Assuming you have found someone to disciple you, and you have memorized the six scriptures in which Jesus gives us guidance for what we will look like when we become the disciples he desires, what comes next?
Step Five. I make a practical covenant with the person discipling me. I will spend quality time each day in the word of God, beginning with the gospels. It will be my personal appointment with the Lord. I will prayerfully open the scriptures in order to meet with him. I will be accountable to my discipler for this appointment with Lord. I will develop with him or her a plan to gradually become grounded in the whole counsel of God in the Old and New Testaments.
When I started my journey to ordination, on the first day of my classes at seminary, the professor in my first class said this: “More people praise the scriptures than read them. More people read the scriptures than understand them. More people understand the scriptures than follow there teachings.” Forty-nine years later I can attest to the truth of that teaching moment. The church is full of men who do not follow the teachings that God has revealed to us in his Holy Word. Many do not understand, even if they read. Many do not read at all.
Beginning regularly to come into the presence of the Lord with the Bible open on our laps, or on our table, is the bedrock new habit for someone wanting to learn to be a disciple of Jesus who can make another disciple. This “hour” (yes, it should grow over time to be this, at least) must become sacred. We do not miss it. We make plans to keep it even in difficult circumstances. We grow to never miss it because we so often meet the Lord. He waits to meet us, and we do not want to miss him. He so often speaks to us through his word written.
Most of those I have known who are serious about this discipling journey keep some kind of notebook or journal by which they keep a record of these times with the Lord. They have found that making notes about what they have read, or pondered, or “heard” during their times with the Lord, helps to keep them on track. It gives them a way to remember the Lord’s mercy when times are difficult. It shows them their progress with the Lord. It gives them a way to share with the one who is discipling them.
Let us end here. We must be willing to be held accountable to this covenant. If we will not seek the Lord when and where he may be found, we are wasting our time and that of our discipling leader. If we can not give this time to the Lord Jesus, most days if not all, then we must ask, “are we really wanting what he has to offer to us?”