Tag Archives: disciple making

Mary and Discipleship

Luke 1:26-38
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.[1]


Who is Mary?

We learn the basics of who Mary is from Luke 1:26. It is pretty straight forward information, but it all bears noteworthy information about her.

  • She is from Nazareth in Galilee
  • She is a virgin
  • She is engaged to Joseph, a descendent of David (2 Samuel 7:12)
  • The Lord is with her
  • She had found favor with God

Mary is a young teenaged girl when she is introduced to us by God through the pen of Luke.

I don’t know about you, but I have always regarded Mary to be a girl beyond her years in maturity of faith. I don’t know any teenage girls who would respond to the angel Gabriel in the manner in which Mary demonstrates. However, a well-discipled teenage girl might have the wherewithal to respond in faith as Mary.

Examples of discipleship from Mary’s encounter with Gabriel

Fear

In Luke 1:29-30 we see that Mary was afraid. The meaning of the Greek word used here is to agitate, trouble. To stir up throughout. Spoken of the mind, and elsewhere, to disturb, agitate.[1]

We see this often in the scripture when an angel shows up to make an announcement to humans. The first, and very human, response is fear.

I have never been visited by an angel, have you? I can only imagine it would be an unsettling experience.

As a matter of fact, when I was encapsulated by the Lord Jesus years ago, it was an unsettling experience for my mind and soul. I knew change was coming and it frightened me beyond any fear I had experienced in the past. It was a fear of the unknown, the changes to take place and the disruption to my pre-Christian life.

Fear has been hard-wired into all of us when big change is on the horizon. Mary’s reaction to Gabriel’s appearance was her natural human response.

When you begin the discipleship process with another, fear will likely be one of the new disciple’s greatest adversaries.

Help a disciple overcome fear with faith.

Share some of these “fear not” verses with a new believer who is frightened of the changes they will be experiencing throughout the process of discipleship.

  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • John 14:27
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • 1 John 4:18

Questioning

Mary’s second response to Gabriel was to question what he was telling her. She wasn’t questioning from an attitude of doubt, she was questioning from an attitude of faith.

Luke 1:34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

When Mary is described as a “virgin” the original language for the word “virgin” literally means one who is not intimate with a man. She knew how babies were made; she just didn’t know how that could possibly happen to her. She was a good and obedient betrothed; she wasn’t messing around on the side.

Mary’s question is a growth question. Her eyes could only see the human aspect of the scenario described by Gabriel. She was asking how. She did not ask why.

She had her plans laid out; she was betrothed to Joseph and she would be married when the year’s time had passed. This pronouncement threw a kink in her timeline.

As disciple makers we will be asked how questions all the time. Be prepared to give an answer from scripture.

When I was being discipled, I asked a lot of questions. I had no biblical background and had never owned a bible. Every bit of information I was being taught was a foreign concept. My disciple maker possessed the patience of Job and answered all my questions with compassion and patience. When my disciple maker didn’t know the answer she would pull out a reference book on the spot or she would research the answer and share it the next time we met.

Gabriel answered Mary’s question with compassion and patience.

Submission

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary’s response to Gabriel’s message is astonishing! Her complete submission and obedience are what all disciples are to achieve.

Mary heard the message, questioned it with faith, then completely submitted to it with full confidence in the One who delivered it.

Obedience to His Word is where real growth begins.

For some disciples of Christ obedience to His Word seems as easy as walking – it comes naturally to them. For others, obedience will be a challenge.

Make sure you can identify the difference between learners, listeners, and life-giving obeyers.

  • Learners take in information and may or may not obey.
  • Listeners hear, but do not obey.
  • Life-giving obeyers take it in and obey what they are told.

if-we-truly-trust-and-believe-in-gods-power-to-deliver-on-his-promises-alannah-francis

Read the article by Alannah Francis here!


[1] NASB

[1]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1298). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Nurturing the Divine Nature

Just as food nourishes our bodies to keep us healthy, God’s Word is designed to keep us spiritually healthy.

Are you starving or thriving?

Are those you disciple starving or thriving?

Most of us eat three meals each day, but as sure as skipping breakfast causes us to grow weary before the noon meal, skipping daily spiritual nourishment will leave us fragile, unguarded, and easy prey to the corruption of the world around us. We are literally unarmed against the onslaught of bullets the world and our spiritual enemy fires at us.

I am a walker. I take short walks three to four times each day. As I walk around the neighborhood in the evening, I can see that the television is on in nearly every household I pass. I don’t know what my neighbors are watching, but I often wonder what sort of moral or ethical filters (if any) they have in place to combat the onslaught of wickedness and sometimes erroneous messages being presented. Are they filtering the messages they are hearing and seeing?

In order to quell any suspicion of my condemnation, I turn on the television in the evening as well. I usually watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. If you have ever watched this program, you are aware that it is less than upright in its morality and is entirely accurate in its portrayal of our spiritually bankrupt culture. Quite often I fast-forward through scenes that are completely objectionable and I still get the story line without being subjected to offensive human morality.  I have filters in place that say, “Don’t go there!”  My filters are not perfected, but after more than thirty years of sitting at Jesus’ feet, there are filters in place.

The point being — what filters has the Lord put in place in order for you to navigate the murky moral waters in which we dwell?

There is a spiritual discipline we have learned by constant practice and development. It is the spiritual discipline of reading God’s Word daily.

I love the way David says it in Psalm 63:2

psalm-63_2-i-have-seen-you-in-the-sanctuary

David was a frequent flyer to the Lord’s sanctuary.

It is a fundamental responsibility for all His children to frequent His sanctuary to behold His power and glory.

His sanctuary is wherever we choose to make it. His sanctuary is wherever we are.

We enter His sanctuary seeking an increase of grace and peace for the day.  [1]

Nourishing the Divine Nature

2-peter-1_2_4-grace-and-peace

Nurturing the Divine Nature means we enter His sanctuary daily presenting ourselves to behold His power and glory, thereby taking in His promises and guidance as our daily nourishment.

Do you go into His sanctuary every day to behold the glory and power of the Lord?

Are your heart, mind and morals being transformed according to His divine nature?


Disciple Making Process

So, how do we, as disciple makers, train a new believer to nurture the divine nature they have been granted at conversion?

What do they need that will save them from the corruption of the world and their own evil desires?

It is our duty, as disciple makers, to train a new believer to form godly habits – but how?

If you have raised, or are raising children, you know they didn’t come forth from the womb with an appetite for steak or pot roast. You fed them milk before you introduced pureed cereal, vegetables and fruit. Later, after they grew some teeth, you methodically introduced them to solid foods. For me, it seemed like a never-ending process, but in retrospect it only took a year to get them to eat solid food.

Training a disciple in godly habits is the same process.


1 Cor 3:2 Nurturing DiscipleshipBaby food

Give the one you are discipling a daily assignment.

A new disciple’s greatest need is assurance of their salvation, so give them assurance of salvation verses to read each day.

  • Click here for a list of Assurance of Salvation verses.
  • Choose one per day until you next meet together.
  • Ask them to memorize their favorite verse from the list.
  • See the blog post “Self-Feeders” and pray for them every day!

When you come together again, ask them to tell you how they know they are a Christian.

If they are unable to identify themselves as a Christian, share the gospel message with them and invite them to become partakers of the divine nature.

Introduce “Quiet Time”

You can call it whatever you wish. Simply introduce them to the discipline of daily Bible reading.

Ask them to read only one assurance of salvation verse each morning.

Ask them to think of any questions they may have about it and write it down for your next meeting.

If you are led by the Spirit, call or text them to see if there are any questions after a few days. Do not call or text if you are not led.

Gentle encouragement is what they need as they begin their journey of discipleship.

One note here: If they do not complete these verses for your next meeting, you will want to pray about their commitment to the discipleship process. Do not waste your time if you feel they lack interest or motivation. If they have read more than the one verse per day, you know you have a dedicated disciple!


[1] Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (2 Pe 1:1). Peabody: Hendrickson.


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How to Begin Disciple Making

“Keep the first things first.”  I have no idea who coined this phrase, but it is a good rule of thumb in disciple making.

Let’s begin by seeing how Jesus began His disciple making process:

In Luke 6:12-13 we get a big glimpse into the beginning of Jesus’ disciple making process.  THIS is the epitome of keeping the first things first!

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

Prayer is the first of the first things.

Please note in the verses above that Jesus had many disciples.  Disciples are followers.  Apostles were  those sent out as messengers with delegated authority.  Keep in mind that the goal of all disciple making efforts is that we produce disciple-making disciples.


It is critical to never forget the goal of disciple making is to make disciple-making disciples.


Jesus prayed all night long for the twelve disciples/apostles.  I don’t know about you, but I have never spent an entire night in prayer for anything.  I have however, prayed for those whom He would choose for me to disciple.  Most of the time I didn’t have a particular person in mind.  It was interesting to begin praying for that someone, or someones, without any prior knowledge of who they would be.

I have performed this process many times in my adult life and I know the seriousness involved in praying for those whom you will disciple.  These would-be disciples are not unknown to our Father, but they may be to us.  There is a divine sense of anticipation when a disciple maker prays for that someone, or someones, they will be discipling.  I know as I pray for whomever He pleases that my life will be impacted as much, if not more, than those I would be discipling.  I knew I would be making disciples, but more than this, I knew I would be exquisitely gifted with forever friends and fellow soldiers in Christ’s army.  We will spend a minimum of eighteen months together, if not longer.  We wouldn’t just meet for discipleship training, we would socialize together, fellowship together, worship together, etc.  Disciple Making is wrapping our life around the lives of those we disciple, not merely one time per week, but truly knowing one another and doing life together.

So PRAY and ask the Lord to bring someone, or a couple of someones, into your path and invite them to join you in discipleship training.  The journey you embark on together will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself, your disciples, and for His kingdom.


A few qualifications for screening discipleship candidates:

  1. Do they have a hunger and thirst for His righteousness?
  2. Do they understand the commitment they are making?  Time:  study time, memorizing scripture, Bible reading, etc.
  3. Are they willing to make the commitment?

While this list may seem limited, they are the starting point.  Lay out the time commitment up front.  We live in a very hurried culture, so make certain they understand that discipleship training will be their highest priority for the next – however long you determine.  If you use discipleship curriculum, you will know how long the commitment will be.

Happy disciple making, brothers and sisters!  May He richly bless the desire of your heart to make disciples for His kingdom.

warren-wiersbe-saved-v-discipleship-quote-02112016

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Journaling

The disciplines of the faith are not meant to be dogmatic or legalistic; they are simply a testament of our faithfulness and devotion to the Lord.

Journaling will undoubtedly be more random than some of the other disciplines of the faith such as bible reading and prayer because the pressures on our time are relentless. However, some do and will journal daily.

I can testify to the validity and veracity of journaling. I do not journal daily, but I have in the past.

Four compelling reasons to journal:

Journaling facilitates encountering God

Journaling is a written testimony of the work the Lord is doing in our lives. Journaling always follows bible reading and begins with a response to what you have read. We respond to whatever He has revealed to us in our reading for the day. It may be a few verses, a phrase, or a powerful conviction that spoke to you. Respond to it by pouring your heart out to Him.

Journaling gives us freedom to be who we are

Journaling is where we can be as honest and raw as we want. It is a place to lay out the secret grudges, fears, and pain that we are bearing. He is a very big God who can handle it all and wash it clean. He will give us His perspective when we submit it to His lordship. We will find answers and a line of attack for dealing with the darkest parts of our soul.

Journaling is a healing conversation with God

Journaling is a place of receiving. We spill our fears, concerns, and burdens which we might never share with another human being and find healing in the release.

Journaling creates stones of remembrance

Stones of remembrance are seen throughout the Old Testament. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan to take the land God promised to them, they set up stones of remembrance that they could return to and remember the mighty work of God on their behalf.

Your journal is something you can go back to from time to time and witness the growth and transformation that has taken place.

Those fears, burdens, confessions, etc. will seem trivial in light of the work He has wrought in the process of journaling and prayer. You will recall where you were at the time and how you were feeling and know the spilling of it on paper – to the Lord – marked a moment of healing, cleansing and transformational growth.


Examples of Journaling

I found a few images of art journaling, prayer journaling, and bible journaling which I thought might prompt some creativity in your journaling. Not all of us are artists, but as I look at these images I see the amount of time that was put into them – time that was invested in glorifying the Lord and impacting the journalist’s soul.

 

 

creative-journal-1
from Anita at https://aseknc.blogspot.com

 

art-journaling-1-kimberly-shan
https://kimberlyshaw.typepad.com

 

prayer-journal-image
Prayer Journal from Daniella Dickens on Pinterest

 

how-to-journal-in-your-bible
From Tumbler – author unknown – Bible Journaling

 

Follow Disciple Makers on Facebook!

 

Enjoy journaling for the glory of the Lord and the cleansing of your soul and spirit!

Let us know if this article was helpful to you.

Learning

A disciple is a learner.

Make certain the person you are discipling has a hunger for learning or you will be wasting your time. This may sound like a harsh statement, but it is true.

A teacher teaches, but it is incumbent upon the learner to learn. There must be a hunger and thirst for God AND His Word in order for a learner to learn.

Learning the disciplines of the faith is tedious toil. It is only achieved and perfected by those who are willing to commit themselves wholly to the Lord.

Pray for them. Pray the Proverbs for them. For example:

  • Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
    Father, I pray you grant a healthy fear of You to (name of disciple). Let (him/her) not despise the wisdom and discipline set forth for (him/her) in the process of discipleship training.
  • Proverbs 4:7 – Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
    Father, I pray you will give (name of disciple) a panting hunger for your wisdom; give (him/her) a sacrificial hunger to acquire understanding from Your Word.
  • Proverbs 10:8 – The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    Lord, I pray you give (name of disciple) a wise heart that will accept your commands. Give (him/her) ears to hear and eyes to see the truth you have for (him/her).

Jesus trained twelve men during His three years of ministry. There were multitudes that followed Him, but He selected only twelve motley men in which to invest Himself. There were three disciples (Peter, James and John) who were privy to more than the other nine; they witnessed the transfiguration of Christ and they were invited to keep watch as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His arrest.

One of the key elements of discipleship is an eagerness to learn and grow spiritually.

The multitude was looking for easy answers, miracles, and a feel-good message; anything that would alleviate their present condition. The multitude wasn’t interested in self-sacrifice and demanding training. Their only concern was for temporal relief, not eternal salvation and wholehearted dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Choose whom you will disciple with colossal wisdom and discernment.

Test their commitment if you are hesitant.

I read a story about a fruitful disciple maker who had a young man pestering him for discipleship training. The young man even moved into an apartment overlooking the house where the prolific disciple maker lived. As the young man continued to ask what he needed to do to be discipled, the disciple maker told him to keep the snow off his driveway and then he would consider further. The prolific disciple maker never had a speck of snow remain on his driveway that entire winter. He knew the young man was earnest and eager to learn by his diligence in keeping the snow off his driveway.

Here are a few things to look for in a potential disciple:

  1. Is he/she eager to learn?
  2. Is he/she reliable? Will he/she commit to daily and/or weekly time with you.
  3. Is he/she available to meet with you and put in the effort (homework, daily bible reading, scripture memorization and journaling) required?
  4. Is he/she faithful?

Or, as a friend of mine examines prospective disciples, she uses this acronym:

qualification-of-discipleship-raft


Teach Them How to Study and Learn

Let me preface this section with a simple prayer I use when I open God’s Word. It goes like this: “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”

This simple prayer sets my heart and mind in a state of listening. My mind tends to wander a bit when I’m reading, so this prayer helps me focus my mind and heart upon hearing what He has to say to me.

Inductive Study Method

I was instructed by my disciple maker to NOT purchase a study bible. She told me it would cause me to become too dependent on another man or woman’s opinion or thought – I needed to learn to study it, interpret it, and apply it for myself. She wanted me to be a Berean (Acts 17:11); one who receives the message with eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Since I was an eager learner, I grabbed hold of her instruction and education. The final phase of our discipleship curriculum was to study the book of 1 Thessalonians inductively. My disciple maker used The Navigators’ “Design for Discipleship” series that is still in print today. The seventh, and final, book in that series teaches inductive study methods. It was my first introduction into inductive study methods. Since then I joined in Precept Ministries Bible Studies and eventually went through their training to become an instructor. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of the inductive study method.

The inductive study method was first described to me with an analogy of learning the anatomy of a frog. I could either read about what someone else had written about the anatomy of a frog or I could dissect a frog and learn the anatomy – hands on!

I urge you to teach inductive study methods to educate disciples and you will witness Proverbs 9:9 come to life. “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”


Experiential Learning

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Although much less rigid and structured than the inductive study method, experiential learning is accomplished with a Bible Reading Plan.

Bible Reading Plans are readily available online or in your local book store.

I would highly recommend advising a new disciple to read one book of the Bible at a time. The stories are congruent and compelling.

Experiential learning occurs by the power of the Holy Spirit in the following areas:

  • Teaching – The Holy Spirit teaches us what is right.
  • Rebuking – The Holy Spirit teaches us what is not right.
  • Correcting – The Holy Spirit teaches us how to get right.
  • Training in Righteousness – The Holy Spirit teaches us how to stay right.[1]

How are you doing in the Learning discipline of the faith?

Remember, those you disciple will model your lifestyle and practices more than they will your teaching.

In the comments section below, let us know what methods you prefer for teaching disciples to be lifelong learners.

 

[1] Wiersbe, W.W., & Wiersbe, D. 1986. The elements of preaching: The art of biblical preaching clearly and simply presented.  Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, IL.

Bible Reading

Peter, James, and John fell asleep when Jesus went to pray at Gethsemane and asked them to stay in this place and keep watch. Jesus returned to them three times and found them sleeping. Mark 14:32-41

We read this story and react with embarrassment or mocking at their falling asleep, but the truth is, we are all prone to proverbially fall asleep when it comes to the disciplines of the faith.

When you awaken in the morning, visualize Jesus sitting on your living room couch. He is longing to meet with you every morning. He desires to be the first, but we sleepily walk past Him and get on with the business of our day without giving Him a moment’s thought.

Our lack of discipline causes us to fall asleep when He is waiting for us to meet with Him every morning. This is a ringing siren that we do not fear God enough to give Him the first fruit of our daily lives.

The disciplines of the faith are our first fruit. They are the stuff of which disciples are made and affirmed.


Bible Reading

Why is bible reading such an important discipline to learn?

I would say the most important reason is found in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than a double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Since the word of God is living and active, meaning it is alive with the Holy Spirit; the very nature and essence of God is with us as we read His Word.  It is in the reading of His Word that He shows up and corrects, rebukes, and encourages us.

Reading your bible daily is a discipline that requires perseverance and a plan.

We all live chaotic lives with pressures and demands, but the discipline of daily bible reading will pay dividends in alleviating the pressure and chaos that threaten to undo us at every turn.

Let the anchor hold! The Word of God is our anchor. It keeps us in safe harbor when the world around us is caught in the tempest.

Find a Bible reading plan and discover what works best for you in completing it.

Many might instruct that Bible reading take place first thing in the morning. However, God doesn’t care the time of day; He only cares that you consistently show up!

Any disciple maker worth their salt will instill the disciplines of the faith.  The fundamental nature of disciples is to follow and model.  If you, as a disciple maker, are reading your bible daily the affect will be obvious to those you disciple.

Go ye, therefore, and make disciples…. Mt. 28:19

abraham-lincoln-on-the-bible-09-10-2016

Here are a few recommendations for Bible Reading:
  • Go to Blue Letter Bible and choose a Bible Reading Plan
  • Go to Bible Gateway and choose a Bible Reading Plan (available in audio format)
  • Go to The Listener’s Bible; beautifully read by Max McLean (short and sweet)
  • Get up an hour earlier and read in a quiet place
  • Listen to the bible during your morning commute
    • Find a Bible app with audio for your electronic device
  • Read before going to bed
  • Disciple Makers: encourage journaling when reading, then ask them to share some insights when you are together

3 Habits for Hearing His Voice

 

Luke 8:8 “He who has ears, let him hear.”

As disciples, it is our supreme privilege to hear the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus.

How do we know we are hearing Jesus’ voice and not the voice of an imitator or imposter?

The sheep know their shepherd’s voice.

John 10:4b  …his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

When I became a mother I had the benefit of staying home to be her mother.  Her bedroom was on the second floor of our tiny townhouse. When she would awake from her nap, I would whistle to let her know I was coming to get her.  This tiny baby was able to whistle when she was four months old!

Do you think she recognized her mother’s voice?  She certainly recognized her mother’s whistle – and imitated it well.

Think for a moment about your parents’ voices.  Are you able to recognize those voices in a crowded room?  Indeed we would recognize those voices anywhere, anytime.

Not only do we recognize the voice of our parents, but we recognize the content of their character by the content of their conversation.  We hear their voices in our thoughts; they influence our character all the days of our lives (good and bad).

It is the same with knowing our Shepherd’s voice.  Every steadfast disciple of Christ has learned to recognize His voice and follow it as well as imitate it.

His voice is in our heads and hearts.  Therefore, it comes out of our mouths via the process of transference.

Whatever our hearts are filled with spills out of our mouths unaware.

 “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b

Have you ever participated in a conversation with a bitter person?
What about an angry person?
What about a Jesus lover?

Think about all your family members and friends for a moment. They are a mixed myriad of characters that have influenced your life story and your voice.

Each person we engage in relationship with has a distinct character aspect to their conversation.  We recognize them by the content of their conversation.

All disciples need to learn to recognize Jesus’ voice by the content of His conversation with us in His Word.

As disciple makers, it is essential we teach those we disciple to hear The Shepherd’s voice.  So, how do we go about teaching the delicate skill of hearing His voice?

 

There are three critical habits that must be formed in every disciple’s life.  It is not an overnight occurrence but a repetitive, habitual, learned discipline.

#1   Reading God’s Word

“The Word of God is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12

Teach those you are discipling to acknowledge the truth that our God, Savior, and Holy Spirit are present when a saint opens their bible to read.

I have made it a habit of saying this simple prayer as I open my Bible:

 “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

 

3 Benefits of a Simple Prayer:

It places us in a position of consciously listening for His voice.
It acknowledges His presence in our midst.
It subjugates our self to His authority over us.

 

Reading God’s Word is a habit to instill in every soul you disciple.

Teach them to listen for His voice as they read.  Instill in them a fondness for His Word. As they meet Him in His Word, they will become familiar with His voice because it is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword.

It is noteworthy that we all benefit from journaling after reading.  This is where we process what we have heard.  In this electronic age we are able to journal electronically.  Teach them the discipline of journaling after they read God’s Word.  The journal provides stones of remembrance that we can go back to for encouragement.  It enables us to see the work the Lord has wrought in our lives for His glory and our highest good.

Introduce them to a Bible Reading Plan.  Any Bible Reading Plan for learning to hear His voice is one of the more successful tools for making disciples.

You may discern that a Bible Reading Plan is what will work best for you and those you disciple.  Let the Spirit lead in deciding the best approach for the one you are discipling.

 

#2   Scripture Memorization

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Ps. 119:11

I know, I know – I’m hearing your audible sighs from cyberspace on this one.  However, I can testify to the validity and veracity of scripture memorization.

As a brand new babe in Christ, I was put under the strict discipline of a valiant disciple maker who required me to memorize scripture.  I memorized one verse per week.

Those first memory verses are still hidden in my heart to this day.  They pour forth in my mind and out of my mouth with ease.

I like to refer to scripture memorization as “God’s Tool Box.”  The verses and passages we commit to memory are always with us and are available for God’s purposes as we interact with others in our daily lives.  By memorizing scripture, we are transformed into His living, breathing representatives to a lost world.

Why Memorize Scripture

Allow me to borrow a superb list of scripture memorization benefits from John Piper. I am giving him full credit and linking to his blog post called “Why Memorize Scripture.”  I could not have constructed a better list.  (The link to this article can be activated by clicking on the title, “Why Memorize Scripture.”

  • Conformity to Christ
  • Daily Triumph Over Sin
  • Daily Triumph Over Satan
  • Comfort and Counsel for People You Love
  • Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers
  • Communion with God

Scripture Memorization Chuck Swindoll

Helps for Memorizing Scripture

Topical Memory System
The Topical Memory System has been used by generations of Disciple Makers and is a proven means for memorizing scripture verses that encounter life’s various demands.  Published by The Navigators.

Scripture Typer
An excellent free app for your electronic devices called ScriptureTyper.  You type in your memory verses and this app helps you memorize it by displaying some of the words of the verse (every other word) and you fill in the missing words.  You can also type the verse from memory until you have mastered it.

 

#3 Prayer

What does prayer have to do with hearing His voice?

Prayer is our conversation with God, therefore prayer is a two-way conversation.

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isa. 64:24

The prompting we receive to go to prayer is from Him.

In the midst of prayer He hears us.

Teaching those you disciple to pray is critical to their progress as a disciple.

Can you imagine going through your entire life never communicating with the people you love?

How can we say we love Jesus if we never communicate with Him?

Prayerlessness isolates us from God and His mountain-moving power.

Prayer is where we get to know Him and His voice, but He also gets to know us and our voice.  Prayer is where He transforms us into His image.  He changes our mind, He corrects us, and He transfers His character into us.

Prayer is beneficial on many levels:

Prayer humbles us.
Prayer places us in His presence.
Prayer is our lifeblood to the ruler of the universe.
Prayer puts us in touch with the one who has all the answers.
He assures us He is in our midst while we are in prayer.
He answers prayer.
He prompts our spirit to pray for matters we do not foresee.

Here is a link to The Prayer Hand.  It is a tool for teaching disciples to pray.

In conclusion, let us all discipline ourselves in such a manner as is pleasing to God.  Let us draw near to Him that He might draw near to us and speak into our heart and soul that we might have ears to hear His voice.

Please comment below and let us know if this article has been helpful for you.  We invite conversation at Disciple Makers!

But..But..But!

What Are Your Objections to Disciple Making?

What keeps you from entering into discipleship relationships?

Are you objecting to His command to “go make disciples” in Matthew 28:18-20?

Let me share a personal story of my greatest objection to something the Lord asked me to do.

When I was a brand new baby believer in Christ, our daughter was barely two years old. My disciple maker talked with me about homeschooling. I listened to her case for homeschooling with outward respect, but internal skepticism.

Firstly – I had never heard of homeschooling. Secondly, I was not a certified teacher. Thirdly, as a baby believer, did not assume I was capable of teaching my child – that is what public schools are for. Therefore, when my daughter came to school age, I sent her off to public school.

However, the appeal to homeschool remained in the back of my mind.

Have you ever noticed when God is calling you to do something for Him, it (or He) never leaves you alone? The thing He is asking of you never leaves your thoughts! Continue Reading