Archives For the seven

Becoming a Disciple

July 19, 2013

 Photo Credit: Anduze traveller via Compfight cc

What does it mean to be a disciple? The term is derived from a Greek word, mathetes, which means a pupil or apprentice. The implication was that a disciple would sit at the feet of the master teacher or craftsman, learn from them, and then go and spread the same message.

As Christians, we most often associate this word with those twelve followers who walked with Jesus during His earthly ministry. In Acts, we see the culmination of their training as we read Luke’s account of the actions of Peter, John and some of the other disciples.

But they weren’t always the confident bringers of God’s Word that we read about in Acts. We read about hot-headed, speak-before-you-think Peter in the Gospels. We read about men fighting for position as the honored ones to sit at the left and right of Jesus in heaven. We see story after story of flawed men.

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40

Becoming a disciple is a lifelong journey of learning. It’s a process by which you become more and more like the Teacher—Jesus—every day. It happens as you spend time in regular prayer. It happens as you personalize Scripture during your quiet time. You become more like Jesus as you practice outrageous generosity and compassionately serve others. You grow closer to Jesus as you nurture relationships with other Christians and engage in shared study with them. You are molded into a disciple as you joyfully worship with God’s people.

Not feeling like a disciple yet? Don’t worry. Just as Jesus encouraged and empowered Peter and the other disciples for ministry before they were fully qualified, He is using you to reach others. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t need to know all the answers. You don’t need to memorize the entire Bible.

You just need to be ready to be used. Keep learning and studying. Invite Jesus to teach you and use you. For you are His disciple.

Outrageous Generosity

January 4, 2013

Outrageous-Generosity-Series-Graphic-580

Two years ago, we embarked on a journey at First Trinity to evaluate where we were as a congregation in terms of our relationship with Jesus. There was an in-depth spiritual life survey conducted by a professional survey company, which then generated a 100+ page report on the spiritual condition of our congregation.

One of the most interesting things to come from that report was The SEVEN. The SEVEN are seven practices that we know, from research, will help anyone grow in their relationship with God. As we worked at defining and clarifying the seven practices, we wanted a single adjective to describe each practice that tried to convey the bigger picture for that practice.

This weekend we begin a series on practice #7 of The SEVEN: Outrageous Generosity. Dictionary.com includes the following definitions for outrageous:

  • Passing reasonable bounds.
  • Highly unusual or unconventional; extravagant; remarkable.

God calls us to an outrageous generosity, one that passes reasonable bounds, is highly unusual or unconventional, extravagant, and remarkable. Why? Because He is outrageously generous and calls us to become more and more like Him!

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:27-28

God provides for us in remarkable and extravagant ways. Beyond all of the earthly blessings like food, shelter, and family, He has gone one outrageous step further:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28