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The Adventure of Following Jesus

- The Way of the Disciple -

PART 2 - Getting Ready for Action

As a Disciple, We Are In...

A RACE - It is like an Olympic race, except...

Our race has eternal value.

The way we compete is different.

From one perspective: We run the race with the goal of being in first place... as if we will be the only winner.

From another perspective: We are not competing against each other, but we are working together with each other... so we all can receive the prize.

A BATTLE - It is like a World War, except...

It is not a physical battle; it's a spiritual battle!

It involves spiritual forces & spiritual weapons.

It involves fighting in the realm of the heart and mind.

There are certain things we fight indirectly.

** When the enemy throws a grenade at you, it's not wise to see how close you can get to it! **

How to Get Ready

We Must Prepare

Being trained, having self-control, being focused.

The foundation for our survival: Communication with our leader (God).

God communicates with us through his Word, the Bible.

We communicate with God through prayer.

If we do these things, we will be ready for success!

Being Ready in Attitude and Thought

The basic pattern for knowing how to think:

Our basic attitude about the present and the future:

Our attitude about the present:

Our view of the future:

Remembering our new identity:

Things have changed for us.

Who we belong to:

Who we are:

Being Ready in Action and Power

The basic pattern for knowing how to act:

Having the right priorities:

Being "single-focused."

Putting everything else in "second place"; willing to give up anything that gets in the way of our highest priority.

Willing to get rid of anything that is incompatible with the priorities of a disciple.

Doing the "impossible."

** The ability to be a disciple is impossible in our own power. Salvation itself is impossible, from the human standpoint. It's only because of what God has done, that we can expect success!

Willing to keep on going, even when the odds seem to be against us: Perseverance / Patience:

Growth takes time; there will be "growing pains."

>> At times, we may "stumble" (fall into sin). When this happens, we are to get back up, rather than staying there in defeat!

>> God will keep us from permanently falling.

We have plenty of reasons to be encouraged.

>> First, we know that, in this present world, unpleasant things are going to happen. So we have no reason to be surprised about it.

>> These difficult times are temporary, so we should place our focus on Jesus and on what is permanent.

>> We have a guarantee that God will use these unpleasant things - as well as everything else that may happen - to accomplish good in our lives.

"Hang in there; don't give-up!"

This Way of Life is Not for Some

It is not for the lazy or cowardly: They will never make it as disciples.

It is not for the self-confident.

** The disciple of Jesus is GOD-confident, not SELF-confident. **

REMEMBER THIS: Being a disciple is an adventure, a journey. But it is also a challenge; it is not for the lazy or for those who trust in themselves.. We must train and strengthen ourselves, using the power God gives us. (And we must admit that it is God's power, not our own.) "No pain, no gain."

To Think About...

  1. If you accept these things as true, how will they affect your life?

  2. If these things have no affect on your life, what does that tell you about yourself? What do you need to do about it?

Dennis Hinks © 1999