Dear Fellow Disciple-Maker,
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope and change. We are told in the New Testament that by the grace of God through his Son Jesus Christ, we are made alive, rescued and pardoned from our sins, and adopted into God’s family. This is welcome news to hearts that feel helpless and hopeless.
The New Testament also promises that the Gospel of Jesus is a story of personal change and preparation. God's vision of our future is always much different than ours. So, in the end, the grace of God welcomes us into His family, teaches us a new life, and calls us into a worldwide movement that advances the Kingdom of God. The whole experience involves God's grace and our response.
Every aspect of the Christian life is built on a foundation of spiritual adoption. A disciple of Jesus is first a child of God. So, to put it another way, son-ship is the foundation for discipleship. Disciples of Jesus mature when they feel secure. On the basis of being loved and accepted they learn to live like Jesus. So, being confident in our Heavenly Father’s love, let’s examine the three basic skills that form the foundation for all spiritual growth in the realm of discipleship.
Skill #1 – Read & Apply the Bible
Disciples must learn to become self-feeding. They must devote themselves to reading the Word of God on a regular basis and then applying it to their hearts in obedience. The first habit of every growing disciple is the habit of taking time to get alone with God with an open Bible. God speaks directly to human hearts through his Word. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). There is simply not much that happens in a Christian's life until he or she begins to read and obey the Bible for themselves.
Skill #2 – Humbly Share Your Heart
Disciples grow best by learning to share their hearts with other disciples. None of us will grow without both the support and challenge of others. We all need a safe place to admit our struggles with those who will love us no matter what. People open up around other people who open up. The practice of being vulnerable is a key to maturity. We also need to welcome the supportive observations others make about our lives. At times it may sting a little. But loving feedback is crucial to our spiritual growth. We are all, so to speak, “patients in the same hospital.” The only difference is some have arrived a little earlier and are able to give some advice.
Skill #3 – Pray for Guidance to Find Receptive People
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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