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Step 1 of Discipleship—the Learner

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Step 1 of Discipleship—the Learner

The focus of this stage in the discipleship journey is on knowing—knowing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The main source of information for this step is the Bible. Learning on level one comes through sermons at church or on-line, personal study of God’s Word, reading Christian books and time spent in prayer.

Proverbs 25:11 says, Like golden apples in silver settings, so is a word spoken at the right time.[1] We live in the information age. Whatever we want to know is pretty much at our fingertips. While Christian books are not equal to the Bible, I do believe that books can feed your soul. There are many times I feel like the words I’m reading are breathed by God—inspired by Him. For example, there was a season when I woke at 5 a.m. with a force within me hungry to read, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It fed me and I learned so much through that book.

A disciple has an insatiable desire to learn more about God and His Kingdom here and in the future, and this passion to learn should never be diminished, no matter how long they live.

I used to visit my dad in the nursing home and find him reading the Word. He was in his eighties but still trying to learn more about God. The crazy thing is he had Alzheimer’s and wouldn’t remember it on a cognitive level, but still pursed the knowledge of God. HIS SOUL WAS STILL HUNGRY! He died in 2006. He was pastor raised as Amish with not much past a 7th grade education, and yet, He was a learner—a disciple. He read all the time. Many have told me he was one of the best Bible teacher they’d ever heard.

The Apostle Paul prayed this prayer—a pastor’s prayer—for the disciples in Ephesus.

I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.[2]

You can see how deep and vast the discipleship journey really is! This is a warm up lap for the next life. There is a purpose to all we learn here for heaven. We need to get a bigger picture—a perspective that spans into eternity.

[1] GW

[2] Ephesians 1:17-21 MSG


About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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