An international pastor warns that Christians should notice the importance of training as Jesus' disciples in a discipleship course recently held in a church.
He gives the example of the apostle Paul: " Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Cor 9:26-27).
The pastor states that the disciple's path needs training, practice, endurance and self-denial. Just as running and fighting, we disciples need to exercise constantly. Being disciples refers to choosing to be trained and obeying God on our own initiative. We follow the teaching of Jesus and do it.
However, we wish to be easy and comfortable in every aspect of our life most of the time. It's like that we don't want to work out while always wishing healthy body and mind. Our body needs exercise and so do our spiritual lives. We need to exercise in everything, including preaching sermons and interpreting scriptures.
As a matter of fact, our inheritance and talents are much limited in the fields of sports, art, music, academics and athletics. Through unceasing pursuit and exercise can we be outstanding. This requires dedication and self-sacrifice. We have to practice and receive new training constantly.
Keep in mind that we need to read the Bible often if we want to receive light from God through Bible reading. We need to pray a lot if we long for anointing in prayer. We need to encourage others lots of times if we wish to be good at encouraging.
Discipleship starts with relationships. We need to be with Jesus Christ in intimacy and live in him. At the same time, disciples begin to experience the changes in their life habits and characters with practice. They become who they are after repeated practice and even learning from and imitating Jesus over and over again.
Remember that the power to transform lives lies in God. But we cannot be changed if we don't exercise. It's impossible to receive God's healing and blessings without a good relationship with Jesus Christ.
Everything in our daily life can be trained, such as Bible reading, fasting, keeping good hours, prayer, worship, tithing and offerings, praise, forgiveness, love... These things need exercises and your effort will pay off in the end.
Translated by Karen Luo