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Deliberate Spiritual Good

Disciples make disciples. This is what it means to be a Christian living under the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). But, if we’re honest, isn’t discipleship intimidating? Isn’t discipleship the elephant in the room that we know we should be eating one bite at a time. Mixed metaphor, I know.

Why is discipleship so difficult for us? Maybe we’ve never been discipled well. Maybe we’re afraid to be the know-it-all. Or, maybe we have an underdeveloped definition of discipleship. What if discipleship was less about being a spiritual guru and more about being a spiritual guide? Mark Dever, in his book Discipling, writes, “discipling is deliberately doing spiritual good to someone so that he or she will be more like Christ.”

That’s it: doing deliberate spiritual good. Certainly, we can make discipleship more complicated than that, but in its essence we can sum up discipleship by considering Colossians 1:28-29:

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

We simply proclaim, warn, and teach with the Last Day in full view. The goal of our discipleship is to present everyone mature in Christ. So, now what? Dever says it well,

“A disciple is one who disciples. He proclaims now so that he might present later. So name a couple people in your life whom you would love to see presented mature and godly on the Last Day. Got their names in mind? Now, how are you proclaiming the gospel to them now to prepare them for then?”

Pick a name. Pray for that person. Now get after it; go do that person deliberate spiritual good with every bit of energy that God is powerfully working in you. And one day, by the grace of God, present that person mature in Christ to the glory of God.