Phases & Stages, part 8
And now, the final entry of this series, we move on to “fatherhood.”
I John 2:14
I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. . .
STAGE FOUR – FATHERS (Greek word – Pater) literally – nourisher, protector, upholder.
I Corinthians 4:15
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers . . .
We do not have many spiritual fathers or mothers in the body of Christ. We need men and women that others can esteem. We need those who can be admired for their character and faithfulness in God. We need those who stand secure and steadfast through adversity – who extend grace, mercy, and a helping hand to those who are struggling. We need men and women of God who will teach younger men and women.
. . . teach the older women to . . . teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women . . . so that no one will malign the word of God.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
We need disciple-makers! This is our mission. This is our ONLY mission.
So often we think of making disciples and just the thought of it intimidates us. We think, “I’m no bible scholar… I don’t know enough.” But LOOK at what the scripture says – go and make disciples . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded YOU.
It’s not really that difficult – all you have to do is share with others what Jesus has taught YOU! What is it that YOU have learned? How have YOU been changed? You can share that with others.
My story – I became friends with a newly-saved woman. We would have coffee and talk while our kids played together. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I enjoyed it. We had fun. We laughed. We talked about the Lord and the things we were learning. That’s all! But today – this woman tells people that “I was discipled by Karen Ross.” Wow. THAT is a blessing and a reward to me. There’s something so gratifying about seeing someone grow in their relationship with the Lord. And then to realize that you had a small part to play in that – that’s a HUGE blessing!
Another woman, on the verge of divorce, struggling and frustrated, pleaded with me, “Will you please teach me how to be a WIFE?” I thought to myself, “You must be kidding –ME? I am not such a great wife!” but we started spending time together. I shared things that I had learned with her. I was honest about my own struggles in the same areas. I suggested books for her to read. That’s all! Today, that woman’s marriage is healthy – not because of me, but because she submitted to God! She tells people that I mentored her. This woman now reaches out to other women. She has Bible Studies in her home. She has spoken at conferences. What a blessing and reward for me, to know that I had even a small part in helping her to persevere in God.
. . . He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Do you want a fulfilled life? Do you want continual refreshment? Do you want lasting joy? Then become a spiritual father or mother by helping others in their journey with Christ!