Category Archives: disciple making

Under construction – together

Each year when my reading plan brings me to it, I love reading about the details the tabernacle in Exodus. This always reminds me of the fact that God cares about us and the details of developing our lives. 

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis put it this way:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

Peter put it this way:

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  ‭‭(1 Peter‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

One of the ways we get built up is suffering – I’ll be preaching about that this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Charlottesville. Another is walking with fellow disciples: regularly, intentionally, vulnerably, asking one another Jesus type questions about life following God.

Are you walking with fellow disciples who can point you to God when times are tough? So that rather than ask “Why me?” We can ask “How will you get glory through this oh God?”

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a fully human life 

More from Wilkins

Discipleship and discipling mean living a fully human life in this world in union with Jesus Christ and growing in conformity to his image.

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discipleship programs?


Sometimes our discipleship programs thwart true discipleship. What I mean by this is that we can become so involved with our programs that we isolate ourselves from real life.
Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship by Michael J. Wilkins Read 

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when buffeted by circumstance … thoughts from a year ago

One year ago I was in Europe on mission. In fact I had just returned to Budapest from Ukraine. That trip to Ukraine was marked by the unrest, war and plight of refugees. In Budapest I was surprised by a birthday cake the night I arrived as I met with friends in their home fellowship. It was great fun. That day Russian seperatists shot down MH17. The following day I was flying home and had a bunch of emails asking if I was ok. I responded yes and read the news of the atrocity. As I write today I think of the recent Russian veto in the UN Security Council. The vote was on calling the Srebrenica massacre a ‘genocide.’
War is a part of this fallen world. It is to be anticipated because of the ambition of fallen men who seek their own empire (we are all guilty of this in our own ways, big and small).

For those of us who are students of Jesus, we can take heart…

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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balancing the mind and heart for renewal

In his book on prayer, Tim Keller argues well for what I would call a biblically informed theology while seeking (again my words) a deep experience with God. 

I’ve said it before, this book is the most important book on prayer, and therefore growing spiritually, in a long time, maybe ever. It is worth your time.

Recently, a couple of us have gotten to chapter 11 in which he states:

“Owen promotes what could be called a radically biblical mysticism. It comes through meditation on Scripture, on theological truth, on the gospel—but it must break through to real experience of God.”

This is a great description, I think, of what Paul urged when he told to “renew our minds” in Romans 12.

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Christian, are you living as a ruin? As spiritually poor?

Imagine you get a notice that someone left you some money, but for various reasons, you assume it is a very modest amount. You get busy and don’t get around even to checking on it for quite a while. Finally, you do so and are thunderstruck to discover it was a fortune, and you had not been doing anything with it. You were actually rich but had been living poor.

Keller, Prayer, p. 168, a challenge from this text:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, … that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭14, 16-19‬ ESV)

Don’t let your life be a ruin.


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