Chapter eight: Disciple
Sheep make sheep


Weekly Reading Plan

DAY 1 | John 8:31-32; John 15:1-17
DAY 2 | Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20
DAY 3 | 2 Timothy 2:1-13
DAY 4 | Luke 6:40-42; Proverbs 27:17
DAY 5 | 2 Peter 1:3-11; 2 Timothy 2:1-26


And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

This decisive period in your life may have stressed you out, shaken your confidence, or pushed your patience to the limit, but by submitting to God’s wisdom and focusing on him, you’ve pressed through to the other side. Take a moment to celebrate! Look back and remember the moments when God came through. It’s so important that you take note of how God brought you through those tough moments, to write down the wisdom you gained as you made each heavy decision, because God never intended for you to keep that knowledge to yourself. It’s easy to get hyper-focused on your own circumstances and needs during a challenging season in life, but the more you use your experiences to grow others, the more you’ll find out about yourself and God’s plan for your life.

There’s a great story in the book of Acts about a man named Philip that illustrates how important it is to share your experiences and knowledge about God. Philip was part of the very first church that arose in Jerusalem after the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and he had been hand-selected by Peter and the other apostles to help lead and serve in the church. It wasn’t long, though, before Christians in Jerusalem began to be heavily persecuted, and many, including Philip, were forced to flee to the surrounding regions to keep spreading the good news of Jesus (Acts 8:1).

Here’s where Philip’s story gets really interesting. Acts 8:26 says that an angel instructs Philip to travel to a certain road leading out from Jerusalem. Philip obeys, and when he gets there, he finds an important official from Ethiopia who had traveled all the way to Jerusalem to worship. The Holy Spirit instructs Philip to head toward the man’s chariot. Verses 30-31 tell us what happens next: “Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”

One of the amazing things about this interaction is Philip’s immediate and passionate obedience. This was not a run-of-the-mill experience for a first-century Christian. Philip followed God’s directions to go somewhere without knowing why. Have you ever felt like you heard God telling you to do something, but you ignored it simply because you couldn’t explain why He would be telling you to do that? You’ve got to know and trust God’s voice enough that you follow His direction even when you can’t explain exactly where it’s leading.

Next, we see that Philip had to run to meet the Ethiopian’s chariot, which must have seemed somewhat strange to start with. He’s then face-to-face with a man from a completely different culture, without any assurance of how to best communicate with him or whether this man is even open to hearing about Jesus. But through all of this, we see that God had perfectly orchestrated every step. Philip had just come from studying under the men who had walked with Jesus, and was able to use that knowledge and authority to share the gospel with this man at just the right moment.

Sharing your experience with others won’t always be easy or comfortable, but God promises He will always lead and help you if you remain obedient and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, which includes you, not to worry about how you should share your faith, “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12). Obviously, you can’t just sit on your hands and wait, but as you continue to grow with God and He takes you through more cruxes, you can rest assured that God will be bringing you opportunities to share about the love and power you’ve seen Him display in your life.