Full Circle

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40, ESV)

If the Lord has graciously provided you a "Timothy" over the course of these posts, and you've followed our pattern of training, then we're about to cover some familiar ground.

The Wheel Illustration

When we began this series of posts more than a year ago, we began with the Wheel Illustration.  We believe it is a succinct tool to describe the foundational needs of a growing Christian life.  There are many other things that could be added, that others have added, but we feel that these six elements encompass the most basic requirements for a Christian to continue growing in their relationship with and service to Christ.  When our new Believer has completed our Studies in the Gospel of John follow-up Bible study, we feel it's time to introduce them to the Wheel.  And it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves and check our own progress in each of these areas.

Christ the Center

When I talk about the Wheel Illustration, I usually have in mind a bicycle or car wheel, familiar items to most people I meet.  Those wheels are made up of rims and spokes and hubs.  Drawing a connection to our lives, then, a Christian who wants to grow in Christ must put Jesus at the center of his life; He needs to be the hub of our wheel.   That begins simply with believing in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and reconciliation with God.  Without that, we're not even a Christian!  But accepting the Gospel only brings Christ into our lives; we are cleansed from our sins so that He, through His Spirit, can come to dwell within us.  But will we make Him the true center of our lives?  Will we give Him control and authority over our every thought, decision and action?  That doesn't happen in a moment, but takes training, even daily discipline.  And it begins Today with some of the simplest of choices.  It is those choices that reveal the degree of your discipleship, the closeness of your following after Jesus as He continues to walk through this world today.

In a wheel, the hub supports the entire weight of the wheel; in the same way, a growing Christian needs to rest completely in faith upon Jesus Christ.  "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved" (Psalm 55:22, ESV).  But the hub also provides direction for the whole wheel; in the same way, a Christian who desires to know Christ and serve Him better must learn to turn to Jesus for instruction and direction.  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).  For a drive wheel—a wheel that is fully engaged with Jesus Christ—the hub is also the source of power to get that wheel moving through life.  "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence" (2Peter 1:3, ESV).  A wheel that spins loose on its hub is driven instead by its rim's contact with the world around it; it is rolled and spun at the mercy of the things of this world.

That should be a sobering thought.  How is your "wheel" doing?  You've trusted in Christ for salvation.  You've been born again (John 3:3-8); you are a new creation in Christ (2Corinthians 5:17).  But how closely are you following Jesus?  Are you content being on the edge of the crowd around Him, or are you politely but firmly pushing your way into the inner circle?  Are you rolling with the flow of the world, or putting off those old patterns and putting on the new (Ephesians 4:17-24)?  Are you leaning on His power to discipline yourself to walk each day in step with the Spirit (Romans 8:1-5)?

And how can you or I be sure we are truly walking in step with the Spirit?  Let's look at that next time.


  • Gospel of John Bible Studies - Four lessons on Salvation, Assurance, The Word, and Christian Living that can be used either as evangelistic Bible studies or as basic follow-up studies for new believers.
  • The Bridge Illustration - A clear and complete explanation of the only way man can be reconciled with God
  • Prayer Pages - A tool to help keep track of and manage prayer needs.
  • Personal Reading Record - A tool to help you keep track of where you've read and where to read next
  • Bible Reading Highlights Record - A tool to help you record your thoughts and applications when you read the Word
  • The Timothy Training Workbook - A printable (front & back) discipleship notebook written by veteran Navigator missionary and founder of Training Evangelistic Leadership, Roy Robertson

Courtesy of Roy Robertson and Training Evangelistic Leadership