, pupil, or follower
verb. meaning to teach or train
Discipline-noun from the Greek paideia. -meaning
- Education of children through instruction, chastisement, correction, and nurture.
- Cultivation qualities of virtue regardless of age
verb. meaning to cultivate qualities through instruction, chastisement, correction, and nurture
The History of Discipleship
Discipleship was a common practice among the Jews when Jesus walked this earth. Men would seek a teacher under whom they could gain understanding of the scriptures. Jesus’ disciples were a little different—He chose them. One example is found in Mark 1:16-18:
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.”
Though the calling was different, the concept of discipleship was the same. Jesus lived with his disciples and taught them through instruction, questions, parables, and situations which arose daily just as other rabbis did with their disciples. It was through this intentional daily interaction Christ molded the hearts of his disciples to be prepared to continue his work after he was gone. Jesus instructed his disciples to continue the discipleship pattern by issuing the following just before his ascension:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
We Are Disciples
We too are Christ’s disciples if we believe his teachings, imitate his example of love, and obey his commands.
1 John 2:6 tells us, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
As Jesus’ disciples, we must be in daily communication with him through his Word and in prayer so that our actions and attitudes line up with his. It is through the discipline of this daily walk with Christ in which we are being discipled that we learn to discern what his will is and prepare our hearts to disciple others.
Discipline of Disciples
It is imperative that we be disciplined by the Father so that we can become like Christ if we are to disciple others.
“They [human fathers] disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:10-11 (brackets added)
Like we teach our children the right way to live through rules, our Heavenly Father disciplines us through his commandments for our own well-being. It is through the discipline of following his instructions that we learn to submit our will to his.
Discipline is not easy and often not enjoyable, but through it, fruit is produced. A little over a year ago, a friend shared a link to a group that was reading chronologically through the Bible in four months. I’d always aspired to read the Bible in it’s entirety, but got distracted somewhere in the middle of the who begot who section. But last year was different. I set out with a desire to know God more through all of his Word, not just a desire to be able to say I had read the Bible from cover to cover. I knew it would not be easy to complete it with three children five and under, and that I would have to continue day after day even when I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. Each day I set my alarm and crawled out of bed. It was not easy, but over time, it became the most cherished part of my day. The blessings I received from disciplining myself to spend time with God at the start of each day were more than I had ever imagined and carried me through a very difficult time.Like we teach our children the right way to live through rules, our Heavenly Father disciplines us through his commandments for our own well-being. #wordnerdwednesday #disciple #discipline @CalamusMom Click To Tweet
Disciples Disciple Others
Discipline is not to make us miserable. Discipline is to bring about good in our lives and to prepare us to disciple others. If we are God’s disciples, we have a call to disciple others in our sphere of influence whether that be our children, our neighbors, or someone else God places in our paths.
Discipling others comes through living in the will of God and intentionally building close relationships which will open the doorways of communication enabling us to teach others and cultivate virtues of righteousness in them even as Christ is still discipling us. Discipling others requires that we put on the mind of Christ as Paul described in Philippians 2 so that we look beyond ourselves and look instead to the needs of others. We have conversations about hard topics always holding the Word of God as the ultimate authority on any matter. We shape convictions by providing instruction from the Word not just our own opinions. We model Christ so that others see him in us and seek to become more like him.We model Christ so that others see him in us and seek to become more like him. #wordnerdwednesday #disciple #discipline @CalamusMom Click To Tweet
Something to Ponder and Pray Over
Take some time to pray and seek God for the answers to these questions. What areas do you need to submit to the discipline of God? Who does God want you to disciple?
Hi! I’m Amy, a daughter of God and a native of the Nebraska Sandhills. I am married to my college sweetheart, and we are living the life of little sleep with three young children. From time to time we also welcome foster children into our family and love them as our own for however long they stay with us.
We live in what was my grandparents’ house overlooking the Calamus River. Around the place we have twenty-three chickens, three Labrador Retrievers (more when we have puppies), a pony, and whatever bugs the children find to put in their bug box.
My days are filled with laundry, messes, cooking, homeschooling our oldest, and more laundry. When I’m not immersed in one of those, I enjoy writing, reading, crafty projects, dabbling in photography especially nature, and participating in whatever adventure my husband has dreamed up for our family.
I am passionate about encouraging and equipping in their faith and for the journey of motherhood. In that vein, I share devotionals and blog about motherhood over at Calamus Mom and am active on Facebook. I’d love to connect with you on either or both of those and hear what God is teaching you.
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light.