All people who follow Jesus are his disciples, which is a word that basically means "learners." He is our teacher and we are His students, learning from Him.
How do we do this learning? The most basic way is by attending worship regularly, where we sing God's praises, hear His word proclaimed, share in the sacraments, and then take our learning with us as we live in the world. There are a variety of other ways we can learn from Jesus and as the new year begins I want to share some thoughts on three things that you might try to use as you grow as a disciple in 2017.
The first is to practice some form of personal devotions, where you take some time each day to spend in prayer with God. There are many good resources that can help, providing a piece of scripture, some thoughts on how that scripture may apply to your life, and some suggestions for prayer. We have the RCA devotional, Words of Hope, available at church and will soon be getting copies of Our Daily Bread. There are also excellent online sources, which can be emailed to you each day. These include BlueLetterBible.org, DesringGod.org and Ligonier.org.
Another excellent way to grow as a disciple is by simply reading your Bible. It is easy to do, and all too easy not to do. Following a Bible-reading plan is an excellent way to help you start and stay on track. I have an app on my phone for the plan I am using. Each day it lets me know what I should read and it provides an easy way to keep track of my progress. There are many different Bible reading plans and I would be glad to help you find one that would be a good fit for you.
And the last way to grow as a disciple that I want to suggest today is to get into an active relationship with someone who can help you along the way. While this may sound like it is the hardest way, it is also one of the best ways. Being a disciple of Jesus is something we can always grow in. There is no one who is a perfect, or "finished," disciple. When we work with someone else we share our journey with them and they can help us in many ways. And as they help us grow, they also grow. Robin and I both treasure times in our lives when we had another person, or a small group, that we connected with as a part of our spiritual growth. As with the first two methods, I would be glad to actively help in your spiritual growth.
It is a new year and there is truly no time like the present to grow as a Christian, to have lives that are shaped more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ, as we love and serve Him right here in Dulce.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.