Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Three-Year Discipleship Program

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, November 25, 2013: Daniel 1:1-2:23

And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.  Daniel 1:5 (NKJV)

There are two discipleship programs at work today.  One trains us to serve the earthly king of "Babylon".  The other trains us to serve God.  

One of the first things Nebuchadnezzar did after conquering Israel was to seek to recruit Israel's best young men (Dan. 1:3-4).  He set up a 3-year discipleship program.  It is interesting that Jesus did a similar thing during His earthly ministry.

One of the greatest challenges to any follower of Jesus is the balance of "in the world" while not being "of the world" (see John 17:12-14).  Every young man and woman must learn how to prosper "in Babylon" while not becoming "of Babylon."  That's the challenge that lay before Daniel and his three friends.  These four young men become a pattern for a generation totally sold out to God, while rising to high levels of influence in a pagan culture.  IN THE WORLD but not OF THE WORLD.

Nebuchadnezzar had "daily provisions" for his disciples.  These included food and drink, but also indoctrination in language and learning.  He fed them a philosophy.  This was to prepare them spirit, mind, and body to be interpreters of the times, able to discern dreams, visions, and values.

Discipleship is far more than exercise of certain processes and procedures.  It is much more than mechanical.  It is the transfer of a WORLDVIEW.  It is eating and drinking at the table of wisdom.  It is the embodiment of that which you follow.

What are you daily drinking?  What feeds your soul?  What table is the source of your strength?

This week, we in Amercia will enjoy our Thanksgiving Feast.  It is a table of abundance celebrating God's goodness to us.  Jesus also invites us to another feast.  It is the training table of discipleship.  His table will not leave us bloated and promising to diet.  It will cause us to "look better and feel healthier" (Dan. 1:15) than ever before.

Let's feast on Jesus this week!

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