Tag Archives: biblical

Counting the Cost of Discipleship

In September of 2009, I started an Immersion Discipleship Training (IDT) program. Now, a year later, I have much to reflect on.

This week, I started my second year of my IDT student internship at New Song Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s safe to say that I’ve been effectively discipled in this last year. I am more proficient in the Word and Spirit. I walk in more power and authority. I also have a lot less free time on my hands.

Biblical discipleship is not that common of a thing. Few churches and Christian communities invest the time in the upcoming generations.

The current trend is quite opposite of what I’m experiencing at New Song. Most leaders today hoard their positions, grasping them with a greedy death grip. New Song’s leaders don’t do that.

Discipleship is expensive! But not necessarily in the monetary sense. Sure books and materials for Bible classes cost money. Yes, the cost of food to feed students is consequential. But the greatest cost of biblical discipleship is time.

Time, talent and treasure. God asks us to sow all of those things into His Kingdom. These triad T’s are being sown into me.

Time
Want to show somebody you love them and care about their future? Invest time in them. Give them the thing that cannot be repaid. Give them the ticking seconds on your life’s clock.

The staff at New Song Christian Fellowship believes in pouring into the next generation and they do it very well.

Talent
Each person is created by God with a unique set of gifts. These gifts are not meant to be exploited for personal gain. Rather, they are designed to be shared. We are created to bless and complement each other. We are meant to work together. We’re weak in some areas so others can be strong and help us with them. Too, we are strong in particular practices so we can practically provide for others. Daily I am strengthened in my weak areas because the staff at New Song share their talents with me and help me refine the talents God gave me.

Treasure
I admit it. Money is important. But money doesn’t make the world go ’round. The earth spins because Jesus holds all of the universe together. We can’t serve two masters, God and money. We have to instead master our money and use it for God’s Kingdom. Numerous people have sown financially into me. I live in a host home rent-free. I’ve received anonymous financial gifts. I’ve gotten gift cards to buy food. My high school mascot was a Pirate. As a Pirate, I really love treasure. ūüėÄ

My hope for every person reading this is that you have an opportunity to be discipled. Know Christ better. Grow in your knowledge of the Word. Know that the Bible is not this obscure, impossible to understand book. Realize Christ is alive. Life a life of dynamic power and movement.

If you’re not plugged into a dynamic community of believers, don’t despair. There’s hope for you.

The Lord has impressed it upon the hearts of the New Song leadership to create a resource called Disciple’s Handbook. This way anybody who wants to can be effectively discipled. The Great Commission is carried out through this resource. We’re currently in the process of writing the pilot edition of Disciple’s Handbook. It’s not perfect. There may be a typo or thirty. But we know that it’s God-inspired and Holy Spirit directed. The end result of Disciple’s Handbook will be three editions with 12 lessons. Right now we’re up to lesson seven in edition one. We’re working on writing lesson 11 right now. However, the rest of the book and editions haven’t even been written yet! That’s how fresh this is.

Go to New Song’s website to download the lessons for Disciple’s Handbook. Post a comment and let me know what you think of it!

Pastor Dale Evrist, Senior Pastor of New Song Nashville does a daily Old Testament podcast on iTunes. If you want to grow in understanding the Old Testament and how it applies to you today, listen to his free podcast. It’s full of great truth and life lessons. Download iTunes if you don’t already have it. Here’s a link to his Walking Through the Word Podcast on iTunes.

Consider yourself resourced!¬†I am going to warn you, though. Laying down your life in obedience to Christ is costly. But it’s absolutely worth the investment!

Fulfillment

As promised, I shall write about something God was speaking to me on Sunday. ¬†Honestly, as I wracked my brain trying to remember that specific thing to write this blog, I couldn’t remember. ¬†Every time that I read the Bible, God reveals something new to me. ¬†So each day, there’s a new revelation. ¬†It’s wonderful. ¬†My church really promotes reading the Bible every day and reading the whole Bible in its entirety every year. ¬†I’m a firm believer in that, as well. ¬†If you’ve never read the whole Bible, I recommend it. ¬†And no, don’t give me that, “The Old Testament is boring and I don’t get it,” junk. ¬†There is SO much in the Old Testament! ¬†It is so interesting! ¬†Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus and the coming of the Messiah. ¬†It’s amazing. ¬†Ask God to reveal things to you when you read the Bible and He will. ¬†Simple.

On to what I learned on Sunday! ¬†My pastor was talking about how often the words fulfill and fulfillment are used in Matthew. ¬†Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (OT). ¬†Jesus fulfilled God’s wrath. ¬†Jesus fulfills everything we need.¬†

Hold up! ¬†Stop right there. ¬†Jesus fulfills everything we need. ¬†That sentence stops me. ¬†It stopped me Sunday and it stops me now. ¬†I’ve been asking myself, “Does Jesus really fulfill me? ¬†Am I content with Him? ¬†Or am I fruitlessly pursuing other, empty, never satisfying things?”

Sadly, the answer for that query is that Jesus often doesn’t fulfill me. ¬†He’s more than able to do that, but I don’t let Him. ¬†I’m so busy chasing after things I think will fulfill that He doesn’t even get the opportunity. ¬†Take food, for example. ¬†Tons of people eat to try and fill a void. ¬†I used to do that. ¬†If I’m not careful, I still do that. ¬†People hunger for attention and affection, so they eat food. ¬†Does that make sense? ¬†No. ¬†Not at all.¬†

Another area of fulfillment is lust. ¬†Lust is a product of the flesh. ¬†The flesh always wants something. ¬†Bigger, better, more expensive, more sleek, more interesting stuff. ¬†The flesh, in the biblical standpoint, is the opposite of the Spirit. ¬†Spirit is of God. ¬†Flesh is of fallen man. ¬† The flesh never stops lusting. ¬†So, how would I stop lusting? ¬†I’d have to live in the Spirit and let God be my fulfillment.

I often lust for candy or pop or new, expensive gadgets. ¬†And now, instead of relentlessly pursuing those things until I get them, I’m going to seek God first. ¬†Lust is only a quest for fulfillment. ¬†Jesus fulfills everything I’ll ever need. ¬†So, instead of chasing the object, I’m going to chase God. ¬†Chasing lust is empty. ¬†

It’s natural to hunger for fulfillment. ¬†But it’s not healthy to hunger for material things. ¬†I need to take my natural hunger and turn it toward something fulfilling: Jesus.

Here’s how I’m going to apply this: ¬†The next time I’m really lusting after something, I’m going to immediately start praying and read the Bible. ¬†I’m going to fill myself with things that satisfy. ¬†I know I’ll feel full after a time of intimacy with Jesus. ¬†

Well, that’s it. ¬†That was my giant revelation. ¬† ¬†May seem simplistic but I think it’s profound.