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session structure In your hot little hand is around 70 pages of spiritual meat – stuff to ground and grow your relationship with Jesus. Don’t freak out over the length though ... each session runs pretty basically. If you decide after the introductory session that ‘The Journey’ is for you, then here’s how it’ll work: Each session will take around 1 1⁄2 hours, and involves 6 journey sections. Don’t expect to get through all the material (like only read the underlined verses – go back over the others in between sessions) ... instead, use it as a guide to bring up real issues that meet you where you’re at right now.

[memorise this]

a key Bible verse to memorise and meditate on to shape your thinking.

[information]

get the low-down for the session before heading off on your journey.

[navigation]

open your Bible and start searching, talking through key discussion questions.

[acceleration]

you see the destination, now take on these challenges to live it out this week.

[pit-stop]

take a rest-break and reflect on your progress. It’s time for self-evaluation.

[manual]

hungry for more? Check out the highways and by-ways that’ll get you there fast.


You’ll probably find it works best to leave‘acceleration’, ‘pit-stop’, and ‘manual’ for during the week, focussing on the other sections instead. Then, to finish the session, watch the related ‘Nooma’ clip and pray over what you’ve learned, committing the week to God. Whether you’re doing ‘The Journey’ by yourself, with a discipler 1-on-1, or even in a small group, know that God has great things in store for you, and the next 5 weeks will help lay a strong foundation for this life-long journey. God bless, KBC Youth Ministry Team. (contact church@kbc.org.au for more info)


Introduction

the journey... what have i got myself into? Welcome to “the Journey”, a four session interactive look at what it means to follow Christ. Whether you made this decision in the last few days, or even the last few decades, what you’ll find here are some travel notes to give you a sure start toward Jesus. Picture that you’ve just bought a ticket in Brisbane for Dreamworld. You’ve never been there before, but you hear that it’s amazing – stuff to see, rides to go on. So, you put that ticket in a security box, and every now and then you open it to see that it’s still safe, thinking of how good Dreamworld is going to be. Is something wrong here? The ticket is great, but you haven’t even started the journey. You need to make some plans and get moving! In a similar way, maybe you’ve heard the ‘good news’ of Jesus … God loves you and created you that have a personal relationship with Him; You’ve sinned and are guilty before a perfect and just God, deserving of eternal separation from Him in Hell after you die; Jesus Christ is God’s only solution for your sin – He died on the cross to be a sacrifice, paying for your sin, so that you can be forgiven and restored to relationship with God; You must personally respond to Jesus in repentance and faith, accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, in order to be saved. Perfection in Heaven waits, eternally with God. Maybe you’ve even responded – you’ve got your ticket to Heaven, but nothing’s really changed. You’re wondering if there’s more. Well, there is – this is just the start of your journey. This journey is called “DISCIPLESHIP” … being a follower of Jesus, becoming like Him.

[memorise this]

PSALM 84:5-7 BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE STRENGTH IS IN YOU MY GOD, WHOSE HEARTS ARE SET ON PILGRIMAGE. PASSING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF BACA, THEY WILL MAKE IT A FOUNTAIN; THE EARLY RAIN ALSO COVERS IT WITH BLESSINGS. THEY GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, APPEARING IN ZION BEFORE GOD.


Let’s unpack this. A ‘pilgrim’ is one who’s on a sacred and long journey – a traveller. This journey begins right where you are, imperfections and all. It ends in Zion, Heaven, where you’ll finish your sanctification (like a butterfly in metamorphosis) and reflect the glory of Christ, with Him for eternity (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 1:6). Is it an easy path? Hardly! It passes directly through the valley of Baca. It’s not a detour; it’s the true path. What is ‘Baca’? It means weeping – a place of sorrow. Hard-times. Why would God lead you there? Because it’s only in the hard-times that we leave behind unnecessary baggage slowing us down (Hebrews 12:1), and are in a position to be shaped in our character and Spirit to become like Christ (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:3-7; 2 Corinthians 4:17). God will take your own tears in that desert and sink them deep like a well that will give refreshment and life both now, and the next time you’re dry. God, through His Holy Spirit is our power source, walking with us every step of the way, from strength to strength, growing in demonstration of His character (Galatians 5:22-25). Finally we reach the destination – Christ-likeness, perfection, Heaven – where God Himself wipes away our tears and the dirt off our faces, welcoming us to His place of rest and peace for eternity (Matthew 25:21; Revelation 21:3-6). Think of a road-trip you’ve been on … what elements needed to come together to get you to the destination? List them. For each, there’s discipleship parallel as you follow Christ. What is it? When you decided to follow Jesus, everything changed. Maybe you didn’t notice it at first, but you switched from following your own path, to following His path. What is that path? It’s the narrowway. Check out Matthew 7:13-14. What does the wide-path look like? Describe it in terms of today’s society. What does the narrow-path look like? Also describe this – what does it take?

THE JOURNEY | INTRODUCTION

6

The narrow path is a path of righteousness, holiness, keeping pure by obeying God’s commands. Why bother? Because only the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). God’s light shines on this path (Psalm 119:105), and His commands lead to life (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). So, whilst following Jesus can be tough in a society following the wide-path, His commands aren’t a burden to keep (1 John 5:3) – they are safeguards to keep us in line with God’s awesome plan for us (John 10:10; Hebrews 11:6).


At the core of it all, your identity has changed. When you decided to follow Jesus, you placed Him as Lord, boss of your life. Saving is what He does when you place Him as Lord. So, who does He say you are? More than any other identity 1) You are a DISCIPLE … a life-long follower of His, learning from Him, becoming like the master. Read John 15:1-20 for more insights. 2) You are a DISCIPLE-MAKER … working with God to bring each person you encounter, especially your friends, closer to Jesus, investing your growth into others. Matthew 28:18-20 captures it well. What does it mean to be a ‘disciple’ of Jesus? What other clues are revealed in these verses: Romans 6:13; John 13:34-35; 14:20-24; Philippians 3:10-14; Luke 14:25-35; John 8:12; Matthew 12:46-50; John 8:28-32. How does your life compare to Jesus? In what ways are you like the master? In what ways are you unlike the master? Jesus will guide you on this journey. What does it mean to be a ‘disciple-maker’ for Jesus? Look up these passages from the bible to see what God says about being a ‘disciple-maker’: Matthew 4:18-20; 28:18-20; Acts 4:18-20; Romans 1:15-17; Matthew 5:16; Mark 5:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2. How well equipped are you for this role? What would it take for you to be ready? At its simplest, what does it look like to live as a ‘disciple-maker’? Have you ever helped one of your non-Christian friends to find out more about becoming a Christian? What happened?

THE JOURNEY | INTRODUCTION

7

Maybe this is new to you. Maybe it sounds huge, scary, even impossible. Don’t fret. Remember, it’s a life-long journey. God, through His Holy Spirit, is with you all the way, giving you strength to make it home to Heaven. Also, you’re not alone. You have Christian friends to walk the journey with, and a discipler to guide you. And any time it all starts to look too complicated, bring it back to the basics. Jesus summed it all up by telling us to keep our eyes on two things – sort these out, and the rest will take care of itself … Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

Love God … Love Others. God will take care of the rest!


Are you on this journey? What will it take? Even the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worthwhile? Absolutely! Enjoy the journey. How did ‘the journey’ start for you? What was life like before becoming a Christian (disciple of Jesus)? When did you first hear and respond to the call of Jesus? Why did you choose to follow Him? What did you expect? “This is how I know for sure that I really am a Christian …” What has been awesome in your journey so far? What has been hardest in your journey? (i.e. your valley of Baca experience) What are you most excited about, and most afraid of, on this journey? Watch the ‘Nooma’ Clip #1 “Dust” (https://www.nooma.com/intro.html for details)

Pray with your discipler that you’d be open to where God’s Spirit leads.

8

THE JOURNEY | INTRODUCTION

{SOUL-SEARCH} > Over the next few days, decide if you’re willing to take on this journey. Count the cost. If you’re working through ‘The Journey’ 1-on-1 or in a small group, get the contact details of your discipler, and give them a call during the week as to whether you’re committed to walk with them over the next four sessions.


[memorise this]

“FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” (JOHN 3:16)


Session One

travel basics... your bird’s eye view of the journey


n o i t a m r info

you currently are; b) ow stuff like a) where kn r tte be list d u’ yo , car es to get there … the e you get in the if you have what it tak u want to take. Befor e) yo re; y the rne t ge jou y to an nt e. e wa tur tim Pic why you hit it every c) how to get there; d) thing, you’re bound to where you’re headed; ture. If you aim at no pic big the ow kn to u need goes on. Basically, yo l be able to step back the verses below, you’l gh ou thr ate vig na u Jesus. As yo it comes to following It’s no different when er. eth tog fits all it see how from the journey and

navigation

Share your thoughts on the following ‘big picture’ questions … What’s God like? ORIGIN: Where did we come from? IDENTITY: Who are we? MEANING: Why are we here? MORALITY: How should we live? DESTINY: Where are we going?

<1> Read through the following verses to understand more about your journey of faith. Jot down in your own words the key elements of your journey …

11

In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION ONE

What’s God, the One calling you to take the journey, like? > day one Read: Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Psalm 98:9; James 1:17; 2 Peter 3:9

Where does your journey start? > day two Read: Matthew 9:9-13; John 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________


Where does your journey end? > day three Read: Matthew 25:21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 1:6; Revelation 21:3-6 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Who’s both your guide and model? > day four Read: Luke 6:40; John 14:21; Philippians 2:3-11,3:12-14; Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 John 2:6 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ What’s the path like? > day five Read: Psalm 16:11; 27:11; 119:33-35,105; Proverbs 4:11-18; Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:6 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Where do you go for best directions? > day six Read: Psalm 1:1-3;119:104-105; Proverbs 2:6-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12-13 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Why would you even bother? > day seven Read: Psalm 37:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Jer. 29:11; John 10:10; Romans 8:28; Heb. 11:6

12

<2>Watch the ‘Nooma’ Clip #2 “Kickball” (https://www.nooma.com/intro.html for details) Do you really trust God, that He will lead you to what’s best? Why does this matter so much? Read Psalm 84:10-12 and Proverbs 3:5-8 on trusting in God.

THE JOURNEY | SESSION ONE

In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________


acceleration Read through the booklet “What you see is not all you get” … this should clear things up! Any stuff you didn’t understand, or wanted to ask about from the booklet? Fire away! Over the next week, go back over the each of the seven aspects of the journey (under ‘navigation #1’), one per day. Read the verses, and talk to God about what you find. Spend some time talking to God about your hopes and fears as you step out on this journey. Praying is just talking to God – quieten your heart, and just talk naturally. He hears! Find a good church and youth group to connect in with. Your journey’s meant to be shared! Share one key thing you’ve been impacted by this week with a non-Christian friend in conversation. Just be natural, not preachy … leading another toward God is the best thing you’ll ever do and could be the start of them getting right with Him and being saved by Jesus.

pit - stop How committed am I to the journey of becoming like Christ? 13

THE JOURNEY | SESSION ONE

What’s my biggest motivation for wanting to follow Jesus? Why? What will probably be my biggest struggle in keeping to the right path? Are there steps I can take now to help keep my feet on the track? What are they? Write here one question that’s stuck in my mind after this session: (share with your discipler) ________________________________________ ________________________________________


Being a follower of Jesus isn’t just about changing the way you act … it’s a whole change of heart and how you think about life and the world. For a more detailed look at the Christian world-view, check out appendix one “Statements of Faith”. When you decided to follow Jesus, you ‘switched camps’ from where most of the world (and your friends) are heading, to where God wants you to go. Some friends and family will be really happy for you, but others will be harsh. Jesus braced us for this in John 15:18-21.

So, what should you do? Love and pray for them regardless of their response – this will soften their heart to God, and is what Jesus did also (Matthew 5:11-12,44; 1 Peter 2:12)

manual

Keep growing in understanding what you believe and why. Like 1 Peter 3:15-16 says:

“ALWAYS BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU ABOUT YOUR HOPE. GIVE A KIND AND RESPECTFUL ANSWER AND KEEP YOUR CONSCIENCE CLEAR. THIS WAY YOU WILL MAKE PEOPLE ASHAMED FOR SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT YOUR GOOD CONDUCT AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.” Check out appendix two “Reasons to Believe”, and the web sites below, to help you in this. http://www.CreationOnTheWeb.org http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/questions

http://christiananswers.net/teens/home.html http://www.str.org/ http://www.carm.org/

14

THE JOURNEY | SESSION ONE

[memorise this]


NOW THAT YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN CHRIST’S WORK ON THE CROSS AND HAVE RECEIVED HIM AS YOUR SAVIOUR …

God’s Promises to You

ETERNAL LIFE 1 John 5:11 - 13 John 3:16 SONSHIP Galatians 3:26 John 1:12 FORGIVENESS Colossians 2:13 1 John 1:9

Things You Should Know

FACTS NOT FEELINGS Colossians 2:6 INNER WITNESS 1 John 4:13 Romans 8:16 NEW CREATION 2 Corinthians 5:17

Things You Will Have

HUNGER FOR BIBLE STUDY 1 Peter 2:2 DESIRE FOR HOLY LIVING 1 John 2:3 LOVE FOR OTHERS 1 John 3:14 DESIRE TO TELL OTHERS Acts 4:20


Session Two fuel... power to reach the destination


[memorise this]

“IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.” (1 JOHN 1:9)

n o i t a m r info

n esome the destinatio firmly fixed on how aw nd mi e ur tic yo no d, u yo roa ur the ho t ng down er the firs journey, chugging alo journey itself. Yet, aft cruise Finally you begin your u’re even enjoying the yo d tching everyone else an wa , d, go to roa nt the wa of u e yo sid ere the wh to r ow ence, ove kn urr d u lle Yo occ will be. etch you’re pu nt – it’s a daily and within a short str trol isn’t a one-off eve g, pe gin ed th sur wi s tow up g gin be ttin ing ge car Fill r ! the g? FUEL! l tank are eithe well; what went wron rney ly alternatives to a ful jou on e the Th on ll. up refi a ing on by. You started so ed giv ne sly slow pace, or more often you’ll ou the ton no ve, mo dri a u at yo r ws rde vie and the ha d taking in the ously tripping along an along the path, vicari at’s your fuel altogether. POWER to take it. Wh the t go e u’v yo d if od go to take is only (the Bible - Jesus). Go th. Knowing the path ly Spirit, and His Word fai Ho ur His yo He th in y. bo nt wa gh ere ou the diff thr It’s no ed along D HIMSELF, d preaching, being tow of discipleship? ... GO , through programs an source for the journey sly e – time to stop and ou tim ari es vic tak s life n thi t tia Bu ris . Ch :8) ur 34 yo alm live (Ps to is u yo He doesn’t want just how good breathe in (inhale) but your car needs to r, th Him, to taste and see wi we ct po ing’. ne for con rn to bu u to yo wants fuel is good practice ‘spiritual breath t like with your car, the for you – you need to , jus nce life st, ere ur Fir diff yo w? of No d Ho 2. . Lor CO fill be e reste products lik inviting God to wa reby le) ha ale (ex inh t d ou an e d, ath the Go g rd, readin oxygen, and bre short accounts with need to take in His Wo ur sins daily, keeping en. Second, you daily yg ox fuel to burn. ur ur yo yo Exhale by confessing yo is is s s thi thi ... ... l ctice in your life pra to fill you to the ful o irit int Sp it g ly en, God Ho ttin pu the tly ing rn ask u, obedien ion. As you lea to list on what God shows yo e a constant conversat lik , yer pra in Bible and meditating Him to se r. ide in God, keeping clo Spirit is your navigato Third, you need to ab versation ... the Holy con ay o-w tw a , art will speak into your he

n o i t a g i v na your experien So far, what have been g? itin exc d confusing, an

rney with God:

ck to my own way

Giving up and going ba

; or

ing the right direction

but still head Getting towed along,

THE JOURNEY | SESSION TWO

strength; Powering on in God’s

18

ere you’re at in your jou

egory best describes wh Up ‘til now, which cat

rd,

at’s been easy, ha ing in the Spirit? ... wh

le, praying, and liv ces with reading the Bib


Spirit in your life for the journey. Read through the following verses to understand more about the work of the Holy Jot down in your own words what the verses reveal ...

Who is the Holy Spirit, and what is His role? Read: Zechariah 4:6; John 16:7-14; Acts 5:3-5;

Rom. 8:9-16; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 5:18

__ ____________________________ In your words ____________________ ___ ____ ____ ____________________ ____________________________ ___ ____________________________ ____ ____ ____ ________________

’ What impact does being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit

have on your life and journey?

Romans 5:5; Read: John 16:13; Acts 1:8; 2:4; 4:31; 13:52; 19:6; Galatians 5:16,22-23 3:18; s thian Corin 2 11; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 12:7-

_ ____________________________ In your words ____________________ ___ ____ ____ ____ ________________ ____________________________ ___ ____________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____________

ING. Look over the follow STEP ONE: SPIRITUAL BREATH power. inhale the Spirit, like oxygen to burn the fuel for

ing passages to get a clear

picture of how to exhale the waste, and

spiritually exhale?

Why do you need to confess your sins?

How do you

; Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 1:9

Read: Psalm 51; 103:12; 139:23-24; Proverbs 28:13

_____ ____________________________ In your words ____________________ _ ____ ____ ____ ____________________ ________ ____________________ _ ____ ____ ____ ____ ________________ ____________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION TWO

18


inhale

What does it take to the Holy Spirit? ... desire, surrender, obedience, confession Read: John 7:37-39; Romans 6:13, 12:1; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 1:9 In your words _________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

STEP TWO: BIBLE MEDITATION. Read through the verses below to see the

huge importance of the Bible as fuel for your journey, before together working through Appendix 3 “Your Guide to Quiet Times”. This appendix also outlines the basics of Step 3 - PRAYER.

How important is the Bible as fuel for the journey? How should it be used? Read: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; 119:11; Matthew 4:3-4; 7:24-27; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION TWO

20


Watch the ‘Nooma’ Clip #3 “Lump” (https://www.nooma.com/intro.html for details) What junk have you pushed way down, away from view? What does God want to do with it? Like a blockage in your fuel pipe, unforgiveness quenches the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. Read Isaiah 52:2 and Matthew 6:14-15. Does this include unforgiveness to yourself? Do you believe God can, and will, forgive you? Re-read Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 1:18, Matthew 18:21-22, Colossians 2:13-14 and 1 John 1:9 Write your unconfessed sins, regrets and shame on a piece of paper.

Spend some time confessing your sins and regrets to God.

Now, to symbolise Christ’s forgiveness of your sins, paid for on the cross, burn the paper, and thank Him for His undying love. <<Maybe this activity opens up some huge issues for you. More support is available to give you time to work through this - just ask your discipler or Pastor re: where to go from here for inner healing>>

He has awesome stuff in store for you... but first you have to let go of the past.

acceleration

Have you got a Bible of your own for quiet times? If not, make a time with your discipler and head to your local Christian book store (e.g. http://www.koorong.com/koorong/store/brisbane.htm). Alongside getting a good Bible, you’ll need a ‘journal’ – something to write in. The ‘Aussie Life Journal’ is a good example, with a Bible reading plan, a whole year’s worth of blank pages to keep a record of your walk with God, and loads more. Buy one this week, and journal each time you do a quiet time – it’ll help you meditate on the Word, and let it sink into your heart. Starting from tomorrow, set aside a regular time and place (preferably first thing in the morning, somewhere you won’t be distracted) to do a quiet time, just like when you went through appendix three. ‘Devotional’ booklets, like “YP’s special edition for new Christians” can really help you get grounded in your faith. Simply pray, read the set passage, write your own thoughts, read through their thoughts, and then pray some more before heading out for the day, fuelled up, and ready to live out what you read. In the back of your journal, make a prayer list including any big stuff you ask for God’s help with. Leave columns for the answers He gives, and the date it was answered. During the week, catch up with your discipler to share what God’s showing you through your quiet times (Galatians 6:6). This’ll cement what you’ve learned and be encouraging too! In the spaces below, write the names of 5 people who you desperately want to see saved from the penalty for their sin by becoming followers of Jesus. Pray for them each day, that God would open their eyes and draw them to Him, and that they’d have a receptive heart (John 6:44).


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

________________ ____________________ ________________ ____________________ ________________ ____________________ ________________ ____________________ ________________ ____________________

pray for Remember your part to play also ... up about God! them, show Jesus’ love, and speak

pit-stop

How deeply am I drawing on God’s strength in journeying with Jesus?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DOING IT MY WAY

50-50

DRAWING ON GOD DAILY

Do I live my Christian life vicariously (relying on people and programs, rather than devotion)? For each requirement for spiritual power, how am I doing? (1=poor; 3=average; 5=great!) REQUIREMENT 1: REQUIREMENT 2: REQUIREMENT 3:

Daily Spiritual Breathing (exhale/inhale) Daily Quiet Times (reading/living Bible) Daily Prayer (abiding with Jesus)

• (rate self) • (rate self) • (rate self)

What 1 change could I make, starting today, to improve on each area above?

<1> ___________________________________________________ <2> ___________________________________________________ <3> ___________________________________________________ Write here one question that’s stuck in my mind after this session: (share with your discipler)

22

THE JOURNEY | SESSION TWO


manual

If you want some more detail on living a spirit-filled life, read the booklet â&#x20AC;&#x153;Have you discovered the Spirit-filled life?â&#x20AC;? ... this should clear things up! For more pointers on developing a devotional life, try the framework below:

one

PLAN FOR IT

two

PROCEDURE

three

ASK QUESTIONS

four

PRAY

place and time read a chapter or paragraph be systematic go through a whole book

sins to forsake? promises to claim? examples to follow? warnings to consider? teachings about God? other important truths? applications to me?

develope a list with: DATE - REQUEST - ANSWER N.b. keep a notebook for journaling & prayer

THE JOURNEY | SESSION TWO

23

having devotions

1 peter 2:2 psalm 1:1,2 2 timothy 2:15 2 timothy 3:16,17


Session Three

detours... dealing with distractions to get there sooner


“FOR IF YOU LIVE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH YOU WILL DIE, BUT IF BY THE SPIRIT YOU PUT TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YOU WILL LIVE.” (ROMANS 8:13)

[memorise this]

information

It’s a beautiful day for driving! You’ve had a quick look at the map, kinda’ know where

you’re going, and have even filled up the tank. Off you head – lots of miles to cover. Yet, the day doesn’t go quite as planned. Yesterday’s trip wasn’t as comfortable as you were hoping for, so you bought a huge trailer to attach to your car, then stuffed it with loads of gear just like you had at home ... an inflatable pool for after the drive’s over, a big fridge to keep some drinks cold, a wide-screen t.v. and stereo for entertainment – you know, all the ‘essentials’! Anyway, the drive seems okay to start with, but then you begin climbing the range. You notice the car making some weird noises, like a burbling sound near the engine, so you flick on some music to cover it up and keep the trip fun. Your friend, the navigator, says something about ‘overheating’ and suggests you stop, but it seems with each mile you up the volume until eventually you can’t even hear him. It’s a shame, because while you were distracted by the great beats, you missed two key turns (the navigator’s voice was drowned out) and now you’re headed right back where you came from! You don’t even make the top of the range – no spectacular views today, just a two-hour wait for a mechanic to come and fix your car. Your friend’s words ring in your ears: “Don’t waste your time and money on creature comforts ... spend it on tweaking your car for better performance. It’s a long trip, and the destination’s worth the drive!” No shortage of learning experiences here!

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

25

Okay, you’re thinking “Who would be that stupid?!” You’d never head off a long journey like that – right? Wrong! Let me explain. On your journey of discipleship, Jesus told us to get rid of every weight that slows us down. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s worth it. We’re told that our flesh (old, sinful habits and patterns that we walked in before starting our journey) wages war against the Holy Spirit’s work in our life. Your flesh always looks for what’s easiest, most comfortable, wanting all the pleasure now, not caring what happens down the track. The Spirit, however, takes us to what’s true and will give the best outcome overall, not just now. How often have you started following God’s way, but then prioritised comfort and ease over obedience? To top it off, we cram our lives with so much activity and noise that we can’t hear the Spirit, our navigator, directing us. Before long, we’ve taken detours of disobedience, which delay, or even derail our whole journey. What should we do then? First, recognise the battle going on, with Satan using your flesh to lead you away from God. Make a decision to put off whatever’s of the flesh, and put on whatever will speed up your journey in the Spirit. Second, start experimenting with different spiritual disciplines. These are ways of quietening down the noise in your life, disciplining your flesh, and powering on in God. We’ve already looked at three disciplines (prayer, Bible reading and journaling/ meditation), but there are loads more! Remember, you only get out what you put in,

and the destination’s worth the drive.


n o i t a g i v na one Read through these following verses to understand more about the battle between your FLESH (old sinful ways) and the SPIRIT ... What is this battle, and why is it so important? What distractions hinder our journey? Read: Matthew 13:3-9,18-23; 26:41; Romans 8:5-14; Galatians 5:16-25; 6:7-8; 2 Timothy 2:3-5; Hebrews 12:1; 1 Peter 2:11 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ How do we ‘put to death’ the flesh and instead live by the Spirit? Read: Romans 6:13; 12:1; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-29; Philippians 3:13-14; Colossians 3:5-10 In your words _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

two

Satan wants to side-track your journey, and he uses three main ‘fleshly’ detours, or HINDRANCES that will distract and slow you down. For each, you must put-off the flesh, and put-on the Spirit ...

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

26


HINDRANCE #1: MONEY & MATERIALISM vs. STEWARDSHIP What does this detour look like?

You need to put off this hindrance.

Where does it lead?

Read: Malachi 3:8-10; Luke 16:13-15; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; James 4:1-4 In your words __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

What should you replace this hindrance with? Put on this spiritual practice ... Read: Proverbs 11:24-25; Matthew 13:44-46; 25:14-30; Luke 12:33-34; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 3:17-18

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

27

In your words __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


HINDRANCE #2: PEOPLE-PLEASING vs. AUDIENCE OF ONE What does this detour look like?

You need to put off this hindrance.

Where does it lead?

Read: Mark 8:38; 14:66-72; John 12:42-43; Galatians 1:10 In your words _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ ____ ___________________________________________________________

What should you replace this hindrance with? Put on this spiritual practice ... Read: Acts 4:18-20; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Hebrews 12:1-3; 2 Peter 3:9 28

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

In your words _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________


HINDRANCE #3: PLEASURE AS GOD vs. SPIRIT-EMPOWERED DISCIPLINE What does this detour look like?

You need to put off this hindrance.

Where does it lead?

Read: Proverbs 25:28; John 8:34; Galatians 6:7-8; Ephesians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:18-22 In your words _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

What should you replace this hindrance with? Put on this spiritual practice ... Read: Psalm 34:8; Proverbs 6:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 12:11 In your words _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

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three How LOUD is your life? Can you hear the Holy Spirit directing you? Read on ...

Why is ‘noise’ and ‘busyness’ such a problem?

Read: 1 Kings 19:11-12; Psalm 81:11-12; Isaiah 30:15; Jeremiah 7:24; John 10:27

In your words _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

How important is ‘waiting’ on God? What does it involve?

Read: Job 33:31; Psalm 4:4; 46:10; Isaiah 40:28-31; Lamentations 3:24-28; Micah 7:7

In your words _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

Look over the ‘spiritual disciplines’ below. They each help quieten your flesh, and amp up the Spirit. Some should be daily. Others may just be for a short while (like fasting) to help you hear God more clearly and keep your flesh under control. Tick the box of each you’ve tried at least once, and shade those you already do regularly. Then, write down some suggestions as to how you personally could practice, and widen your experience and expression, of each. INWARD DISCIPLINES (personal connection with God)  Meditation: _______________________  Prayer: __________________________  Fasting: _________________________  Study: __________________________

CORPORATE DISCIPLINES (expressed with others)  Confession: ______________________  Worship: ________________________  Celebration: ______________________

four Watch the ‘Nooma’ Clip #4 “Noise” (https://www.nooma.com/intro.html for details) What kind of ‘noise’ do you have in your life? Why is silence so hard to deal with? What noise could you go without to hear God more clearly? Does your schedule, your time, your life look like that of one who wants to hear God’s voice? What are some things in your daily life you could change to eliminate some of the noise?

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THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

OUTWARD DISCIPLINES (personal lifestyle)  Simplicity: _______________________  Solitude: ________________________  Submission: ______________________  Service: ________________________  Tithing: ________________________


acceleration

Putting off old habits and putting on new Godly habits is tough work. It takes determination, but it also takes support from others on the journey. It can be scary getting real with others about where you’re at with God, both good and bad, but without accountability, you’ll never make it to your destination. On the line below, write down the name of one person who you’d be comfortable catching up with at least fortnightly, as an accountability partner: Being an accountability partner involves giving each other permission to ask the toughest questions, always in love, to keep each other on track. Appendix 4 has 14 questions, all soulsearching, that you could use as the basis of what you ask each other. Ring them in the next two days to see if they’re keen for this. If not, think through who else you could pair up with. Choose two ‘spiritual disciplines’ from the list that you’ve never tried before, and work out now when and how you could put these into practice. Remember to commit it to God! <1> _________________________________________________________ <2> _________________________________________________________

Next week, share with your discipler how it went. Read back over each hindrance to put off, and habit to put on. Now, write three simple changes or challenges (one for each area) you can make/take on this next week <1> _________________________________________________________ <2> _________________________________________________________ <3> _________________________________________________________

Next week, share with your discipler how it went.

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

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pit-stop How often do you stop & have some silent time, by yourself in solitude? Is there always background noise ... radio, t.v., friends yabbering? Is it awkward?

Reflections for Hindrance #1: Money & Materialism vs. Stewardship

Use the space below to map out your average money coming in, and what you spend it on.

INCOME:

_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________

EXPENSES:

_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________

Does your use of money reflect God’s priorities? In what ways are you using your talents to be an ambassador for God?

Who do you most long for the approval of, and find your behaviour influenced by? Why? How able are you to ’play for an audience of one’? What can you change to grow in this? When did you last share some of your faith story with a non-Christian? How’d it go? For you, what is the biggest motivator, and de-motivator, in sharing about God?

Reflections for Hindrance #3: Pleasure As God vs. Spirit-Empowered Discipline What do you find hardest about being disciplined – i.e. doing what’s right with God rather than giving into the easy, pleasurable option? Which temptations do you find easiest, and hardest, to resist? Pray for each other that you’d be strong. In light of 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, share strategies that have worked for you to resist temptation and instead discipline your body to keep in clear conscience with God.

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THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

Reflections for Hindrance #2: People-Pleasing vs. Audience of One


This session introduced you to the reality that in your journey, you have opposition. If you’ve ever felt like something or someone was killing your passion and blocking your path to God, welcome to the world of spiritual warfare. It sounds freaky, but it’s all part of the trip. It’s also stuff you need to understand. Following are some verses to look through to understand the basics of who Satan is, what His strategies are, and how you can counter this.

<A> who is satan?

manual

At this early stage of your journey, it’s so important to understand the difference between God’s role and your role, and also what He’s promised. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel like throwing in the towel when you lose sight of the destination, so appendix 5 has a huge collection of verses giving you a chance to clear up your vision and keep on keeping on!

<Read: Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-18; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12; 20:10> n.b. Satan (meaning adversary or opposer) is also referred to as DEVIL (meaning “slanderer, accuser”), Lucifer (“shining one,” or “light bearer”), anointed cherub (highest ranking angels), Evil one, Ruler of this world, God of this age, Prince of the power of the air, Serpent, Dragon, Accuser, Tempter, Deceiver, Murderer, Liar, Sinner, Beelzebub (ruler of demons), Belial (“worthless” or “wicked”), and Roaring Lion.

<B> what are his strategies to de-rail your journey?

<Read: Genesis 3:1-6; Job 1:6-12; Luke 4:1-13; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 11:14; > n.b. Satan acts by fighting, ruling, deceiving, accusing and possessing. 33

<C> what can you do to defend yourself against him?

THE JOURNEY | SESSION THREE

<Read: Psalm 91; Luke 4:3-4; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 4:26-27; 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:9>

<D> what can you do to make advances for God’s side? <Read: Mark 3:27; Acts 16:18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; James 4:7; Titus 3:5; 1 John 4:4; Revelation 12:11> For more information, jump online and check out http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/, downloading the booklet “What in the world is Satan doing?”


Session Four

the specifics... plotting your exact course in life


[memorise these]

“FOR EVERYTHING COMES FROM GOD ALONE. EVERYTHING LIVES BY HIS POWER, AND EVERYTHING IS FOR HIS GLORY.” (ROMANS 11:36) “YOU, LORD, GIVE PERFECT PEACE TO THOSE WHO KEEP THEIR PURPOSE FIRM AND PUT THEIR TRUST IN YOU.” (ISAIAH 26:3)

information

After travelling for a few weeks, you’re starting to settle in for the ride. There are some tough days, to be sure, but the daily views out your window are increasingly eye-catching. Without losing any passion for the destination, you’re really beginning to enjoy the journey – the sights, sounds, stop-offs. You know the basics and the big-picture, and seem to be driving well, but you’re starting to wonder ... “There must be more to it than this?” You want specifics: how fast should you drive; when should you break; what side-trips will add value to your journey; how should you respond to hitch-hikers and passers by? Just then your navigator, ever wise, speaks up ... “There’s a great mechanic up the road – the car’s pulling a bit to the left and needs a wheel balance and service to go the distance. While it’s in, let’s grab a coffee and talk over all those questions on your mind!” The perfect moment for some time-out and reflection!

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

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In just the same way, your spiritual journey is in essence simple: love God and love others. But, as you grow, you’ll find there is no shortage of specifics that’ll add life to your trip. Every fine detail falls within five major purposes that sum up why God’s put you on this planet. If you get these out of balance your life will start to head off track. You could spend a whole life-time coming to fully understand and engage with each, so this session is your chance to take some first steps. Rick Warren in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” sums them up like this: <1> WORSHIP <2> FELLOWSHIP <3> DISCIPLESHIP <4> MINISTRY <5> EVANGELISM

You were planned for God’s pleasure You were formed for God’s family You were created to become like Christ You were shaped for serving God You were made for a mission

Over “The Journey” we’ve touched on each, but now’s your chance to explore the specifics!


n o i t a g i v a n

one Read through these following verses to understand more about each of the five purposes that sum up why Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s put you on this earth. Then, in the spaces below, jot down one practical thing you could do, starting this week, to grow and keep your balance in life. WORSHIP ... What is it? Why is it so important? How do you do it? Read: Exodus 20:1-6; Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 100:1-5; Romans 6:13; 12:1; John 4:23-24

Living it out ... _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

FELLOWSHIP ... What is it? Why is it so important? How do you do it? Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 15:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Hebrews 10:25; James 5:16

Living it out ... ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

DISCIPLESHIP ... What is it? Why is it so important? How do you do it? Read: Luke 9:23-26, 57-62; 14:28-33; John 21:15-17; Hebrews 6:1

Living it out ... ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

37

MINISTRY ... What is it? Why is it so important? How do you do it? Read: Matthew 20:25-28; Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:27-30; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:3-4

Living it out ... ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

EVANGELISM ... What is it? Why is it so important? How do you do it? Read: Mathew 5:14-16; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:13-15; Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9

Living it out ... ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________


two

Watch the ‘Nooma’ Clip #5 “Sunday” (https://www.nooma.com/intro.html for details) Why do you go to church or youth group? Deep down, do you believe it’s more for God’s benefit, or your own (or both)? We all have ‘rituals’ in our faith ... how meaningful are your rituals? How consistently do you live out your ‘Sunday faith’ through the rest of the week? Does God have all your heart? Spend some time in prayer committing it to Him.

n o i t a r e l e acc WORSHIP ... Make a conscious effort this week to spend more time worshipping God – acknowledging His presence and power – with other Christians and alone. Purchasing a ‘worship CD’ might be a great help. If you play an instrument, track down the music to your favourite praise songs and play along as an expression of worship.

DISCIPLESHIP ... Revisit the spiritual disciplines from Session 3 that will help keep your flesh under control, and free your spirit. This will keep you growing strong as you become like Jesus. Also, make sure every day that you do the basics: quiet time, pray, trust & obey.

38

MINISTRY ... Look for practical opportunities this week to display Christ’s servant attitude in helping others out, whether friends, family, or even some random person God puts in your path. Also, find a time when you can catch up with your youth pastor to talk about your S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual gifts; Heart; Abilities; Personality; Experience) and where might be a good fit for you to begin serving formally within a church ministry. The ‘body’ needs you to function!

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

FELLOWSHIP ... Diligently make some effort this week to deepen at least one relationship with another believer. Share with them how God’s growing you, and pray for each other over any things with which you’re struggling. Make sure you get along to youth group and church, spending solid time with those who’ll grow your faith, and keeping a check on how much time you spend with those who draw you away from God.

EVANGELISM ... Take a risk and have at least one spiritual conversation with someone you know who doesn’t have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus. Don’t be afraid – just step out and trust God ... He’ll help you with the words (Luke 21:14-15).


The following step by step progression might help:

R E A C H

Reveal that you are a Christian Extend an invitation to a youth program or weekend service Ask if it’s okay to share your story of how you came to follow Jesus Communicate why you became a Christian, and how they can too if they like Help your friend to know Christ personally (“Knowing God personally” booklet helps!)

pit-stop

It’s good to take time out and see how your faith is going. Turn to Appendix Six where you’ll find a Spiritual Health Check. You might like to write in pencil, so you can re-use it every month or so. Honestly answer each of the questions, like a 20 point check-list for a soul-service. It’ll help you clearly see where you’re strong, and where you’re weak. Then, you can make adjustments as you need to keep your journey on track.  WORSHIP ... What ‘false idols’ stand between me and God? ∞ Rank how strong you are in this area (1 = non-existent; 5 = average; 10 = strong) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 5

10

 FELLOWSHIP ... Do my friends help me grow closer to God? Am I a good spiritual friend? ∞ Rank how strong you are in this area (1 = non-existent; 5 = average; 10 = strong) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 5

10

 DISCIPLESHIP ... How committed am I to following Christ? Does my daily life show this? ∞ Rank how strong you are in this area (1 = non-existent; 5 = average; 10 = strong) 39

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 5

10

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

 MINISTRY ... How has God uniquely shaped me to serve? Am I living this? Why (not)? ∞ Rank how strong you are in this area (1 = non-existent; 5 = average; 10 = strong) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 5

10

 EVANGELISM ... Do I care that apart from Jesus, those I love will spend eternity in Hell? What am I doing to reach them? What’s most important to me: their salvation, or my comfort? ∞ Rank how strong you are in this area (1 = non-existent; 5 = average; 10 = strong) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 5

10


manual

A great follow on for both this session, and ‘The Journey’ (this is your last session after all!), is to buy and work through ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. It has 40 days worth of readings, all based on the five purposes explored above, and an accompanying journal to jot down your thoughts ... well worth the read! Your local Christian bookstore should have a copy. We all want great friendships, but what does it take? Take some time to read ... PRACTICAL ADVICE ON FRIENDSHIP <Proverbs 13:20; 17:17; 18:24; 27:6>

A GREAT EXAMPLE OF BIBLICAL FRIENDSHIP <1 Samuel 18:1-4; 20:12-17>

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Earlier we took a brief look at Spiritual Gifts – God’s special gifts given to you when you came to faith. It’s given so you can help build up His church (the body of believers, not a building!), a practical expression of God’s love. As you discover what your gifts are, and then begin using them, you’ll encounter one of the most awesome parts of your journey that’ll bring you life!

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

ABOUT EARLY CHURCH COMMUNITY <Acts 4:32-37>


T THEY EACH EN OF IN SCRIPTURE. ASK YOUR DISCIPLER WHA BELOW IS A LIST OF THE 20 MAIN GIFTS SPOK THEM. THE WHICH YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE AND HOW TO USE ARE, AND PUT IN SOME TIME SEARCHING OUT LINES PROVIDED: S.H.A.P.E. COURSE IS A BIG HELP IN THIS. WRITE WHAT YOU FIND ON THE

• Administration ... • Apostleship ... • Discernment ... • Encouragement ... • Evangelism ... • Faith ... • Giving ... • Healing ... • Helps ... • Interpretation ... • Knowledge ... • Leadership ... • Mercy ... • Miracles ... • Pastoring ... • Prophecy ... • Service ... • Teaching ... • Tongues ... • Wisdom ...

________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________ ________ ________________________ ________________________

THE JOURNEY | SESSION FOUR

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FOR A QUICK OVERVIEW AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS TEST, CHECK OUT

http://www.churchgrowth.org/analysis/intro.html

http://www.enewhope.org/spiritualgifts/evaluation.php)

We’ve covered lots of ground over the last four sessions. Take some time over the next couple of weeks to reread each session. Maybe questions you overlooked will be staring you in the face. Be sure to write them down, then talk with your discipler. Make sure you keep growing ... JESUS NEVER SAID IT WOULD BE EASY (at least not without His help! - Matthew 11:28-30) – just worth it.


Wrapping Up where to next?


“FRIENDS, DON’T GET ME WRONG: BY NO MEANS DO I COUNT MYSELF AN EXPERT IN ALL OF THIS, BUT I’VE GOT MY EYE ON THE GOAL, WHERE GOD IS BECKONING US ONWARD-TO JESUS. I’M OFF AND RUNNING AND I’M NOT TURNING BACK. SO LET’S KEEP FOCUSED ON THAT GOAL, THOSE OF US WHO WANT EVERYTHING GOD HAS FOR US. IF ANY OF YOU HAVE SOMETHING ELSE IN MIND, SOMETHING LESS THAN TOTAL COMMITMENT, GOD WILL CLEAR YOUR BLURRED VISION - YOU’LL SEE IT YET!” (Philippians 3:13-15)

Have you got your licence to drive? If you don’t, then this will give some good insight. But if you do, think back to when you first sat that daunting test to get your Learners ... for those who got it first time, chances are you bought the 100+ page manual and studied it ‘til you didn’t want to see another road sign. Maybe you even roped in your friends and family to test your knowledge with pop-quizzes! Then came the examination. Question after question, you brought to mind all you learned in a flash of brilliance ... and the result: PASS!! Now you can get out there and spin your wheels! In the same way, you’ve spent the last five weeks looking over ‘The Journey’ with your discipler. Hopefully it’s been way more fun than studying for an exam, but you’ve reached the end! Or have you? Really, this is just the beginning. You’ve got the licence, but a whole world awaits you. If you keep on track and live out what we’ve talked about, then you’ll be sure to keep growing more like Christ, moving from ‘trainee Christian’ to ‘mature Christian’. And besides, just as you’ve made a commitment to follow God, He’s made a commitment to hold you, even when the going gets tough and you feel like dropping out (we all have those seasons).

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THE JOURNEY | WRAPPING UP


in all this, i want to leave you with six pieces of advice:

THE JOURNEY | WRAPPING UP

45

1) Keep it simple: Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees. There’s lots to know and live out in your faith, but do the basics and the rest will follow ... love God and love others! 2) Persevere: Nothing worthwhile comes easy, so stick at it no matter how you feel. Don’t ever neglect spending time with God and living out what He calls you to. It’s worth it! 3) Guard your heart: Keep your motives pure in what you do, and don’t get caught in the rut of ritual and routine. God’s nature is best seen through Christ’s love and sacrifice, so fix your eyes on Him as you build an increasingly deep love relationship with Him. 4) Don’t go it alone: The Christian life is a shared journey, so build in accountability and close relationships where you can speak into their lives, and they into yours – grace and truth, always in love. Connect into a strong church where you’re fed and can serve. 5) Multiply your faith: Jesus didn’t save you to just pursue your own journey. You’re saved to be a disciple who makes disciples, continuing the chain that extends right back to Jesus Himself. Invest your life into others, and find someone to disciple as you’ve been. 6) Keep journeying: God’s perfect and infinite, which means you’ll never exhaust His goodness or your growth. So, keep reading, keep reflecting, keep seeking, and keep living it out. Baptism is another key step in following Christ - just ask your discipler! Finally, Appendix Seven has a list of awesome books that will help you in this – 30 minutes reading a night and you’ll be amazed how it shapes your life.

GOD BLESS AS YOU CONTINUE THE JOURNEY!


God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. Genesis 1: 26-27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14.

about Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again some day to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15;

1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13-14.

about the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make mankind aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved to be used in service for God. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12: 3-8; Ephesians 5:18.

about the Bible

The Bible as originally given is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. The Bible is the basis for all we believe. 2 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105; 160; 12:2; Proverbs 30:5.

about people

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God, called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8: 3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2.

about salvation

Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into their life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1.

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THE JOURNEY | APPENDIX

road rules ... guide to the core beliefs

appendix one

about God


road rules ... guide to the core beliefs

appendix one

about eternal security

Eternal life is a free grace gift of God won for us by Jesus Christ, and available through faith. Any person who has been genuinely saved, is trusting Christ to sustain them through the work of His Spirit, who continues to seek after God, and who is responsive to the discipline of God, can be totally confident of their eternal security. John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10; 12:1-12; 1 Peter 1:3-5.

about eternity

People were created to exist forever. They will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. The place of eternal separation from God is hell. The place of eternal security with God is heaven. To be eternally in unison with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence. John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 24:46.

about baptism and communion

Baptism and Communion are the only two mandatory ordinances of Scripture. Baptism is the immersion of believers upon their profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is symbolic of the fellowship of the regenerate in His death, burial, and resurrection. Communion is a memorial regularly practised until He comes, of the sacrifice of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11: 23b-26.

about service and sacrifice

The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time Christian service” regardless of vocation. As a “minister”, every Christian should find a place of service and ministry. Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9. The empowerment for true service is intimacy with Jesus Christ through prayer, obedience to His Word, and dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Spirit, in addition to gifting every believer, places believers in appropriate ministry areas, and supernaturally manifests His presence as the believer ministers in His power. John 15:5; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18; John 14:21, 23; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11- 13; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 28-31.

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Recognising that all we possess as Christians belongs to God, we are encouraged to give liberally to God’s work in our church through our tithe, and to other causes through our offerings. 1 Corinthians 6:20; 16:2; Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 8-9. It is the responsibility of every Christian minister to share the Good News of the Gospel with those God leads across our path, by life and word. 1 Peter 3:15; James 2.

about the church

Christ is the recognised head of the church universal (of which our church is a local expression), not any person, group, or religious organisation. While recognising the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing through the leading of the Holy Spirit, yet interdependent with other churches and our denomination. Colossians 1:18


posites. Rather, God has given us clues to His existence, and pointers to Jesus as the way, truth and life (John 14:6). Use your brain and follow them, and you’re bound to end up closer to God. Faith kicks in at the point where you realise that the reasons are good, but not enough to 100% prove that God exists and Jesus is the way to Him. When you step out in trust, you’ll find that God will return the favour by confirming in your heart what you already suspected in your head. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Following are 8 major lines of evidence to show that it’s reasonable, if not compelling, to believe that Jesus holds the keys to God and the life He wants for us. Next time the critics knock you for believing in Him or tell you you’re being brainwashed by some cult, be prepared to lovingly share the reasons for why you started the journey of faith in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15).

ONE

the bible

 66 books, 40 different authors including Kings, military leaders, peasants, fishermen, poets, shepherds, scholars and even prisoners, written on three continents over a period of 1500 years, and in three languages. Yet - it presents a single unfolding story that is totally consistent throughout: God reaching out to humans to restore the relationship that was lost through our sin.  Every year the Bible is the world’s best-seller (over 585 million bought in 1998 alone). Billions of Bibles have been bought and read – by far the world’s most read book.  The Bible – Old and New Testament, has more manuscript evidence (showing it hasn’t been changed) than any ten pieces of classical literature combined.  The Dead-Sea Scrolls (found in 1947) support the accuracy of current versions of the Old Testament, including multiple copies of all but one book in the Old Testament, indicating essentially no changes over a 1000-year period.  Ancient Middle-Eastern Archaeology is largely based on the Bible. It has consistently verified the Bible’s accounts, descriptions of cities and ways of living, and even whole lines of Kings once thought to be made up.  Prophecy – (foretelling of events) is all through the Bible. Its accuracy has been noted many times, giving specific years of events, names of conquerors, powers that will rise, and even predicting the coming of Jesus (300+ prophecies fulfilled, all written over 400 years before His birth). It even predicts events of ‘end times’ (i.e. yet to come). Statistically it is considered impossible (< 1 chance in 1050) for this many events to happen by chance.

TWO writings outside the bible

 Many other ancient writings exist confirming details in the Bible – e.g. over 15 other sources confirm the existence of Jesus (e.g. Tacitus & Suetonius – Roman historians; & Josephus – Jewish historian). They clearly stated identical details to the Bible concerning Jesus being conceived out of wedlock, and his crucifixion during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of Pontius Pilate.  Josephus’ writings – probably the most attested and prolific ancient historical accounts, even mention that Jesus, after dying, appeared to his disciples three days later, leading to the ‘Christian movement’.  Virtually every ancient civilisation has a creation &/or flood myth that closely resembles the Biblical accounts.

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why journey @ all? ... answering critics

appendix two

God’s given you a brain for a reason ... to use it! Faith and reason aren’t op-


why journey @ all? ... answering critics

appendix two

THREE science & creation

 Proven scientific laws (biogenesis – life only comes from life; and entropy – over time, matter tends toward disorder) require that life was created and started ‘complex’, progressively breaking down.  Biochemistry, particularly re: D.N.A. has showed a complexity of information that is statistically impossible to produce by chance. Over time, copying mistakes (mutations) lessen survival (99.9% of the time), not support it.  Ancient civilisations are continually found to be ‘smarter than we thought’ – if Adam & Eve were perfect, this makes sense ... we only do better now because we can effectively store, retrieve and share information – but we’re not ‘smarter’.  The evidence supporting evolution (fossil record, dating methods etc.) is weak – but “evolution as science” refuses to even consider factoring in God because they can’t test Him – He’s unrepeatable. (Flawed starting point).

FOUR Jesus (his uniqueness)

 “Take Buddha out of Buddhism, Mohammed out of Islam, and, in like manner, the founder of various other religions out of their religions, and little would be changed. But take Christ out of Christianity and there would be nothing left, for Christianity is not a philosophy or ethic, it is a personal relationship with a living Saviour.”  In one form or another, other world religions present the main goal in life as being the search for God. They teach that the goal for humans is to find God. Christianity teaches the opposite. We cannot find God by our own effort. He came to us, to our world, to find us and to save us.  Skeptics have set out to write books disproving Jesus’ life, death & resurrection. In the process, many have found the opposite so convincing that they have become Christians (e.g. Henry Morris – “Who rolled the stone away?” alongside many atheists coming to faith in light of overwhelming evidence: C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, et al.) C.S. Lewis (Oxford Professor, Literary Genius & Atheist turned Christian) said: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher; he’d either be a lunatic – on a level with a man who says he’s a poached egg – or else he’d be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse ... But don’t let us come up with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to.”

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49

FIVE world following

 Over 30% of people in the world today identify themselves as Christian. More people follow Jesus than any other spiritual leader. This doesn’t make it true, but it gives good reason to explore why so many people are convinced.  Christianity began when Jesus’ followers changed from scared ‘sheep without a shepherd’, to bold ‘preachers of the word’ after they saw Jesus alive from the dead. What they taught could easily have been dismissed if it were not true, because all the people they spoke to were eyewitnesses, and familiar with the truth. Yet, Christianity spread like wild fire, all across the world. This testifies strongly to the truth of Jesus’ message.


experiential (lives changed)

 Most who’ve come to faith can share specific ways God has worked in their lives (e.g. breaking long term habits, forgiving the unforgivable, claiming freedom from sickness, etc.) and guided them.  Amongst committed Christians, crime and divorce rates are significantly lower. Christianity as a world-view has been foundational to scientific endeavour, humanitarian aid, education, freedom and protection of human rights.  Jesus’ testimony (John 10:10; Matthew 11:28-30) has proved true time and time again: true satisfaction, peace, and joy come only through Him. Life’s circumstances don’t always get easier, but Jesus guides you through. He transforms your life from the inside out, not destroying who you are, but instead cutting away the junk to reveal who you were designed to be – the real YOU without the hang-ups, dysfunctions and fears – worthwhile and unique.

SEVEN

logic

EIGHT

sociology (study of people)

 First cause ... trace back far enough, and everything had to have a beginning ... how did it all (e.g. Big Bang) start off without God, and where did the matter first come from?  If God exists, He would surely reveal Himself to humankind. Therefore, surely at least one of the major religions would have it largely right. Of all the faiths, only Christianity has testable claims (i.e. not just someone’s philosophy of life) that are supported by evidence.  All other religions claim to have a person speak ‘for’ God, but only Christ claimed to be God in the flesh. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead supports his claim, proving what He said was true. His claims were exclusive – He is the only way to the Father. Without Him, you will face judgement.  Given that the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the claims of Christianity (historically you can never prove beyond a shadow), you are faced with a GAMBLE – to believe or not ...  For those who BELIEVE ... if right = heaven; if wrong = little loss, good life anyway of helping others.  For those who don’t BELIEVE ... if right = life as normal; if wrong = Hell (everything to lose).

 The Bible makes sense of the ‘human condition’ ... are we ‘good’ or ‘bad’? The Bible says both – made in God’s image, yet slaves to sin. Thus, we are just as capable of writing the greatest poetry on love as we are of murder.  The Bible provides incredible wisdom concerning all types of life issues – like what you’d expect if it were inspired by the One who created us and knows how we work ... like an ‘owner’s manual’!  Humans have a spark that animals don’t, and a need to ‘worship’ – whether a sporting hero, or to serve money. We are designed to serve something – only when we serve God do all the pieces fall into place.  Jesus’ teachings on caring for the needy and even loving those who hate you, has revolutionized all society – it has formed the basis of all western law, morals, and our sense of conscience. It is foundational to our way of life.

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why journey @ all? ... answering critics

appendix two

SIX


Your Guide to Quiet Times ... step by step instructions to meaningful Bible study

appendix three

Before you freak out, it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. The steps below are a simple guide to what’s involved in a ‘quiet time’. “Why have a quiet time?” you ask. (Thanks for asking!). ‘Coz ... a) God exists;

b) He has great stuff to share with you; c) the more you seek Him, the better your life works out; and d) it’s a guaranteed way to grow closer to Him!

a few guidelines first ...

<1> Find a regular time daily (mornings are best), and get into the habit regardless of how you feel (the rewards only come to those who push past the feelings and do it regardless) <2> Find a place without distractions <3> Buy a book specifically for ‘journaling’ in ... title each page with the date, and passage you’re reading. This becomes a record of your walk with God (great to look back on) <4> Form a regular prayer list also, of those on your heart.


Okay, let’s go! step one

Settle your heart in silence, asking for God to guide you in your quiet time. Write down your thoughts as you speak to Him. Express yourself naturally ... He knows your heart anyway!

step two

PRAY! ... This pattern is helpful and gives balance Adoration (praising God for who He is ... e.g. forgiving, caring, powerful, just)

(Psalm 99:1-5; 118:28-29)

Confession (saying sorry for the specific things you’ve done that separate you from God)

(Psalm 51; 66:17-18; 139:23-24; Isaiah 59:2)

Thanksgiving (thanking God for the good stuff He’s done in your, and others’, lives)

(1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Hebrews 11:6)

Supplication (a complicated word meaning ‘to ask’ i.e. requests, both for a change in heart, and a change in circumstances

(Philippians 4:6-7). Intercession (prayer requests for others)

It comes in 2 categories... & Petition (prayer for your own gear)

*n.b. confession is the key thing to do before your quiet time, as Psalm 66:18 says that if you’re holding onto sin in your heart, God won’t reveal His heart to you, and won’t listen to any other prayers. You’ll only get stuff out of your Bible reading if the Holy Spirit is leading you, so get this right first. The rest of the prayer steps (adoration, thanks and supplication) can be done after you finish the reading and journaling)

step three

Choose the passage (work through books, one chapter @ a time, not random selections). For today, work through James 2 together. Pray that God would open your eyes to see, and your heart to respond to what He wants to show you. Then, with pen in hand, read slowly through one chapter. Underline bits that really stand out to you, circle key words ... an unmarked bible is an unused bible. Double line real meaty bits that speak to your heart. If time allows, read back over it a second time.

In terms of where to start your reading, begin with something like James (a really practical and short book by Jesus’ brother showing you how to live out your faith), then read one of the Gospels (i.e. the stories of Jesus’ life, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John – I’d go with Luke), then maybe getting into Genesis to get the big picture of God as creator and the history of Israel and the Jews (Jesus was one!). Also, Psalms and Proverbs are great to read a bit of each day, helping you grow in your understanding and worship of God, as well as practical wisdom. Remember, everything in the Bible is inspired by God, and useful, so over time, make sure you read through all of it! One chapter a day is a good amount to really sink your teeth into, but at 4 chapters a day, you’d get through the whole Bible in one year.

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There are many ‘versions’ of the Bible you could use. The best ones for a young Christian would be the NIV (New International Version), CEV (Contemporary English Version – with a reading age of around 9), or the NLT (New Living Translation – a ‘paraphrase’ meaning it’s accurate to the original, but re-worded to make it easier to understand). Down the track, you’ll find a meatier, more literal translation like the NKJV (New King James Version) better. Additionally, a study Bible with footnotes (comments on the text to help you understand) are really helpful, the best and most practical of which is the ‘Life Application Bible’. This is really worth buying – you can get it in the NIV, NLT and NKJV, so take your pick. It’s worth it!


step four

Go to your journal (we’ve set aside 1 note taking page in this booklet to get you started – The Aussie Life Journal is a great book for recording a year’s reflections and lessons). Write the date, book and chapter @ the top (e.g. Friday 10th September, James 2), then work back through your underlinings, writing your thoughts as you talk to God about each of these verses. Use symbols to represent each thought, e.g.

? = stuff I don’t get T = awesome truth A = action point

e.g. from James 2 ...

v4&9 T You hate favouritism God ... I’m sorry for yesterday with ignoring Ben. It’s hard to accept him @ times ‘coz he doesn’t fit in well. Help me love Him like you do, and not judge by outward appearance. A Today I’ll look for a chance to chat with Ben and include him more. Give me the words to say God.

step five

Read back over what you’ve written, and re-write the 2-3 main action points from that day’s reading. Your mission today is to live those out, and pray for God’s strength to do it. Writing them out on a separate sheet, and putting it in your pocket to remind you during the day, works well. The next morning, as you do step one (writing general thoughts), reflect on how you did with the actions points from the previous day.

step six

Spend some more time in prayer (A.C.T.S.), committing the day and all it holds to God. Get used to talking with God during the day, about whatever and whenever – like a constant chat from your heart. If you have close friends who are doing this also, share your thoughts with each other as encouragement and accountability.

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53

SCIENCE, BUT THE CH IT!! NOT ROCKET NT WELL, THAT’S PRETTY MU WA TO EXPERIENCE U YO DO CH MU W HO E. SIR DE IS ION QUEST PERSISTENCE, DISCILIFE? IT’LL TAKE SOMEME GOD’S BEST FOR YOURRK ANYTHING YOU , BUT TAKE IT FROM WI... PLINE, AND HARD WO MP GOD LL GROW IN YOU. GIVE UP IS NOTHING CO ARED TO WHAT


Your Guide to Quiet Times ... step by step instructions to meaningful Bible study

appendix three cont’

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another: showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped for the tasks God has for us.

The next page is for you to jot down some of your thoughts and/or journal on what God shows you.

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54


your

thoughts _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


So, following are 14 questions that you could use when you meet with the closest of Christian friends, encouraging each other in your walk and holding each other accountable. This is always done gently, speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), but remembering that without accountability, it’s far too easy to stray from what matters most (James 5:19-20). God bless as you forge these deep relationships.

ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS <1>

Have you had a consistent daily quiet time alone with God this week? If so, what have you been reading, and what has God been teaching you?

<2>

Have you been praying for someone to come to follow Jesus as Lord this week?

<3>

Have you been a living testimony to the glory of God this week (Colossians 3:17) either verbally, or through your actions?

<4>

What has been your spiritual highlight this last week?

<5>

Have you been in a compromising situation with a member of the opposite sex anywhere in this past week, or been exposed to sexually explicit material?

<6>

Have you lacked integrity in your financial dealings?

<7>

Have you given priority time to your family this week?

<8>

Have you damaged another person by words, either behind their back or face to face?

<9>

Have you given in to a personal addiction this week?

<10>

Have you continued to remain angry toward another this week?

<11>

Have you secretly wished for another person’s misfortune so that you might excel?

<12>

Have you lied to me in answering any of these questions?

<13>

Are there any other struggles or issues in your life at the moment you’d like to share?

<14>

What’s something you’d like me to hold you accountable for this week?

>> Give thanks to God & pray for each other for needs and struggles discussed <<

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appendix four D&Ms Along the Way ... honest answers for fellow travellers

God didn’t create you to take on the journey of faith by yourself. Right from the moment of creation, God recognised that it’s not good for people to be loners (Genesis 2:18)! That’s where fellowship comes in ... spending time in meaningful relationships with other believers. This includes things like going to church (Hebrews 10:24-25), joining with other believers in a Bible-Study in a small group setting (Acts 2:42), and also being transparent with a few really close friends where you can share everything, even confessing your sins and struggles to them (James 5:16). It’s only as you do this that your own faith will be sharpened (Proverbs 27:17) and God will make Himself known in powerful ways (Matthew 18:20).


who’s driving anyway? ... god’s vs. your role in the journey

appendix five THE JOURNEY | APPENDIX

57

Imagine trying to return a whipper snipper to the manufacturer with the complaint that it didn’t froth your coffee the way you wanted!! That would be crazy ... to know if you’ve been tricked, or sold a dud, you need to sort out three things in regards to the product– firstly, what was the manufacturer’s purpose for the product (e.g. to cut grass); secondly, what were the manufacturer’s promises (e.g. to start first time every time); thirdly, what are the preconditions – that is, your role (e.g. use the right fuel, service the whipper snipper, read the manual!). In a similar way, God sent Jesus to save us for a reason. He has a purpose for us, and has promised lots of things. And we have a role to play also! Speaking as one who’s decided to follow Jesus, I can guarantee that He delivers everything He’s promised. But, I’ve seen lots of people who once chose to follow Jesus drift by the wayside, because they never understood the difference between God’s role, and their role.

The PURPOSE

Saved for restored relationship with God and each other (John 1:12; 1 John 1:7; 3:1) Saved to escape deserved punishment in Hell (John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23) Saved to become holy – God’s workmanship via sanctification (John 17:17-19; Philippians 1:6; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:15-16) Saved to serve (Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 2:10)

The PROMISES (just a few of many) ... God’s Role! (what to expect)

Eternal life with Him starting now – present and future hope (Jeremiah 29:11; John 3:16) Given us all we need for life and godliness right now (Lamentations 3:22-25; Psalm 37:23-24; Matthew 6:11; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:13; 2 Peter 1:3) Conquerors & over-comers in Christ - strength (Isaiah 40:31; Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:4) His Spirit and Word (the Bible) for guidance and presence (John 8:47; 16:13; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 13:5) Shape our souls – refined and disciplined (Isaiah 48:10; Daniel 11:35; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2-3; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4) Gifts to build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) Fruit of the spirit, yielding like an evergreen (Psalm 1:1-3; John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22-25) Abundant life - to the full (Psalm 16:11; John 4:13-14; 10:10; 17:13; Romans 15:13; 1 Timothy 6:19) Rest, and an easy burden when we’re in Him (Matthew 11:28-30)

The PRE-CONDITIONS ... Your Role! (what to do)

Die to self, submit to and live for Christ (Matthew 16:24-26; Luke 14:26; Romans 12:1; Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:24) Everything for His glory (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31) Set your heart on pilgrimage, persevering until the end (Psalm 48:14; 84:5; 119:33; Mark 13:13; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Hebrews 10:36; 12:1-2; Revelation 2:26)


As you look at the pre-conditions, don’t freak out!! The Bible clearly teaches that we can’t earn our way to Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9; Luke 18:27; Hebrews 11:6), and that we can only live fully for God with the help of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16) ...

BUT, you do need to ask yourself what you most desire. At the core, becoming a Christian is like making a marriage vow with Jesus – for richer and poorer, through thick and thin, choosing to:

SEEK GOD FIRST

(2 Chronicles 15:2; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 6:33; 22:37-40)

and

ABIDE IN HIM.

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(Luke 6:43; John 15:1-8)

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appendix five who’s driving anyway? ... god’s vs. your role in the journey

*Strive to grow and be holy (2 Peter 1:5-9; 3:14; Hebrews 12:14) *Live obediently as His servant (1 Samuel 15:22; John 9:31; 14:21, 24; 15:10; 1 John 2:3-6) *Trust God no matter what, not yourself (Psalm 20:7; 31:14; 37:5-6; 62:8; Proverbs 3:5-7; Matthew 6:25-34) *Find your joy in God, not the world (Psalm 37:4; James 4:4) *Live in response to the question “What would Jesus do?” empowered by His Spirit, guided by the Bible - His Word (Matthew 5-7 “sermon on the mount” as the model; 1 John 2:6; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16; Psalm 119:105) *Wait on God (Psalm 37:7, 34; Isaiah 40:31)


DISCIPLINE OF INDIVIDUAL WORSHIP • I have a daily quiet time • I feel close to the Lord throughout the day • I try to be aware of God’s presence • I am aware that the Lord disciplines me DISCIPLINE OF BIBLE STUDY • I read my Bible daily • I study my Bible each week • I memorise a verse of Scripture each week • I take notes at least once a week as I hear, read, or study the Bible to apply it to my life DISCIPLINE OF PRAYER • I keep a prayer list and pray for the persons and concerns on the list • I have experienced a specific answer to prayer during the past month • Each day my prayers include praise, thanksgiving, confession, petition, intercession DISCIPLINE OF FELLOWSHIPPING WITH BELIEVERS • I seek to live in peace with Christians • I seek reconciliation with those who have a problem with me or with whom I have a problem • Others know I am a Christian by the way I love God’s people • I live in harmony with my family DISCIPLINE OF WITNESSING • I pray regularly for lost persons by name • I share my testimony with others when there is an appropriate opportunity • I share the plan of salvation with those who are open to hear it • I witness for Christ each week • I follow up and encourage persons I have won to Christ

ALWAYS

USUALLY

SOMETIMES

SELDOM

NEVER


MINISTERING TO OTHERS • I serve Christ through a job in my Church • I give at least a tithe through my church • At least once a month I do kind deeds for persons less fortunate than myself • I keep goals for my life clearly in mind SUBTOTALS

___ x 4

___ x 3

___ x 2

___ x 1

___ x 0

When you have finished checking each item add each column. Each check in “Always” column is worth 4 points; the “Usually” column, 3 points; the “Sometimes” column, 2 points; the “Seldom” column, 1 point. Add these four totals together to get your overall score out of a possible 100.

COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS: 1. I feel that my score (does / does not) adequately reflect my life of discipleship because ... ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

2. Other things that should be taken into account that are not reflected in the inventory above and how I feel about them are ... ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

3.

___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

4.

60

My personal overall evaluation of my discipleship is ...

I will begin this week to seek to grow in the following area(s) of discipleship:

___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

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spiritual health check ... keeping your journey on track!

appendix six

TOTAL SCORE _____________


manuals for the trip ... suggested resources to help guide you (bible is assumed!)

appendix seven

a) Spiritual/Character Growth

*The Pilgrim’s Progress – in modern English (John Bunyan) *Experiencing God (Blackaby & King) *Renovation of the Heart (Dallas Willard) *The Jesus I Never Knew (Philip Yancey) *The Practice of the Presence of God (Brother Lawrence) *What’s So Amazing About Grace (Philip Yancey) *In His Steps (Charles Sheldon) *I Was Just Wondering (Philip Yancey) *God Chasers (Tommy Tenney) *Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster) *40 Days of Purpose (Rick Warren) *Waking the Dead (John Eldredge) *When God Whispers Your Name (Max Lucado) *8 Characteristics of Highly Effective Christians (Chris Spicer) *Desiring God (John Piper) *The Life You’ve Always Wanted: spiritual disciplines for ordinary people (John Ortberg)

b) Ministry/Mission/Evangelism

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*The Heavenly Man (Brother Yun) *Primary Purpose (Ted Haggard) *Hell’s Best Kept Secret mp3 series (Ray Comfort ... http:// www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch.shtml) *If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Gotta’ Get Outta’ the Boat (John Ortberg) *Contagious Christianity (Bill Hybels)

c) Skills/Leadership

*Courageous Leadership (Bill Hybels) *Spiritual Leadership (Henry Blackaby) *The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership; Failing Forward (John Maxwell)

d) Counselling/Relationships

*Everybody’s Normal ‘til you Get to Know Them (John Ortberg) *The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman) *Boundaries (Cloud & Townsend) *Every Young Man’s Battle; Every Young Woman’s Battle (Stephen Arterburn) *Wild at Heart – a man’s identity; Captivating – a woman’s identity (John Eldredge) *Battlefield of the Mind (Joyce Meyer)

e) Apologetics/Knowledge Based

*The Case for Christ; The Case for Faith; The Case for a Creator (Lee Strobel) *Refuting Evolution 1 & 2 (Jonathan Sarfarti) *I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist (Norman Geisler & Frank Turek) *Rumours of Another World (Philip Yancey) *Systematic Theology (Wayne Grudem) *New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Josh McDowell) *Surprised by the Power of the Spirit (Jack Deere) *Deliver Us From Evil (Ravi Zacharias) *Right from Wrong (McDowell & Hostetler) *I’m Glad You Asked (Boa & Moody)


your thoughts

_________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


your thoughts _________________________________________________________________

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your thoughts _________________________________________________________________

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your

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your

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I do not consider that I have made it yet. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)


The Journey