Paul as church planter 10
“When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples…”, Acts 14:21.
After Paul had been chased from Antioch in Pisidia he goes to Iconium, a walk of over 100 kilometers. Many come to the Lord there. Paul is threatened with stoning, so he leaves for the next city, Lystra. It does not help him much, for here he is really stoned. He survives the ordeal, and walks on to Derbe.
In Derbe he made “many disciples”. ‘Disciple’ just means ‘student’. It is remarkable how often this word is used in Acts. Coming to the Lord is not enough. It is the start of a process in which much needs to be learned about and from God.
As a good missionary Paul therefore not just is busy saving souls for eternity. He knows how important it is that new believers become disciples who learn to walk with Jesus in every area of their lives.
How do new believers learn that?
From the Word of God, is our automatic answer. And it it true. In the Bible we find everything we need to know how we should live according to God’s will. But they also learn how to walk with Jesus through looking at the life of the missionary. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”, Paul even dares to say.
That is a very high standard he is posing here for people who want to make disciples. We should not try to escape from that. We do not just share God’s truth with people, but we also share our lives with them. In our lives they should see God’s truth.
Are you learning more every day about following Jesus? And are you helping other to follow Him?