Friday, July 6, 2012

Make Mark Mature - Discipleship Goals #1

Goal # 1 - Quiet Time

 We are starting a new series of Blogposts based on sermons preached at Word of Grace Church. 

People often ask or are seeking for the next great method/strategy to grow church or reach the lost. 
I believe that strategy was given to us a long time ago and has not changed in content or its ability to produce fruit and be effective. Jesus said "I will build MY church" and He told us to" go and make disciples" . 

I have always been passionate and convinced about this one thing : the way to reach the world  is Jesus' last commandment. We need to make it our first commission i.e we need to be disciples who make disciples who will change the world. Here is the first step in being those disciples and in making them.


Disciple’s Goal #1 – Daily Personal Worship (Quiet Time)

Becoming a follower of Jesus starts with a relationship with the Living God through Jesus Christ his Son. For any relationship to develop two ingredients must be present: time and communicaton
Time – not leftover, throwaway time, but quality time in His presence and in the Word. Communication – where we hear God’s voice and in turn speak to him.
Our Lord himself modeled this in Mk 1:35 …”Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”.
In Matt 6:5,6  “And when you pray … v6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then, your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Jesus assumes we would spend time communicating with the Father in prayer! There are rewards of to be obtained – of a growing relationship with the Lord and answered prayer.

Quiet Time Success

Regular – 15 minutes spent each day is more beneficial than 1 hour once a week.
Privacy – For best results, have this time away from distractions such as a TV running in the background, or the phone ringing or people interrupting. Jesus got up early and went off to a solitary place where distractions were minimum.
Preparedness – The previous night make sure all that you need for a quality Quiet Time are in place. (Bible, journal, devotional book, pen, highlighter, color pencils etc).
Consistency – As you daily spend time with the Word and in Prayer, and do this over a period of time – 1 week, 2 months, 6 months … you will see amazing growth into Christlikeness and fruitfulness in ministry.
Accountability – As with dieting, going to the gym, practicing the piano, there is a daily ongoing battle between our flesh and the Spirit (Gal 5:17). One way to have victory is to link up with another believer and commit to having a regular Quiet Time and sharing with one another daily by phone or sms.

The Nuts and Bolts - What should I do?

4 essential elements can make up a good quiet time.

1.       Read the Bible Systematically. At least a chapter each day. Additionally you could read a Psalms and Proverbs.  It’s helpful to use a Bible Reading plan. Reading is the exposure to Scripture. Before you begin reading pray to the Lord to open your heart and mind by His Spirit.
1 Pet2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow up in your salvation.
A helpful tool is the use of a Devotional like Our Daily Bread  or Getting Started Daily (PJ Smyth)

2.       Meditate on a verse or two. Meditation means thinking deeply on what the verse says. What does it mean? How can I apply it? Meditation is the absorption of Scripture. Absorption leads to life transformation. Seek to apply what you have received.

Ps 1:1-2 Blessed is the man …. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3.       Journal (Write) what you have meditated upon. Write down your impressions. Put down any questions you might have. Copy out a verse or two. Share what you have received with a friend later in the day.
"Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through your fingertips." Dawson Trotman

4.       Pray using the ACTS model.
A - Adoration : Praise God for his attributes and qualities
C – Confession: Seek forgiveness from the Lord for sins you have committed.  1Jn 1:9
T- Thanksgiving: Acknowledge God’s goodness to you by thanking him for a few things. 1 Thess 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

S- Supplication: Spend time laying your needs before him. Mt 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Pray for:
1.       Your family, yourself (All kinds of needs)
2.       Your Church (Get a prayer bulletin from your church leader. Pray for Maturity of the Saints, Multiplication of people and people’s involvement in Mission)
3.       The Lost (Who in your circle of relationships – family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. do you want to see saved. Pray for them.
4.       The World (Pray for events taking place in your city, nation and the world, pray for God’s kingdom to come).
The above is a basic minimum. As you grow in your walk with the Lord your Quiet Time will also grow in quality and quantity and you will begin to experience fruitfulness and will grow in Christlikeness.

Putting it Together

1.       When will you meet with the Lord each day? Time - _______________
2.       Where will you meet with Him? Place - __________________________
3.       How long will you spend ? Duration - _______________
4.       Are the following materials in place:
a.       Bible
b.      Journal
c.       Pen
d.      Highlighter (optional – to mark your journal)
e.       Color pencils (optional -  to mark your Bible)
5.       Which friend will be your accountability partner? Name - ____________________________

"PPaul did not regard prayer as supplemental, but fundamental-not something to be added to his work, but the very matrix out of which his work was born. He was a man of action because he was a man of prayer. "J. Oswald Sanders 

As we do this we will find that our roots go down deep and they will grow strong. Great men and women of God have all attributed their "success" to this one discipline that they have maintained throughout their lives. Lets be people who are rooted in the Word and in prayer.

Colin D Cruz
June 2012

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