Saturday, April 28, 2012

Discipleship Series - Education: Choose Wisely

In this series I've shared that a disciple is student who has chosen a specific course of study. Now I'll share thoughts on education. Education is something on the minds of every student, whether it be for career or personal development, we all seek to better ourselves in some way. With the goal in mind we set out to choose a school to achieve that desire.

Most people strive to get into the best schools to develop their skills and learn from the finest educators. I've never heard a person say, “I hope I get into the worst school in town” No, we want the best, but sometimes settle for what is available.

For the Christian, our spiritual health is affected by the church [school] we attend. It is vitally important that we are instructed properly in spiritual matters by anointed teachers. It may surprise you, but not all preachers are anointed, or let me say, appointed by the Lord to instruct His people according to His Word.

The love of God spurs many men and women with the desire to become leaders and instruct the flock in godly behavior, but few are truly gifted with the heart of a Shepherd.

A Shepherd [Pastor/Reverend] is one who fiercely guards and protects the flock from all dangers, from without and within. One example from scripture would be the Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament.

Each of us are called as individuals to teach and instruct one another in the Word of God, if by no other means than by our love and our actions towards one another. Others are chosen as shepherds or for leadership positions over God's people, which is a far greater responsibility and accountability to God.

There are literally thousands of schools that teach people how to become a type of clergy, click here to read a brief history of Seminary. With all the education available, why are we not stronger in our faith? Why are there so many denominations? And why is there divisions among believers?

As I grow in my understanding of scripture, I see a continual pattern of behavior of how the Lord has dealt with our unregenerate minds and with the enemy. We have been given the victory through Christ, yet we fail to believe all that we have through conflicting instruction. 

This is a brief excerpt from Chapter 1

Just like enrolling in college, receiving Jesus as our savior set us on a new career path. Coming to Christ we are filled with nervous excitement about our new life. It may feel a bit overwhelming realizing that you don’t know much about Jesus or the Bible, but you take it on faith that you’ve found the right way, not considering any downside.
Having so many questions I would inquire of mature Christians about their experiences, eager to know what to expect on this journey. It is so new and wonderful that when unpleasant things happen we’re not sure if that’s a normal part of knowing Jesus. 
We’ve all had unpleasant things happen, such as suffering rejection from family and friends.As a new student we’re not sure how to handle these things. We might even wonder why anyone would feel upset with us, after all we want to share the Good News of Jesus.
After hitting a few bumps, maybe a set back or two, here we are standing in Jesus. It’s impossible for us to deny the wonderful experience knowing He lives in us. We are new and different people with others recognizing it too.
If trusting in the Word of God is not established early in your relationship this will create problems in your discipleship process. Although it is not the Lord’s will that you have trust issues, it could prevent you from reaching your full potential. Belief was the minimum amount of faith we all had to have in order to come to Jesus, now we've got to grow that belief.
We’ve all been captains of our own ship for some time. Our own instruction lead us down paths of destruction, failure, disappointment and discouragement. We followed poor instructors whose limited experience was based on their own textbook, but as we experience more of God's unconditional love we become more comfortable in relinquishing the helm of our lives to Him.
# # #
If we listen to wrong teaching or try to discern God's Word based on our own understanding, then we find ourselves in poorly operated schools and not reaping the benefits that our spirit filled lives should produce. We need to keep  close eye on what is taught at our church, it takes effort. 

Paul was not one of the original Apostle’s of Jesus, in fact he fiercely attacked the Christians, yet he became a great hero of our faith. Why? Because he was chosen and accepted the call of the Lord to bring the Good News. As a Shepherd he protected it from all enemies within and without.

We have the benefit of the many letters Paul wrote to the churches he planted and agonized over for them to remain faithful to Jesus. Today we still reap the benefits of his instructions, his testimony and his love. 

The Lord is faithful to lead us to good schools and good instructors, but we must do our part too, by reading His Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring understanding. This is our insurance from winding up in the wrong school, under poor leadership, and not become the people we should be.

Next in the Discipleship series : Taking Notes

This book is available at Amazon in paperback and ebook


mellow roc said...

Ms. Thorpe, I was intrigued to discover your blog through Ms. Christine Henderson and have a novella that may be coming out later this year. I am publishing through CrossBooks, and your post to Ms. Henderson's blog and your post here dated April 28 is one I plan to share with other believers on my blog, grafted in and on the journey also at Thank you for helping writers like myself be informed of the process.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Mellow Roc Thank you and blessings to you. I am honored that you want to include my posts to your blog. It is my pleasure to help other writers along the way.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Very informative, as always, Terrie. Thought provoking as well. We do need to choose our schools wisely, as well as our teachers.

From Carols Quill said...

I'm enjoying this series, Terrie. It's true that we need discernment in choosing a church--finding a pastor grounded in scripture who tells it like it should be.