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Read: s 54:13; Mt 28:19; Jn 8:31; 13:35; Deut 6:4-7; Prov 2:9; 22:6; Eph 6:1-4

Disciples Making Disciples:
Discipline correctly understood is all about discipling. Discipline is an educational process of making willing followers who choose the right because that is the moral thing to do. The goal of discipline as Ellen White has written is to bind the hearts of those disciplined to ours in love, so that what emerges from our confrontation of wrongs is greater closeness, deeper intimacy, and a profound respect for the way we have dealt with the problem. Therefore discipline is not so much about punishment as it is about restoration, restitution, and reconciliation.

Key Texts:

  • Isaiah 54:13 – All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. NKJV
  • Matthew 28:19 – Go, make disciples.
  • John 8:31 – If you obey my teachings, you are really my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
  • John 13:35 – If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.
  • Deuteronomy 6:4-7 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. Teach them to your children.
  • Proverbs 2:9 – Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.
  • Proverbs 22:6 – Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.
  • Ephesians 6:1-4 – Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. Respect your father and mother is the first commandment that has a promise added: so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land. Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. For those of us who place a high value on our personal relationship with Jesus, the conversion of our children and the transmission of the spiritual values of our faith are very important to us as parents. How do we pass this on to the next generation? Is religious faith something that can be taught, or must it somehow be caught?
  2. When Paul encourages us to rear our children with Christian discipline and instruction, to what do you think he is referring?
  3. Roger Dudley in his book, Why Teenagers Reject Religion…And What to Do About It, contrasts autocratic authority with a more democratic leadership style. How do we accomplish this? It is so convenient and efficient and in the short term effective to demand obedience because we say so. Jesus in His teaching, spoke as one having authority. How do we do that without becoming authoritarian?
  4. The goal of discipline is to make disciples–willing followers of our children, so that when it comes to moral choices, they of their own volition choose to do the right thing. When does that process begin, and when is it finished?
  5. The church as a family exists for worship, for fellowship, for instruction, and for service. Our kids tell us in places like the Value Genesis study that we have done pretty well with the instructional part, but have not done too well in working together as families in community service projects. What have you done in your families or think we might do to provide a corrective to this?

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