Knowing God's Will

Step 3: Improving Disciple-Making - Part 1

This means giving attention to what we should be doing more effectively - as well as helping others. It may involve better devotional times, better prayer life, better time use, improvement in setting daily priorities, more effective witnessing, and character development. We can make a great beginning but not be a strong finisher. The Lord was a strong finisher. He exemplified (John 17:4). The apostle Paul also was one who said, "I have finished my course"(II Tim 4:7) We must te...

Step 2: Disciple-Making

This is the process of moving a convert from initial follow-up to being a mature follower of the Lord Jesus. "Disciples are made, not born" (Matt. 28:19). Disciples are made by other disciples. It is the Lord's command: "Go you into all the world and make disciples" (Matt 28:19). It is called "The Great Commission," and it goes beyond sending missionaries to foreign fields. It is for all believers wherever they are and for all churches to follow its directives. It involves the assis...

Step 1: Follow-Up

This expression is not common to other languages. It refers to the process of helping newborn babes in Christ (I Thess 2: 7-12, I Peter 2:2, I Corinthians 3:1). It may also be needed with those who after their profession of faith in Christ did not receive this help. Doctors who help infants after birth are called pediatricians (baby doctors). Follow-up is "spiritual pediatrics." New babies, physical or spiritual, have several common needs; both need simple initial foods, like milk. Paul ...

Introduction to Thirteen Steps in Building Disciples

There are a number of steppingstones between a believer's conversion and a mature, fruitful life. We enumerate here 13 steps, with explanatory notes and suggestions on the road to being what Jesus called, a "true disciple." Believers are called to be disciples. How can this be accomplished? There are 13 things that should be laid before each believer who aspires to be a true disciple. Those who assist them should touch on each point. Here is an outline of each of these points. 1...

Trials Come and Go

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God..." -- Isaiah 43:2-3a. God has only one route for every child of God. It is through. Every trial, no matter how severe and long, is only temporary. We’re going through. "Through waves, through clouds and storms, God gently clears the ...

Pleasing God

      "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Most people live to please themselves, even among evangelicals. The lament of the Apostle Paul is even truer today: “all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” (Phil. 2:21). The Bible teaches plainly that it is privilege, not a burden, to live to please God. Yet ...

Decisions!

What guides your decisions in life? Are you swept along merely by circumstances, or do you find direction in God's truth? Bethlehem was going through lean times. Bethlehem ("the house of bread") was held in the grip of a severe drought. It was too dry for the barley and wheat to germinate. The food supply was running low. Sheep and cattle were dying. Elimelech decided to move, along with his wife Naomi and two sons. Moab to the east was having abundant rain and the crops w...

Am I Teachable?

The words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy are telling: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim 4:12). Apparently, Paul had reason to believe that there might be some who because of their advanced years would be reluctant to be taught by someone younger in the faith. Anticipating this, he admonishes his son in the faith to be an example to believers in more than just words, but in qualities befitting a servant of the Lord. The snare of thinking that we are beyond the point of teachability—for whatever reason—is a trap that can easily snag any of us. Perhaps it is because we have been a Christian for many years that we bristle at the thought of being corrected by someone other than ourselves. Or maybe because of those we associate with that we feel we are beyond instruction in a certain issue. Or maybe it is just a matter of simply refusing to admit that we are wrong—a lack of biblical understanding (and an abundance of spiritual pride!). For whatever reason, the excuses for not having an openness of heart and an attitude that is "easy to be entreated" (James 3:17) are difficult to justify in the light of Scripture—even though we may not be conscious of harboring these attitudes. The Bible is replete with examples of those who thought they were beyond teachability. The Pharisees scolded the man born blind who, after receiving his sight extolled the One who had opened his eyes. His clarion testimony only served to infuriate the proud Pharisees. Incensed, they chided "Thou wast altogether born in sins, dost thou teach us?" (v. 34).

Revive Us O Lord

If ever there was a time for revival among the Lord’s people, it is now. The dismal state of affairs in the Church is abysmally low and seems to be declining steadily. Though it is difficult to know what is truly occurring in the hearts of the saints, there are key indicators that lend credence to this claim. Attendance levels in many meetings are low and getting worse. There has always seemed to be a problem with many believers in the present generation adhering to this biblical priority. But in recent years the attendance level in many assemblies has dropped significantly. Just a few years ago when fears over “Y2K” were at their highest, the question on everyone’s lips was: “What will become of things?” But when the new millennium arrived and all the hype died down so did the saints. We are in danger of becoming like Israel who had complacently “settled on their lees” (Zeph. 1:12) and were in jeopardy of judgment from the Lord. Attendance in some assemblies is so poor, that many have had to cancel some of their meetings or had to adjust their fellowship and outreach programs due to lack of participation by the saints. Sadly, many of the Lord’s people do not see their responsibility and privilege to enjoy fellowship with each other and sit under the sound of God’s Word in order to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), a knowledge that multiplies our grace and peace. (2 Peter 1:2) Nor do they realize the long-term consequences in their personal and family lives of sowing to the flesh and not to the Spirit (Gal. 6:8) – consequences such as a lack of peace, joy, victory, and confidence in the Lord.

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