Archives For Discipleship

What would a life completely surrendered and devoted to God look like? We have so few modern examples I’m not sure we know anymore. I think we recognize it when we see it, but what would it mean for you and me to be totally consumed with Jesus Christ? Isn’t that what we want? When we surrendered our lives and will to Him, didn’t we expect to live the rest of our lives serving Him and Him alone?

consumed,commitment,Kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,mission,passion,discipleship,Matthew 6:9-10,Lord's prayer,Romans 7:15,do what I don't want to do

The commitment didn’t last. I know this because as I look around the world and at the country in which I live, I see scores of nominal Christians who confess their Creator with their lips but deny Him with their lives. I do it every day.

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For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been haunted by an old Geoff More lyric. It’s from the song, “God Believes in You”, and says, “Everything matters if anything matters at all / No matter how big, no matter how small”.  The implications of the lyric torture me. I think we would all agree some things matter, particularly when it comes to knowing Christ. Knowing some things matter, I am compelled by Scripture to believe everything matters.

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Every word I speak, every thought I think, everything at which my eyes look, every interaction I have with people, how I spend every moment – they all matter. They all will be either for the Kingdom or against it. They all will be either pleasing or displeasing to my Lord.

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Christine Caine makes a great analogy, comparing the way many Christians live their lives to hitting the snooze button on their alarm. Mrs. Caine wrote, “Do you know what it’s like when you have to get up, but you just keep hitting snooze until, all of a sudden, your morning is gone! When it comes to sharing the gospel, it’s time for us to rise and shine. The world is too dark for the church to keep hitting snooze.

snooze button,mission,commitment,discipleship,love,priorities,Isaiah 65:17,new heaven,2 Peter 3:13,new earth,Isaiah 22:13,we eat and drink while tomorrow they die,Matthew 28:18-20,great commission

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Each time we become sidetracked or indifferent about sharing the gospel, it’s like we are choosing snooze and allowing the world to linger in darkness longer.” We all know hitting the snooze button is a bad idea, but it becomes catastrophic when the Church hits the button. We are indeed a slumbering giant, and our wake-up call is long past due.

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What if you were starting over in your walk with Christ? What would you do differently than you are doing right now? It’s easy and even inevitable to fall into ruts if we are not intentional in our choices. Are you living the life you know Jesus wants you to live? Why not? What’s holding you back? What fears have been getting in the way of you living your potential and becoming the person God created you to be?

starting over,mulligan,do over,God's will,purpose,priorities,habits,discipline,spiritual disciplines,discipleship,I John 5:3–5,overcomers,faith

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I admit it’s a lot of questions to throw at you all at once, but if we aren’t taking the time to evaluate where we are in our relationship with Jesus and how we’re doing in our walk, we will continue to drift along doing the same things we’ve always done and achieving the same results we’ve always gotten.

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Recently I was reading a challenge I thought was so good I had to pass it along. The challenge was to think of all the ways you attend church on auto-pilot. Most tend to park in the same spot, sit in the same seat, and talk to the same people. We don’t even think about it. So, what could you do differently next week to step out of your comfort zone and do something you have to think about rather than coast on auto-pilot?

church on auto-pilot,going through motions,Revelation 3:16,vomit you out of my mouth,lukewarm,mediocre,mediocrity,Luke 9:57-62,foxes have holes,foxes have dens,church,discipleship

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What if you reached out to someone you’ve never met and struck up a conversation? What if you gave up your favorite parking spot so someone else could have the shade? Most of all, what if we made the point of our worship all about Jesus?

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It is said what has your attention has you. My experience has proven this to be true. If God has your attention, then God has you. You are a servant of the King. What if God doesn’t have your attention? What if your attention is split between many things or worse yet, anywhere but God? Is anything other than God worth your attention? Regardless of the circumstances, I can’t think of anything more important than God… ever!

what consumes you,mission,purpose,commitment,discipleship,love,priorities,church

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Begin with God and everything else tends to fall into place one way or another. If we want to be disciples of Jesus though, I think we must go beyond attention. We need to be consumed with God to the point we struggle to think of anything or anyone else. So, let me ask the question, what consumes you?

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When doing my usual daily reading of something from A.W. Tozer, I came across a question which pierced my soul: “Can you renounce everything which is inconsistent with the glory of God and the highest good of your fellowmen?” I wish I could say I immediately responded ‘yes’ without hesitation, but this wasn’t the case. I try and live a simple life but still find myself living in absolute luxury compared to almost all the other 7 billion people roaming this planet.

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By American standards, I’m not rich. It’s worse than that; I’m comfortable. Comfortable; what a horrible word in this context. Jesus has called his followers to a lot of things, but comfort was never one of them (Luke 9:57-62; Luke 14:25-27).

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Eugene Peterson once said, “Busyness is an illness of spirit.” I think not only is busyness an illness of the spirit, but busyness will also cause your spirit to be ill. Given this, I would implore you to stop being busy! I’m not certain when being busy became a badge of honor, but it seems like it has been in my lifetime. I hear my father tell stories of people sitting on porches and just talking with their neighbors, passing the days as if they had all the time in the world.

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Previous generations seemed to put a lot more stock in building relationships than we do today. And no, Facebook and WhatsApp do not count in this context. I’m talking about deep, personal, and lifelong relationships. I believe our obsession with busyness is killing our ability to forge true relationships with others.

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During some recent study, I was struck with a concept I had inexplicably never considered before. While I talk a lot about stewarding our resources of money and time, I had never considered stewarding the resources of our words. As a writer, the thought struck me deeply. I see words as being an incredibly powerful resource we can use to further God’s Kingdom or to tear it down.

stewarding your words,stewardship,commitment,discipleship,love,mission,humility,Ephesians 4:29,build up someone,2 Corinthians 10:3-5,take every thought captive,James 3:6,tongue is a fire

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Actions indeed speak louder than words, but words can change minds, influence change, and impact the world in ways that little else can. Yet, how much thought do you give towards stewarding your words each day? How often do you intentionally measure your speech to be certain each word you speak makes the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God?

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Reading the familiar passage known as “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20), it struck me I’ve been listening more to others interpret this Scripture than reading it plainly for myself. What we often hear is this is the commandment to take the Gospel to the entire world so everyone has a chance to hear about Jesus. But this isn’t what Jesus commanded us to do. He didn’t command us to simply go and tell others about Jesus. He said to go and make disciples of all nations.

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Being a disciple goes far beyond merely hearing the gospel. It goes beyond believing in Jesus and even accepting Christ. Disciples are those whose lives are absolutely committed to the person and mission of Jesus Christ. We are to make disciples of all nations, not just make sure all nations have heard His name proclaimed.

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