This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
Mark 1:35 (NIV) "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."
This is one of my favorite verses from the Bible. I memorized it in 1960, over fifty years ago. Each morning when I wake up, it is the first thing that pops into my head!
How did that happen?
At an early stage of my development as a young disciple, I was taught how to begin each day with time in God's word, and time praying with my friend, the Lord Jesus. I value this time above all else in my life, and without it, I do not get the life-sustaining nurture that I need to live the Christian life.
As I practiced this over and over, this verse just seemed to "pop up" each morning. I believe it is God who is prompting me to spend time with Him.
What a miracle that He would want to talk to me. Who am I but some insignificant person plopped down in the middle of this mess that we call a world. Why in the world would he want to talk to me? What could I possibly do for Him?
Well my dear friend, that is "Amazing Grace", just like the song we hear so often. I could substitute my name for "a wretch like me" in the song.
The first lines of the song read, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found. was blind, but now I see."
As you spend time in His word, you see that He really delights in getting to know us. Philippians 3:8, from the Amplified version, talks about "becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him." There are so many examples of the devotional in the Bible, that it is evident to me that this is the main way we communicate with our Father.
I think for purposes of a scriptural example, we need to turn to Exodus 16. You might title this chapter, "How to have a quiet time."
Please take some time and read over this chapter and notice the following principles:
1. They gathered it (manna) every morning.
2. Everyone is responsible for gathering their own food.
3. Everyone should gather as much as they need for their own personal needs.
4. When the day got going, the sun grew hot and the manna melted away.
5. They could not live tomorrow on what they gathered today.
6. They did this for forty years.
Read Matthew 4:4. "Jesus answered, it is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
What is the relationship between the manna and the word of God?
Read John 6:48-53, 63. How does Jesus compare himself to the manna in the wilderness? How can you interpret verse 63 and apply it to the daily quiet time?
Reading the Bible is God's way of talking to you. Learning to listen to God is a learned habit. The Bible says to "be still and know that He is God."
The daily devotional life will build you up, keep you fed, and encourage your heart. After you read from the word, get out your notebook, and begin to write down prayer requests. I would suggest you keep a journal of all God is saying to you.
Down through the years, I have referred back to my old notes in my journals, and been greatly encouraged. Many times I have had to relearn old lessons again. The journals are a neat way of reminding us what God said to us. I also refer to the many notes in my Bible, with dates and comments what God taught me on that day.
So concluding this lesson, it is so valuable to spend time with your new disciple on a regular basis. Having a quiet time with them, will knit your hearts together. Practice praying together with the lessons you learned in Lesson #4.