Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Becoming Like God - Series Conclusion

Last week's posts centered on the a possible resurrection for you and I based on the certainty of the resurrection of Jesus. Yet, such a possibility exists only for those who choose to follow Jesus. Two key verses for this series have been Ephesians 5.1 - that God's children should imitate Him - and that we must be purposeful in doing so (1 Timothy 4.7).

In concluding this series of posts, I want to provide a brief reminder of the disciplines we have encountered on this study. These Spiritual Disciplines are empowered by God, through His grace, but require us to do our part as well (see 1 Timothy 4.7 – note the word training, exercising, disciplining, etc. - depending on your translation).

The following table shows the Disciplines.

The words on the left were the different Disciplines covered in this series. The words on the right represent the application in one (or two) key word(s). Take a moment to notice the first letter of each word from the column on the right. What two words do you see as you read down the page? As I mentioned in the second post last week, being justified by God, through the blood of Christ, occurs in a moment. However, becoming like God takes a lifetime of living faithfully, responding to the faithfulness He has shown to us.

The "Next Step" for this week was DECIDE. But DECIDE also depicts our next step as it relates to this series. For last week it represented a need to decide about having faith in Jesus. For the series it represents how to live for Jesus, deciding what to do from here. Thus, in reviewing our 4L’s, I will present them from the perspective of the entire series. The 4L’s – Learn, Live, Love, Lead – are a model to help us grow as disciples. So, specifically what might you DECIDE to do to take the next step in being disciplined? Determine what step is right for you and begin there with the goal of moving forward over time.

How do you decide matters for your life? What motivates your decisions? Develop a vision or purpose to guide you.

Begin to life’s make decisions according to your vision and purpose. This allows us to respond to challenges more effectively when they come – and they will come.

Remember that the Disciplines are a means to an end – not the end. This can help you decide to persevere – to be disciplined and be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8.29), which is only fully accomplished in God’s time (Philippians 1.6).

Share with others how living by purpose and conviction makes for more effective living.

*This series of blogs was adapted from Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

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