From Essential Provisions

by Stephanie Thomas on

Devotionals 4 min read
2 Timothy 2:2

I multiply godly beliefs, virtues and practices in others to encourage their spiritual growth in Christ.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
2 Timothy 2:2

I didn’t attend church when I was a child. In fact, my family never really talked about God, Jesus, or religion. The most I knew about the Creator of the world is that my grandma sang weird songs with “thou” and “thee” while she was cleaning. Fast forward some years, and at the age of 26, I gave my life to God and asked Jesus to be my Savior. I knew nothing. Zero. Thankfully, I had a wonderful friend who invested in me and dropped nuggets of truth into my lap for years. She was an amazing disciple and I remember wondering, “Why is she helping me? Am I really worth it?”

What compels a person to disciple another? What moves their heart and causes them to pour themselves out, investing so deeply in another? Jesus’ parting words to the Eleven in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” What did my friend do to disciple me?

What does it take to be a disciple maker?

A disciple maker makes sacrifices to spread the good news (Hebrews 13:16). My friend spent time with me despite having newborn twins and a husband who had not yet trusted Christ. She very easily could have passed me to someone else or said she was too busy, but she shared her most precious resource with me, her time.

When I spouted out worldly and grossly incorrect opinions about my off-kilter theology, she never told me I was wrong (it’s almost embarrassing to look back and see just how wrong I was). With “great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2), she asked lots of questions, opened God’s Word, and directed me to Jesus.

She clearly followed the commands in Mark 12:30-31 to love God and love your neighbor. Her love for God’s Word was an inspiration to me. She knew so much! She loved me. As broken, wrong, and misguided as I was, she loved me enough to invest herself in my spiritual growth. She even gifted me a Bible that her dad had given to her until I could get one of my own. The outpouring of this love brings me to tears still today.

A disciple maker is one who seeks God’s kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). I imagine it must have been difficult for my mentor to put up with my stubborn ways and resistance to change. She was persistent, gracious, steadfast, and always loving in her approach. Her goal was not to see me be a better human, it was to help me develop into a follower of Christ, a disciple myself.

Believers are called to disciple, to intentionally help other believers grow in Christ and multiply godly beliefs, virtues, and practices in others. Your godly wisdom is a gift to be shared. Be it in the home or at work or with a friend, you have something to offer.

Heavenly Father, help me to love you so much that the outpouring of this love flows to other people. Help me see others the way that you do and be willing to give my time and energy investing in their spiritual growth. Give me a desire to show others your love and help them grow closer to you. Amen.

About the Author

Stephanie Thomas is the Children's Minister at Central Bible Church.