Monday, March 19
Scripture: Joshua 3-6, 1 Corinthians 4
1 Corinthians 4:15-16 For you can have 10,000 instructors in Christ, but you can’t have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
Paul is writing a strong corrective to the Corinthian church which he founded. He appeals to his unique relationship with them: he is their father in the gospel. Therefore, he urges them to imitate him. He offers himself as a model of what it means to follow Jesus. “Watch me and do what I do. Imitate my attitudes, my faith, my words and deeds.” Later in the letter he will say, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ,” or “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (11:1)
Here is disciple making 101. Paul doesn’t give them a book or a manual; he offers a relationship, a person, himself. This is still how the best disciple making happens: life to life, person to person. I learned more about following Jesus from being with Noel than any other single thing I’ve done.
This kind of discipleship requires two things from us: genuineness and proximity.
Genuineness: You don’t have to be perfect to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (None of us is.) You only have to be genuine—truly following Jesus.
Proximity: You have to be close enough so that others can observe you, and not just in “religious” settings, but in every day life.
Prayer: Lord, help me be an example others can follow, and multiply many other examples that others can follow!