Disciple You

A little over 20 years ago, I flew in a plane for the first time. My grandmother had gotten sick, and we had a short time to say our goodbyes to her. I went to the elders of Indian Creek Christian Church to let them know I would need time off, and they were gracious enough to, not only give me the time off, but they also paid for my plane ticket. I would be flying down with my sister, Kara, to Florida so that we could say, “Goodbye” to our Mammaw Kelley. She was our last living grandmother and we didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I was excited to finally be flying somewhere. My sister, on the other, was terrified.

I remember her trembling as we were waiting at the gate. We saw all the different jets flying into Lexington Airport, and I was able to convince my sister that we would be fine. At least we weren’t going to be in one of those old propeller planes. Shortly after that, our gate announced that we’d be boarding. We handed in our boarding passes and started down the gate to a set of steps and onto the tarmac. This felt weird because all the other jets were pulled up to the gate so you could walk right on. That’s when my sister’s greatest fear came to life. We were walking out to an old prop plane. Kara began trembling again. I told her we’d be fine as long as we weren’t on the wing. It wouldn’t be so loud then. Sure enough, we get on the plane and our seats are right on the wing. At this point, I wasn’t going to talk anymore. 

The stewardess then stands up and gives us the whole shpiel about the seat being a floating apparatus that could save us if we crashed into water. Kara trembles more. Then she showed us the emergency exits and gave us directions in case we crashed. Kara squeezes my arm. Finally, we got to the talk about the masks. “When the masks drop, please put yours on first, then help those around you.” My sister glared at me as if to say, “You better help me!” The idea of putting my mask on first was one that stuck with me for a long time. How can you help someone else if you’re suffocating? Dead people can’t benefit anyone.

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
Mark 8:34–37

There are two very important things for the disciple on this earth; time and his/her soul. We only have so long to do what God has commanded of us here, and you can’t get back time. It’s a completely non-renewable resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The soul is the thing that separates us from every other living creature on this earth. It is what makes us eternal. Whether we like it or not, our souls will continue on after this life. Whether that’s in eternal glory or damnation is up to us and where we put our faith. One thing is constant. We need to feed ourselves God’s Word.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,”
Isaiah 55:1–3

Police officers, firemen, and soldiers know that they have to take care of themselves if they are to be ready when called upon. Whether it’s an officer having to chase a perpetrator on foot, or a fireman needing to climb ladders and operate within insanely high temperatures, or a soldier dealing with the brutal weather of the desert,  they are worthless if they don’t take care of themselves. We are soldiers in God’s Army. We have a battle we’re fighting against principalities in the spiritual realm. We’re also fighting a battle against culture. Unfortunately, most of us are spiritually out of shape. We don’t work out our faith daily. As a result, we have a bunch of soldiers out of breath during hand-to-hand combat and getting the tar kicked out of them.

This is one of the reasons why we need to memorize scripture. It’s one of the exercises we do to prepare our souls for the battle ahead. How much easier is it to defend your faith when you have a storehouse of scripture that you can pull out at a moment’s notice? The great thing is, like exercise, we only get better at it the more we do it. 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24–27

There’s a lot of talk these days about self-care. That’s exactly what scripture memorization is all about. When we fill our minds with God’s Word, we are putting high-octane fuel into our souls. Not only does this kind of self-care help us defend our faith, but it also gives us the confidence to actually do it.

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:6

If you want to disciple others, first you need to disciple you.

2 Comments


L H - March 4th, 2024 at 5:26am

Good word , Gods word key to sucess, in ALL things in this life and the next.

John Kelley - March 12th, 2024 at 4:30am

Yes. In ALL things. We can't survive on our own wisdom, we desperately need God's Word.

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