Discipleship Includes Exhortation

October 24, 2020

17 And tell Archippus, “Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.”

Colossians 4:17

Written by Travis Simpson from the Lockeland Springs Campus

When was the last time you were challenged by a loved one? When was the last time you were strongly urged to fulfill a task? Were you upset, or were you inspired by their strong words? Did you feel betrayed, or were you encouraged to accomplish your task?

Here’s a better question. When was the last time you were the person who exhorted your brother in Christ? When did you last challenge someone with whom you have a relationship to complete the task the Lord had given them?

This is exactly what Paul was modeling when he addressed Archippus during his letter to the church at Colosse. Paul was modeling the often-difficult task of exhorting a brother or sister in Christ. It usually makes us uncomfortable to strongly urge someone else to complete a task. I know I am often hit with the thoughts of my shortcomings, which makes me hesitant to challenge someone else to action. Or else I am afraid my brother will feel like I am judging him or see myself as someone with authority over him. Even though none of this is the case, it can easily prevent me from performing the role of a loving brother.

Exhortation is clearly modeled in this passage and is a key component of discipleship. The next time you hesitate to exhort your brother in Christ, remember that it is modeled in God’s Word and that we are called to walk in this together. We don’t have to exhort someone and then walk away. We can exhort and then walk alongside. Proper discipleship is done in partnership.

Which is more loving…to exhort a brother to fulfill the calling the Lord has put in their life, or to ignore their failure to fulfill their calling? No matter how much it hurts in the moment, I would prefer someone to exhort me in love rather than ignore me in apathy.

Discipleship isn’t easy and it’s a long process. One moment of exhortation won’t break the relationship—but apathy will.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Are you fulfilling the call the Lord has placed on your life?
  2. Who are you discipling?
  3. Who is God calling you to walk alongside?

Family Activity
Set up a “minefield” in your house by creating an obstacle course of chairs, pillows, couches, etc. Then divide your family into pairs. Have one family member wear the blindfold and the other family member guide them through the course with only verbal directions. Then, talk through what it would be like if we knew someone had difficulties lying ahead of them and we told them but did not help, and the benefits if we walked along side that person on their journey.

Missions Prayer
Pray through the day today for brothers and sisters in Christ in as many countries as you can think of. Pray that the global church would be strengthened and devoted in following Christ.

Subscribe to the Daily Devotional