I was praying this morning asking God to show me His divine design for discipleship from Scripture. In other words, “Lord what is your process for discipleship?”
Here’s what I heard: Invitation to Imitation.
Where do we see Invitation?
Psalm 34:8a, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”
Zechariah 3:10 “In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”
Matthew 22:2, 9 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, … Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.”
Matthew 4:19 “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'”
Matthew 9:9 “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.”
John 1:35-39 “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, ‘What are you seeking?’ And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and you will see.‘”
John 1:43 “The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.'”
Where do we see Imitation?
John 12:26 “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
1 Corinthians 4:15-16 “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
2 Timothy 1:13 “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 6:11-12 “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
What should we understand from the concept of Invitation?
In order to invite someone, there must be already in existence something to join. There must be a place, or a group, or a way to which you are inviting.
And what should we understand from the concept of Imitation?
One only imitates that which works. The patterns we teach and which we exemplify must be made of “sound words,” it must be patterned after those who have inherited the promises. “Consider the outcome of their way of life…”
Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
Psalm 78:4-8 “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”