Cost of Discipling
The Bible is realistic in presenting us with the costs of having a godly impact on others. God compares this work to that of a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer in 2 Timothy 2:3-6. Farmers, of course, are known for their patient work ethic. Nothing worth much is produced overnight. And every valuable crop requires a lot of laborious and attentive cultivation. Ministering to others is no different.
Competitive athletes also work hard, but God’s emphasis in this comparison is that there are no prizes awarded to those who cut corners and break the rules. A concern for personal holiness is a must if we are ever to lead, counsel, or disciple others with integrity and make a lasting impact. More than hard work, a soldier’s labor is characterized by suffering and sacrifice. We are told in 2 Timothy 2:4 that a good soldier gladly pays the price “since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
The choice today is ours. We can sit back and default to pleasing ourselves, or we can choose to work hard to please the Lord by sacrificially reaching into other people’s lives to help them to know, love, and serve our great Savior and King.
-- Pastor Mike
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