Saturday, November 9

Spiritual fathers and mothers

Scripture: Job 34, 1 Corinthians 4-6

1 Corinthians 4:15-17 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.  16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.  17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.


Paul is writing the Corinthians as the founder of the church, as their spiritual father.  He is admonishing them “as my beloved children” (v. 14), and reminds them that he is their father and they should imitate him as a children do a father.  He also prepares them for Timothy’s coming; Timothy is his spiritual son and will remind them of Paul’s ways, so they can imitate him.  


This is discipleship in its simplest and purest form: watch someone who is ahead of you in Jesus and imitate them.  Every one of us can benefit from having spiritual fathers and mothers who we observe and follow.  We need lots of spiritual fathers and mothers to invest in others!

Of course, I think of Noel, who was a spiritual father to me and many others.  I still find myself in many situations asking what Noel would do.  

This morning, I saw an Instagram post from my friend, Steve, who is a pastor in California.  He was in a circle of young men and women celebrating a couple’s engagement.  A few years ago, he told me that one of his major roles is being a father to young men and women who didn’t have one.  This is why I often see him in pictures like this—he is hanging out, being a father.  He’s good at it.

And I’ve become a spiritual father to others.  What does that mean for me?  That’s what I’m going to reflect on today.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be a spiritual father to others; show me what that means for me.  And raise up an army of spiritual fathers and mothers for young Christians to follow.  Help us make disciples!