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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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discipleship

We All Are Teachers

From Overcoming the Times. Blessings and Enjoy!

I Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

As believers, we should acknowledge the eternal holiness of Christ by revering Him as the Lord of the universe who is in control of all things.

To give a defense: As Christian faith will be and is falsely accused. WE should have a rational answer to respond to these false accusations.

Read the rest of the post here: We All Are Teachers

Discipleship only works if you do this…

Some great thoughts on discipleship from Dan Ledwith here. Blessings and enjoy!

Have you ever wondered why Paul kept putting so much time and effort into the Corinthian church? Why didn’t he just move on in the face of so many problems, headaches, and heartaches? Why did he—time and time again—take the time to explain why they should hold to his yoke and way of life, when they kept listening to people who were so clearly trying to take advantage of them?

I submit that it was because Paul really, deeply, and truly loved them. He had so personally invested himself in them, with them, and for them, that he could not—indeed would not—let them go. His discipleship of the people of Corinth was no casual relationship simply for the sake of delivering the gospel, it was part of it. As loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind and loving your neighbor as yourself are not two but one commandment, the gospel preached and the love it calls us to, are also one.

Discipleship is relational. It is personal. It is life-on-life. You cannot disciple in a biblical sense from a distance. It is up close and personal. It is relational because love is relational. Love is not a concept to be understood but a relational commitment to be lived out.

I have been learning that love takes time. Paul spent upwards of two years with the Corinthians. Two years with the Apostle Paul and they were still this messed up! But Paul was not giving up. He was willing to put in the time. Jesus spent three years with the disciples teaching them what loving one another looked like. Love takes time. It is not learned in a few weeks, or even a few months. It takes years to get any good at it, and after that there is always room to grow…..Read the rest of the post here: Discipleship only works if you do this…

Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what is the difference?

What did the Great Commission REALLY command us to do? Here are some great thoughts from James at the Isaiah 53:5 Project. Blessings and enjoy!

 

  • Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus.
  • Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus.
  • Converts go to church. Disciples are the church.
  • Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it.

 

…..read the rest of the post here: Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what is the difference?

How to Equip Your Children to be Future Christians (Raising #GenNext)

Here is this Saturday’s installment of this great series by Elihu at Elihu’s Corner from the series RaisingGenNext. Blessings and enjoy!

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Yesterday, we covered why we need to teach our children. Today, we will be covering how to teach our children. This is merely an overview. Entire books have been written on this subject!!

For starters, let me make a disclaimer: I am a youngish parent. My kids are all under the age of 9. What I am about to suggest are principles I have learned from older, wiser people and/or have put into practice myself. If you are interested in raising godly adults, I highly recommend that you talk to older parents whose children have a strong foundation in the Lord. Ask what they did with their children. Ask multiple people. (As the Bible says, “In the multitude of counselors, there is wisdom!)

Let’s dive in!

#1: Make time to read from the Word every day.

Elisabeth Elliot has mentioned in multiple books how her family had devotional time every morning. Corrie Ten Boom noted that her father read a chapter from the Bible every morning. In both cases, all the children in their families grew up with a love for the Lord. That tells me that consistent, active teaching is of great value.

When my children were old enough to sit in a high chair, I would use their temporary immobility to sing bible songs with them and read from a very simple children’s picture bible with very abbreviated stories. This is the one I used for them when they were babies:

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(You can check it out here.)

The older ones enjoyed the simple stories too. (For their benefit I’d read from a different Bible at breakfast). Once they got into the toddler age, I read various rhyming bibles. If they could memorize Dr. Seuss books, then I reasoned that the rhyme would engage their minds in the same way. They thoroughly enjoyed that. I used these two:…..read the rest of the post here: How to Equip Your Children to be Future Christians (Raising #GenNext)

Do people see Jesus in your life?

It’s Saturday night, and time for the next installment of the BuildingGenNext Series from Elihu at Elihu’s Corner. Blessings and enjoy!

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The next three posts in this series are going to address the second in ‘E’ in Raising Gen-Next Christians: Exemplify: Demonstrating how a Christian ought to live. Before launching into the mechanics of how to be an example to our children, new Christians and other believers, we need to address who our example ought to be.

Several years ago, there was a commercial on TV in which a young boy was following his father everywhere and attempting to imitate him in every way. The commercial concluded with the Father smoking a cigarette and the son trying to mimic the action. The shock of that concluding seen was intended to discourage parents from smoking, because children would ultimately do the same. Our example shouts louder than our words.

When we become a Christian, we are born to a new life, adopted by God, and endowed with a new name. We have to re-learn how to live in order to resemble our new Father. Like a little child, we want to do what our Father does so we can make him happy. Jesus demonstrated this during his life on earth.

We have one small problem: Jesus lived on earth 2000 years ago! He didn’t live in modern-day society with all it’s quirks nor did the church exist while he was on earth. So how are we supposed to know what we ought to do in various situations? This is where good, hard, life-long analysis of God’s word and experienced Christians come in. Those who have been following the Lord for a long time should have a working knowledge of what God desires and should be an example worth following. If they reflect Jesus, they will be an example for others to do likewise.…..Read the rest of the post here: Do people see Jesus in your life?

Forming Relationships with New Christians

Tonight, we continue on with our sharing of Elihu’s great study, BuildingGenNext. We do fail new Christians in our churches in many ways, and here is some great counsel on developing relationships with them. Blessings and enjoy!

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(This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.)

The young man sat statue-like in the pew, observing the various chattering knots of people. There were hugs exchanged, hands waving, and smiling faces. Three weeks had elapsed since he was baptized. He was supposed to be “part” of this group now, and yet he still felt like an outsider.

The first week, there had been an outpouring of congratulations, exuberance and introductions. He definitely didn’t know more than a handful of names yet. As the weeks had trickled by, he was just… well… he was just there. The sermons were still excellent, but the preacher assumed that everyone in the audience knew all this stuff. He shook his head with a small chuckle. He still couldn’t find books like—what was it—Habakkuk? Well, it was something like that. The Bible classes were hard to keep up with too. A lot of the discussion was over his head. Maybe his friends at college were right. Maybe this was a joke. It was as if his conversion was the end-goal and now these Christians didn’t care if he was here or gone.

He shifted uneasily in his seat, debating whether he should slip out before services started or if he should stay and worship. His roommates had been planning a day at the beach. They would certainly still be there. He was certain that God wanted Him to worship, but his resolve weakened with the mounting sense of ignorance and isolation……read the rest of the post here: Forming Relationships with New Christians

GenNext: Raising up Christians who know the Lord

All my readers probably know of my affinity for series of various sorts. I like to write posts that are series, as well as read posts that are series. One can get lots of detail on a topic without having to read 10,000 word posts.

Having said that, here is a new series by my friend Elihu that I will be reposting for the next few Saturday nights. Blessings and enjoy!

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STOP! Don’t skip this post—it isn’t just about raising kids!

For the next several weeks, we will be focusing on the importance of equipping children, new Christians, and current Christians to be pivotal members of the body of Christ.

The church is in crisis. The number of people identifying as Christians is dwindling. Pew-warmers seek entertainment, and feel-good messages rather than biblical literacy. Young people are leaving the faith in droves despite targeted “programs.” Church leaders are baffled. 

We are in a battle that’s raged since the birth of Creation. Satan wants us all to reject, ignore, or simply forget God. What will we choose? How will we help those who follow in our footsteps? Are we allies of God in this battle or are we unwittingly aiding the enemy through carelessness?

If we want the church to continue tomorrow, we need to actively train replacements today—and I’m not just referring to our own children. Every Christian should be taught, trained, and strengthened for action—especially when they are new in the faith.

The history of ancient Israel teaches us many lessons. They did a terrible job training their children (and each other). They were supposed to be God’s people, set apart from the world to fulfill his purpose (sound familiar??). The calamitous results of their neglect and apathy should shout at us through the ages, yet we fall into the same traps. Judges 2 tells us of their slow decay (you can read the full text here):

And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.  And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.

~ Judges 2.10-12, ESV

The next generation did not know God, so they did evil, and then abandoned the Lord. Do you see the progression?….read the rest of the post here: GenNext: Raising up Christians who know the Lord

What is the difference between a Christian and a disciple?

That is a great question, and Michael at Altruistico does a good job answering it in our continuing reading of his great series on Discipleship

Please, if you have enjoyed this series, head over to Michael’s place and share your thoughts.


 

The terms disciple and Christian are related but not synonymous.

The Greek term for “disciple” in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28). Jesus’ followers were called “disciples.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will in response (Matthew 9:9).

Jesus was quite explicit about the cost of following Him. Discipleship requires a totally committed life: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Sacrifice is expected: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

Not all of Jesus’ followers were able to make such a commitment. There were many who left Him after a while. “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66)…..read the rest of the post here on Altruistico

 

Why is making disciples important?

We are continuing this great study in Discipleship. Michael has been defining just what a discipleship is, now we will begin looking at why it matters. From Michael at Altruistico.

The making of disciples is our Lord’s means for answering the prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). In His infinite wisdom, Jesus chose to use dedicated followers, His disciples, to carry the message of salvation to all peoples of the world. He included this as a command in His last words before His ascension to heaven: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Making disciples is important because it is the Lord’s chosen method of spreading the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. During His public ministry, Jesus spent more than three years making disciples—teaching and training His chosen twelve. He gave them many convincing proofs that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah; they believed on Him, though imperfectly. He spoke to the crowds, but often He drew the disciples aside privately to teach them the meaning of His parables and miracles. He sent them out on ministry assignments. He also taught them that soon He would be returning to His Father following His death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21; John 12:23-36, 14:2-4). Though they could not comprehend it, He made the disciples this astonishing promise: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). Jesus also promised to send His Spirit to be with them forever……read the rest of the post here on Altruistico

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