For the disciples it was a period of three years in which Jesus Himself trained them as they experienced life together from day to day. That’s the best form of discipleship.
Classrooms and lectures are helpful, but there’s no substitute for having a living pattern to follow–someone who models Christian virtue and shows you how to apply biblical principles to your life.
Paul understood the importance of such an example. In Philippians 4:9 he says, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things.”
He said to Timothy, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:12). Peter followed suit, admonishing the church elders not to lord their authority over those in their charge, but to be godly examples (1 Pet. 5:3).
Whether you’ve been a Christian for many years or just a short time, you are an example to someone. People hear what you say and observe how you live. They look for a glimpse of Christ in your life. What do they see? How would they do spiritually if they followed your example perfectly?
Drawing Near, Dr. John MacArthur (emphasis mine)
You can read Drawing Near at no cost online.
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