During my time in Equip, I have had the privilege of growing in disicpleship of others. However, my model has been rather non-traditional. My discipleship has been with women who have yet to follow Jesus. In my own life, there was a time I would have questioned if that was even possible.
How can you disciple someone who is not a follower of Jesus?
Yet for many Muslims, they often come to faith through discipleship before salvation. This is also true for people from other backgrounds as well. More importantly, this is actually the model Jesus himself demonstrated. After all, Peter and the other disciples had been with Jesus for some time before confessing him as the Christ. We are never told in Scripture what precise moment Peter came to this revelation and truly gave his all to following Jesus as Christ and Lord.
Today, too, it can be challenging to know the moment when a person becomes a believer – a disciple of Jesus who has confessed him as Lord, Savior, King. It has been humbling and completely freeing to know God himself knows and can say with certainty when that moment occurs for any individual. My role is to disciple both before and after the actual moment of salvation.
Practical Discipleship to Faith
Living a life of love and devotion to Jesus spills out to others. I have seen this reality in the lives of several women I have been discipling. These ladies have not started following Jesus. As they see me following though, I trust the Lord to stir their hearts to want to do the same.
Recently, one of my Nepali friends, “Sarah,” told me with tears how I am a best friend to her. It was clear she has not been loved like this before, and the love of Jesus has touched her in deep ways through me. It is amazing what his love does in hearts!
What is also apparent is that Sarah is now aware of sin. She shared that since I have started telling her about Jesus and the Bible, she now stops before she does certain things because she realizes those things would not be pleasing to God.
Though from what I know, Sarah has not claimed Jesus as her Savior. But the Holy Spirit is convicting her heart of sin. A new heart is necessary for her thoughts and attitudes to truly change. But God is already using the process of discipleship to show Sarah her sin and stir a desire for a relationship with him.
Obedience and Sharing
Sarah is part of a new Bible study the Lord has allowed to start among Nepalese people in our neighborhood. Part of the weekly Bible study is to share how we will apply what we learned and who we will tell the Bible story.
Discipleship grows through the application and sharing of Scripture as Sarah and others learn obedience to God. Once Sarah gives her life to Jesus as a follower (which I believe she will!) she will know that God cares about love for him in our hearts and obedience to him in our lives. Further, she will already be practicing a lifestyle of sharing with others and sowing gospel seeds in the lives of those around her. How amazing that these Scriptural truths will be at the root of Sarah’s faith!
I live my life loving Jesus, loving others (like Sarah), and sharing Scripture as I have conversations throughout my day. A life of following Jesus also means discipling others, and the Holy Spirit has provided all that you need to disciple others to faith. Will you answer his call to discipleship so men, women, and children like Sarah can know and worship our Jesus?
If you would like to learn more about discipleship and discipling others to faith, consider joining us for Equip!
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