Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
What comes into mind when you hear that word? For me, it brings up the image of 12 men following Christ around in the Jesus movies I used to watch with my family. Sporting shoulder length hair and sandals on their dusty feet, they would go from town to town with Christ, listening to Him, learning from Him, and making Him known to others around them.
But what exactly does discipleship mean to us today?
If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.
The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.
My sister often talks about a discipleship experience she will never forget. There was a girl that she had once desired to disciple quite a few years back. Although they lived in different cities, for a short time, they kept in touch and my sister served as a mentor for her. However, they didn’t feel that it would work out because of the distance between them, and soon afterwards they drifted away from each other. Years later, they were both given the opportunity to counsel at a youth retreat together. During an evening of open discussion among the women counselors, my sister came to know that this girl (who was now a young woman), had gone through so many of the same things that she had also gone through in college, and additionally, she had made some very similar mistakes too.
My sister couldn’t help but wonder to herself that night, what if she had continued the discipleship with her the way she had so clearly felt God leading her to do so many years ago? Could she have stopped this young woman from repeating some of the same mistakes that my sister had also made?
By pouring into the life of somebody else, you have no idea what kind of impact you can leave, what kind of mistakes you can keep from being repeated, and most importantly, what kind of relationship with Christ you can help that person blossom. What it takes? Time. Effort. Prayers. And maybe even sweat and tears.
Christ took a little more than just time out of His day so that He could change our lives. The least we could do is use what time we have left on this earth to make an impact on others. Christ has done too much for us not to.
“God doesn’t want us to waste our latter years or spend them in superficial, meaningless pursuits. Instead, He wants us to use them in whatever ways we can to influence those who will come after us. God wants us to finish well. . . .” – Billy Graham