To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Discipleship’ Category

Discipling.

Discipling is an ongoing task. That is both for myself and for others. So for myself I need to be relentlessly pushing forward to know my Master better and follow Him more closely. In dealing with others it means that I can never feel that I have so ministered into their lives so as to have them as the finished article in terms of following our Lord Jesus.

Discipling of course, has everything to do with following a Master. It means learning from that person and imbibing their teachings and lifestyle. In Christian discipling it is critically important that we are not making disciples for ourselves. Our business is to labour into our own lives and into the lives of others so that each are formed in the image of Christ. Paul is speaking about discipling work when he says in Colossians 1:28 that He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

If we ever think we have made it in discipling, that is in either becoming one ourselves or striving to make disciples of others then we are very wrong. None of us will be the finished article until glory dawns. Whenever I hear someone speaking of not needing further teaching on an issue then I am a little suspicious. We always need further teaching, we all need further rebuking, further exhorting. And we all need a continually good example around us. So becoming a disciple is never done in this life.

 

How Many Books Can You Read?

Reading is very important. When we read we tap into the “university of the world”; namely books. And Christians should be reading. We should be reading good books to strengthen us in our faith so as to be more godly in living and more effective  in witness.

Nevertheless, I write to express a concern. The concern relates to when people make and publicize declarations regarding the number of books they plan to read (or have read) in a year. The number is normally very impressive.  Such declarations can be very intimidating for lesser mortals who just do not have the capacity to read and digest at such a phenomenal pace.

Moreover, it implicitly inculcates a culture of fast reading. Reading becomes a process of getting through a book so that I can tick a further one off my list. This means that slow reading is discouraged. But slow reading can be so valuable. In fact some books can only be read slowly. The meat in such books is so dense that they have to be slowly consumed and slowly digested, otherwise the benefit of the material is significantly lessened. Reading the writings of the Puritans, for example, nearly always needs a decent time for consideration, assimilation and digestion.

So I want to advertise a caution. If you are able to read lots of books that is great, but please be careful about how you present this.

Finally I want to make it clear that I am not discouraging reading. I am saying “read, read, read”; you must read for the good of your soul. But if you only read very slowly don’t be intimidated by the big readers.

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