2 Timothy 3:10–11 (NLT): 10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured.
Judges 2:10 (NLT): 10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
If the Golden Rule is to do unto others that which you would have them do unto you, or "Love your neighbor as yourself.", it should follow that we do not deserve anything we refuse to do for others.
If we refuse to share the love of Christ with others, we do not deserve to be shown the love of Christ ourselves.
If we refuse to nurture growing faith in others, we do not deserve teachers and pastors to nurture our own faith.
If we refuse to raise up faithful leaders ourselves, we should not be surprised when our leaders end up being unfaithful.
Moses raised up a disciple: Joshua, and trained him in how to follow God and lead the Hebrew people into the Promised Land. Joshua was a mighty leader and celebrated many victories. While Moses was remembered as being the Teacher of the Law, Joshua was the one remembered for giving them victory over their enemies.
Sadly, Joshua did not raise up a disciple after him. While they remained in the Promised Land that God had prepared for them, the people became lost and enslaved again within a single generation. The victories that Joshua enjoyed were undone because he did not raise up another in his place.
Everyone needs a protege. Jesus commands us to make disciples. When we do not take the time to raise up the next generation, we lose them. It is easy to focus on our own children, as the Golden Rule might suggest, but when Jesus talks about loving our neighbor (and their children too) he explains that the standard is raised for His people. We are to do more than mind our own business and households. We are to love others the way Jesus loves us. We are to train up others the way Jesus has sent others and trained us up in His ways. We are to make proteges - disciples of Jesus, from anyone He sends our way... and we do it with His guidance and help.
- Who is your protege?
- What is the most important thing you want to pass on to them?
- How do their strengths and weaknesses differ from yours?
How free is anyone, when some are still in chains?