Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’

Delights Of My Desire

This morning I was journaling in Proverbs and I came across one particular proverb in chapter 29, verse 17.  This one verse brought to light an epiphany for me as I contemplated what would bring the delights I desire.  The verse goes like this:

 

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

As a father there is only one thing that I truly desire for my children – that they would follow the Lord faithfully and pursue what He calls them to do.  Whether they marry the person of their dreams, get the job they hope for, live in riches or poverty – that really is of no matter to me, only that they would whole-heartedly follow the Lord.  I know that if they do this one that they will walk into the right relationships, find the right career, and have all that they need.

I know that the way I discipline my children will be a determining factor in how they grow and make choices.  I want to not only discipline them well when necessary but also instill within them disciplines.  I want them to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and understand how much He loves them, seek Him through prayer, and find their purpose in Him.  These are the things that would bring delights to my desires.  In order to see this come to pass I need to remain available to my children at all times to guide them in the ways that they should go.

If I could offer any advice to other parents it would simply be that your desires for your children would be to grow in the Lord and to follow Him faithfully.  All the other things are fluff in comparison.  I back up this statement with the Scripture in Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 that encourages us to “seek first, the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”   When we follow the Lord all the other stuff – health, relationships, careers, personal needs – they get taken care of.  

Let’s not be afraid to discipline our children.  The cost of not doing so is too great.

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Integrating The Generations

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Last night Roger Archer and Chad Veach from Puyallap, WA spoke at the 09 Foursquare Connection.  They spoke on the importance of integrating the next generation within the church and leadership.  

Challenged.  Challenged is how I feel right now.  Challenged because, while I believe whole-heartedly and passionately about doing this, I truly feel clueless.  I’ve read the books, I’ve heard the messages, I’ve even had it modeled for me; but I still feel like I miss the mark in doing this time and time again.  

I know I have been called to do this – to reach the next generation, pour into them all that has been poured into me, and release them to go and do the same.  Yet, I feel like I fail miserably at this.  I feel like I choose the wrong people to pour into.  I have been told by many that I have great wisdom and discernment and yet the people I do my best to disciple seem to fall like flies. 

I want to be more effective.  I want to make a true, lasting difference.  I want God’s glory to be expanded through the ministry that many young leaders will step into.  This morning my prayer is that the Lord would equip me and make me more effective for His Kingdom and not mine.

Lord, do it, please.

Lessons From The Run v4

The day I went public with my goal to run a half marathon I had many people asking me about it.  I had a few people mention to me that my goal had inspired them to do things as well.  I have a few friends who have taken significant steps to improve their health by starting to live a more active lifestyle who have thanked me for challenging them with my own actions.  Over the past five months I have been asked frequently how my training has been going.  kevin_biglake

Many people were aware of the date of the half marathon that I was to run and were encouraging me the week before.  The day after the race and throughout this past week I have had many people ask me how the run went.  The fact that they are asking me without me prompting them to by dropping hints that the run is over makes me believe that they truly care about how the run went.  They are taking the steps to follow up with me and see how I am doing, how the race went, and what my next plans are.

One thing that I have observed, and been guilty of myself, is putting such and emphasis on getting people to take an action step and then leaving them all on their own after making the move.  In the church at large I see a great effort in getting people in the doors of our buildings so that they can hear the Gospel.  I see the desire to “get them saved” and add a number to a monthly report.  I see a lot of backs being patted for the number of people who have given their lives to the Lord.  These are great things and reason to celebrate – truly they are.  But usually before the confetti has even been swept up we have forgotten about the person that we are celebrating over.

It seems as though follow up is a lost art.  Once a person “crosses the line” in church they are just part of the crowd.  As if the line they crossed is the finish line when in all actuality it is a starting line.  I believe we (church leaders, church members, and Christians in general) need to place a much greater emphasis on discipleship.  To actually help people along in their journey with God.  We need to be ready and available to sit and answer questions.  This task can seem daunting but I believe it is one of the greatest things that we can spend our time doing.  To be able to help a person who is trying to figure out who God is in their life is a miracle.  To stand beside a person in their doubts, fears, and questions and allow them to verbalize their true feelings – without judgement – and then direct them to what the Bible says is an incredible honor that we all need to actively participate in.

I loved being able to talk with people about how my race went.  I was really encouraged by the support I received from people after the race was over.  I am actually considering running another few races simply because of the feeling that I got from having people show interest in my running.  I can only imagine what that feels like for others who have people who are interested in helping them along after praying a prayer.  I think we need to be much more excited about doing that with people than just praying with them to accept Jesus.  

Even more than that, I believe Jesus is counting on us to be the ones to reach out to those who are new in their faith and to make time with them a priority.  Crossing a finish line doesn’t exist in the Christian faith.  Not until death.  Let’s help people continue along in their walk by following up with them.  Let’s listen to the words of Jesus as He commands us to “go and make disciples”.

Who is it that you need to connect with?  How are you helping someone along in their faith?