As we near the end of 2018, I often find myself in a posture of reflection. I love to look back over the course of the year and recall moments that have grown me, challenged me, and made me better. What’s encouraging about this process is that I will often look back and remember the stress trials caused, grief I walked through, and confusion I felt, but that I got through it.
“Trust the process” has been attributed to all sorts of names online, but the sentiment is true. If I trust the process, and ultimately trust the One whose process it is, then I know my development, my day-to-day, is in His hands. Romans 12 speaks to the renewing of your mind. This is how you will be able to test what God’s will is. Reshaping the way you think to the way that God thinks is the marker of true discipleship.
At Bible Studies for Life, we talk a lot about our discipleship plan and how we have intentionally mapped out a process to mature disciples. To disciple effectively, we have a strategy in place based on what research has shown about how developing Christians grow in eight specific areas of their lives. But this strategy is only as good as the implementation of the strategy. Every year in Bible Studies for Life, we develop a study for each of the eight areas. It is a goal of ours to provide teaching and training so that everyone will be discipled in these specific areas of their Christian journey.
Over the course of the next several months, we are going to do a series based upon the Eight Attributes of Discipleship. These eight factors are what Bible Studies for Life’s strategy is built upon. I will do a deep dive on each topic and explain how and why each are relevant to our development as believers.
Bible Engagement: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that Scripture equips us for every good work. Because all Scripture is inspired by God, development is apparent in those whose minds are sharpened by the Word.
Obeying God & Denying Self: Real faith and real transformation are accompanied by real action. Though transformation occurs in the heart, it is validated by obedience. Jesus couldn’t have been much more explicit about this fact: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
Serving God & Others: As we are all one body, working together, we too have different gifts. We choose to serve God and others with those gifts. But that’s just it, it’s a choice we have to make daily to put others before ourselves.
Sharing Christ: Disciples making disciples is the plan of evangelism. Colossians 4 tells us to walk with outsiders in grace and filled with wisdom. Learning how to talk about your faith is a true marker of discipleship.
Exercising Faith: In Hebrews 11, we are taught to live in faith—that faith is the reality of what is hoped for. There is a difference between walking in our own strength and operating in the faith that God produces.
Seeking God: Deuteronomy 4:29 reminds us that when we seek God, we will find Him. Having a true hunger to intentionally follow Jesus is a marker of genuine discipleship transformation.
Building Relationships: Our faith is personal, though it was never meant to be private. Truly caring about others and having a relational ministry is a key to maturing disciples.
Unashamed: If we stop and think about the majesty that is our salvation through Jesus, we should all live out Romans 1:16. John 13 tells us it is imperative to live a life in which others know that we are God’s disciples through our love toward one another.
It is through these eight key areas that Bible Studies for Life is founded. Developing in each of these areas is monumental to the growth of maturing disciples. Trust the process.