This year, after hearing from you about what you loved on the blog in 2018 and what you wanted to see more of, as well as praying over where God was leading us for 2019, we want to center this blog on the topic of discipleship.
We hope this year we all learn together what a disciple is and grow in the ways we are discipling others while growing in Christlikeness ourselves. For the blog, this means we’ll try to have monthly columns that help us to know how to disciple those we love—our kids, our teens, our neighbors—as well as how to continue faithfully serving as Christ’s disciples. Our reading plan this year will also center on discipleship. We’ll read passages all year that help us follow Jesus in different arenas of our lives. We hope this plan guides you in your reading, and we can’t wait to see how God teaches all of us this year.
The big question, then, is “What is discipleship?” We like to toss around the term in church circles. We’ve made it into a verb and a noun and an adjective, but we haven’t always been the best at defining it. For a biblical definition, let’s turn to the source. Matthew 4:18-20 shows us Jesus calling His disciples:
As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Simon (Peter) and Andrew were two of Jesus’ first disciples. A disciple is, simply, someone who follows Jesus. When we disciple others, we are helping them to follow Jesus. Discipleship is the means by which we disciple people. This is discipleship: growing in Christlikeness while following Jesus together.
A couple of things we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out about this passage: First, Jesus sees two fishermen and says simply, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” Kind of weird, if we’re being honest. Jesus often spoke in parables and similes and metaphors (you may not have expected all these English grammar terms—sorry, we’re publishing people). Essentially, Jesus was telling these men that He would teach them to disciple others. It’s a preview of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20—”Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The second thing to notice in the Matthew 4 passage is the immediately. Simon and Andrew were ready to follow Jesus and they didn’t hesitate. When God calls us to Himself, we need to be ready to respond immediately.
Our first month of the reading plan is all about the definition of a disciple. We’ll read together about the importance of wisdom, of staying in God’s Word, as well as seeing a glimpse into the lives of these first disciples and learning what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ even today. The reading plan this year will jump around quite a bit because we are studying thematically instead of chronologically. If you’d like to check out a more chronological reading plan, YouVersion has many options!
We can’t wait to see how God works in all our lives this year as disciples learning to disciple others. Thank you, as always, for reading along with us and sharing with us here on the blog and on social media what God is teaching you.
If you’d like to read with us this month, here is a downloadable PDF of the January reading plan:
We’d also love to hear what you’re learning as we read through His Word together. Share on social media with the hashtag #KnowHisWord19, so we can learn together! We’ve also included an image below, featuring a verse we’ll read this month, perfect for Instagram.