Discipleship Is a Process

November 19, 2012

Today’s Reflection

DISCIPLESHIP IS A process. … Discipleship requires forward movement. Understanding faith as a continuous journey can be a daunting task for some people. We live in an age of instant gratification. … But the completion of a disciple isn’t done instantly. It is a lifetime process.

If you were to plot your faith journey through your lifetime [on a graph], it would provably have ups and downs, showing high points and low points in your relationship with God.

For some people, there is a specific, identifiable time of commitment to Christian living. John Wesley called this “new birth.” Today, people might refer to “being saved” or “giving my heart to Jesus.”

Some other people cannot remember a time when they were not Christian. Others describe a relationship with God that has grown slowly over time. Many people make re-commitments to Christian living throughout their life.

- Teresa Gilbert, Patty Johansen, and Jay Regennitter
Charting a Course of Discipleship

From page 48 of Charting a Course of Discipleship: A Workbook on Christian Discipleship by Teresa Gilbert, Patty Johansen, and Jay Regennitter. Revised by Delia Halverson. Copyright © 2012 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How would you describe your growth as a disciple of Jesus? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The spirit of the LORD speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue.
2 Samuel 23:2 NRSV

This Week: pray for victims of natural disasters. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Do you long for a deeper experience of faith and a place to nourish your spiritual life? The Academy for Spiritual Formation is excited to announce that Academy #35 is coming to the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California and we’re looking for qualified recruits to participate in this life-changing opportunity. Academy #35 begins in January 2013. Applications, brochures and additional details are available at http://Academy.UpperRoom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember C.S. Lewis (November 12).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

robert moeller November 19, 2012 at 3:05 am

I’m enjoying a new church, communion breakfast once a month, weekly service, have committed myself to this church.

Yes. Lord, here on the East Coast Sandy did quite a lot of damage and people are having a tough time. Its taken a while to get electric power back on. Lord bring your love, peace, and hope to all who are enduring the results of this storm. Help us through your love to help them. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Jill November 19, 2012 at 3:39 am

I was saved early on, but my Christian life was dormant for quite a while. My new re-birth, re-discovery or maybe discovery of just what it means to be a Christ follower began in earnest in 2004. Since then there have been many realizations and much recognition of His hand over the course of my life. “The graph” has been on the move as His transformative work is consistently in motion, even when I don’t realize it.

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heidi November 19, 2012 at 6:00 am

While John Wesley had his heartwarming moment, his was a slow and frequently arduous journey up to that point. It’s important to remember that, especially if, like me, the journey has had more questions than answers. And even as I do feel certain that I, even I, am beloved of God, other questions still lurk. But I bieve questions are signs of a healthy, active relationship with God. My “come to Jesus moment” really is nit what it’s been about (for me).

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Buzz November 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

My journey has been convoluted. Sometimes I’m on the road. Sometimes I’ve wandered off. Sometimes, I’ve plainly turned around and gone the wrong way only to hear God whispering to me to turn back. Sometimes there’s been only one set of footprints where I know I walked that way. Then I found out I have been carried by my Loving Savior. Sometimes I’ve gone weeping along the journey. Sometimes I’ve gone quietly along the way as if I wouldn’t be seen or heard. Sometimes I’ve stumbled. Many times I’ve danced singing praise.

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Michael Ulmen November 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I was Baptized into the Catholic Religion at about 2 weeks old. I went to 8 years of Catholic Grade School, 4 years of Catholic High School, and 2 years of Catholic University. Then I decided that Physical is0lation during the week, was demeaning to women and made them too much of a toy to play with on weekends! I remained for many more years, until a Catholic Priest invited me to come to the Rectory after supper; which I did, thinking that he wanted to discuss something with me. When I arrived at the Rectory, we discussed something about the Mobile Home park where I lived, and which had been a Garbage Dump many years before I lived there. He started getting antsy, and finaly told me that the reason he had asked me to come there was that he wanted me to Sodomize him. I was dumbfounded and very confused. He repeated that he wanted me to Sodomize him. I thought that Priests were more dedicated to Celibacy than that and told him that I didn’t want to do that, because I believed that was a serious Sin, and wondered why someone whose life supposedly was dedicated to being a good example to others could ask me to do something like that! He finaly started crying and asked me to forgive him. I was very glad to get out of there and go back to my own home! About 6n months after that I left the Catholic Church for the first time! I came back to the Catholic Church a few years later because my mother, who knew nothing about this situation, was upset that I had left THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. After much soul searching and attempts to become a Catholic Priest, I left the Catholic for good. I had come to the conclusion that I would not be a good witnes to the people that I would be trying to evangelize. At this time, I am coming near my “Graduation” into the next life and I still don’t want anything to do with the Catholic Church.

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Buzz November 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

What a heavy burden for you to bare, Michael. Please, it’s time to set that burden down…and walk away.

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robert moeller November 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

I agree with Buzz and Heidi. Michael you have carried a very heavy load for a very long time, God knows that and is with you. God’s love is more than sufficient to heal you. God bless you.

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