Don’t Walk Alone (Part #1): People need coaches. “It is not good for man to be alone.” Gen 2:18, NIV
Don’t Walk Alone (Part #2): Paul gives Timothy “tools” for coaching. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” -2 Tim 3:16-17
“Don’t Walk Alone” (Part #1) Recap: Besides the Four Spiritual Laws, a 5th Spiritual Law exists: “God created man with relational “cavities” that other believers fill.” In God’s original plan, Christlike character grows when God’s people, through God’s Spirit, complete one another. (Gen2) Friendship and fellowship is essential for faith to become complete. In Part #2, we see “what” nutrients God’s Spirit gives men to produce healthy fruit.
“Don’t Walk Alone” (Part #2): God’s character and values give men“what” nutrients are needed to fill the “cavities” in relationships forged in the crucible of life.
Disciples Test and Examine: The word history behind “disciple” (dis-ci-ple) is insightful. According to word historians (i.e., etymologists), “discipere” comes from a compound Latin root (i.e., ‘dis’ + ‘capere’). “Dis”, which means “apart”, implies something is dissected for closer examination. ‘Capere’, which means to “grasp or take hold of”, implies a pupil’s curious handling and probing. Picture a “disciple” as a student who scrutinizes evidence and dissects truth.
Paul, the Apostle, described his focus to the Philippian followers, “How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know [probe, scrutinize, grasp] Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11, JB Phillips, amplification added)
The Disciple’s Training – Tools for Learning. For dads, teachers and leaders, lessons can be taught anywhere and anytime. Learning opportunities occur in family rooms, kitchens, garages, soccer fields and fast food eateries. Martin Luther (1483-1546) discipled his children each night at dinner. The tools of Luther’s Small Catechism were the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, God’s person (i.e., Father, Son, Spirit), God’s character (i.e., knowledge, power, timelessness, love, fairness, and more), the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Table, Baptism, regular Bible reading and more. Jeffrey Allen Love, Pastor at Alive Church in Tucson Arizona, created a remarkable, 52-week discipleship toolbox (www.lifetransformationbible.com). His 52 daily devotions are prologue to the Life Transformation Bible. Both Martin Luther and Jeffrey Love give students the tools of God’s Law and confidence in His character to disciple right and wrong.
Discipling others does not require an advanced seminary degree. Gifted men teach God’s Word in ways that inspire students to understand God’s grace and truth (Jn 1:14). They live-out “what” obedience looks like. They display contagious affection for God’s Word and righteousness. King David wrote, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. (Ps 1:1-2, Living Bible, emphasis added)
The Disciple’s Goal – Learn What is Right. As teachers of the next generation, men inspire learners to live within God’s boundaries and walk in biblical integrity. Unpopular as it is today, and whether accepted or not, integrity comes from an understanding of God’s Law and character. Coaches translate God’s values into good judgment. (2 Tim 3:16-17) They pinpoint the consequences of poor decisions. Idolatry, disrespect, lying, killing, adultery, and covetousness come with a price. The wage paid by passivity to immorality, denial of addiction, caving to peer pressure and compromising to sin will always be death (Rom 6:23). Disciples must understand and apply these life principles.
The Disciple’s Decision. The underlying hope of every parent/teacher is for their disciple to trust Jesus as Savior and commit themselves to the guidance of His Lordship. The believer’s belt of truth (Eph 6) sustains right living, grounds the Good News, confounds the enemy’s lies, fixes confidence when doubts arise and sharpens our spiritual sword for combat. The foundation for Jesus personal integrity and moral courage in the wilderness (Mt 4) was God’s Word; not the supernatural power or divinity which he laid aside. (Phil 2) Iron sharpens iron in friendship when experienced coaches understand and apply God’s Word, His grace and His truth. (Rom 5)
Remember “what” Moses wrote, “Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone. You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might. And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead,and write them on the doorposts of your house! (Deut 6:4-9, Living Bible)
Remember “what” David wrote, “ No, I haven’t turned away from what you taught me; your words are sweeter than honey. And since only your rules can give me wisdom and understanding, no wonder I hate every false teaching. Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again: I will obey these wonderful laws of yours.” (Ps 119:102-105, The Living Bible, emphasis added)
Remember “what” Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest [renewal, blessed quiet] for your souls.” (Mt 11:29, AMP, emphasis added)
Grounded in “what” we believe, God’s Law and character guide us in “how” we help friends in crisis in the crucible of life. “How” is “Don’t Walk Alone – Coaching Men (Part 3)”.