21 Days of Discipleship

Day 21

Day 21 brings us to the final conclusions of the Gospel of John: follow Me, and there is much more…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…Our mistakes and weaknesses don’t disqualify us

Scripture 4 today:

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” ‭‭John‬ ‭21:25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

Reflection 4 today:

The one thing that becomes very clear from this last of the four gospels is that there is an infinitely greater supply of events that Jesus has been in the middle of it or not written down. The number of things that He is doing is getting larger not smaller, the work he is doing in my life is getting bigger by the day. Underneath it all, John wants to make a particular point that this is the life of following Jesus: much bigger, nothing stays the same…

Question for the day: what do you see getting bigger in your life? For me, it is the reach of the ministry that he is calling me to.

Day 20

Day 20 gives us the foundation of all Jesus has called us to: peace. Peace with God and the Peace of God…

 

Devotional Point 4 today:

Jesus first calls us to receive His peace

Scripture 4 today:

“Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:21-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

There are two types of peace that we have been called to: first peace with God, and second the peace of God. our peace with God happened because of the cross and resurrection. The peace of God is something we experience with the role of the Holy Spirit inside us every day. it is quite important for us to remember that Jesus called us to these two forms of peace before he called us to go out and establish the church and change the world. Every day, peace first work second…

 

Question for the day: Have you allowed Jesus to fill you up so He can send you out? It is a daily journey to learn how to experience God’s peace

Day 19

Day 19 brings out one of the main characteristics we ahve as disciples, the “it is finished” mindset…

 

Devotional Point 4 today:

…we, as Jesus followers, get to live with an “it is finished” mentality…

 

Scripture 4 today:

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

Reflection 4 today:

You often see in sports today, a saying “he left nothing on the table“. Meaning, he gave it is absolute all, he had nothing left to give. That is how Jesus went to the cross for us. He left nothing on the table, He poured it all out for us. Because of that, this is exactly the life that he has called us to, a life where we put it all out there, leaving nothing on the table. The extent to which we do this is the extent to which those we are discipling will do this.

 

Question for the day: What do you need to remind yourself is finished in your life? The endless cycles of sin are over.

Day 18

Day 18 gives us the answer to all the betrayals we have ever faced, the ones where people tell us “they’ve changed”… He never changes…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…truth is not relative…

Scripture 4 today:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Within the many total betrayals I have faced in my life, the constant theme has always been, “I have changed”… What changed? How they feel, what they want out of our daily life, their commitment to me, and on it goes… The reasons have been many and diverse, but the constant theme has always been “I’ve changed”. Satan’s biggest lie and biggest challenge to all believers has been to legitimise change. Jesus has no need to either change or try to legitimise change…

Question for the day: How can we get more fastened on the the truth about everything we do?

Day 17

Day 17 digs at the core of the difficulty of the church today, it’s lack of unity…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…Jesus Himself is praying for you…

Scripture 4 today:

“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Jesus talks about unity 4 times in this chapter. Where the church has gone wrong over the years has been usually through one of 2 means: either focusing on “uniformity” with lots of written rules, or through “conformity” where you are made to know that you need to “look like us”… Both are extreme perversions and both end in chaos and dilution of the message and mission of the church, to bring forward God’s love. These two issues are of crisis importance to the highly fractured church today. We need to set the standard for unity starting today…

Question for the day: Do we really take this whole unity thing seriously? If not, we need to start being pretty serious about it…

Day 16

Day 16 focuses us on the “new” way of praying, in harmony with the Spirit…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…We have a Guide…

Scripture 4 today:

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

The translation of the “ask” verb here is all about asking from a peer, like a best friend; not some lofty universal force in the clouds who may or may not smile on us very occasionally based on our performance.  These guys were “brothers”, they had a deep spiritual bond, the bond that Jesus has for all of us. Not some vague acquaintance, but deep soul-moving bonds. The loneliness in our world desperately wants deep soul-moving bonds, that is our mission…

Question for the day: How can you learn to recognize and receive the signals of the Spirit? Time in God’s word…

Day 15

Day 15 brings the truth to the front about how we can “abide in God’s love”, simple, keep His commandments, all 49 of them…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…to remain in Him, is to know and show His love…

Scripture 4 today:

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” ‭‭John‬ ‭15:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Problem with the “Christian world“ that we live in today is that it likes all the warm fuzzy bits, but this concept of “obeying“ is almost politically incorrect in the church today. in a couple of instances when I have been speaking, I’ve asked that question: okay, so what are the commandments that we are to obey? Well there are 49 of them and you can see a fairly large exposition on them at: www.thecommands.com. Love to know what you guys think of this…

Question for the day: How is God prompting you to know and show His love today? One of those commands pokes at in one form or another all the time…

Day 14

Day 14 brings us to the force that makes discipleship possible: the Holy Spirit…

Devotional Point 4 today:

Those who love Jesus listen to Jesus

Scripture 4 today:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

In “big court“, almost every barrister has a “right-hand man“ by his side. In many cases there are actually more capable then the barrister in self, especially as they understand all the nuance of the system. The Holy Spirit who has been given to every believer totally understands the nuance of our daily lives. As we progress through each day, he is the one who can work with us on each and every situation for one specific goal: to glorify God.

Question for the day: Is there a particular area of your life where it’s really difficult for you to learn from and live like Jesus? Yes, most of it…

Day 13

Day 13 delivers the secret of making life work with other Christians, serving…

Devotional Point 4 today:

The kind of love Jesus was about is a love that takes action

Scripture 4 today:

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”

‭‭John‬ ‭13:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Jesus does not call us to some pie in the sky theology. He calls us to a life of action, and that action starts by serving. So whatever He calls us into, we need to find the most butt-ugly donkey work of it. And attend to that first… Our first posture has always got to be what is the worst and toughest job here, and then get on to doing that… This definitely separates out those who are really following Jesus and really serving…

Question for the day: So are we following Jesus’ example?

Day 12

 

Day 12 gives us the key to the “secret sauce” of the Christian life, we aren’t bothered with how things look on the outside…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…Stick close in the confusion…

Scripture 4 today:

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Paul simplifies the core issue for us regarding the approach we take to all circumstances we find ourselves in. The word “sight” is poorly translated into English. it actually means multi-level appearance. Physical appearance, spiritual appearance, intellectual appearance, and contextual appearance. Without the Holy Spirit working in us, it is hard to see past the outward bits you can experience with your 5 senses, He gives us that 6th sense…

Question for the day: When things don’t make sense will you still choose to follow Jesus? Only when you have the 6th sense of the Holy Spirit working inside you

Day 11

Day 11 brings us the story of Thomas standing up for the others to tell Jesus that he will do what is asked even if they have to die…

Devotional Point 4 today:

Disciples of Jesus are called to meet the messiness of life with the love of Christ.

Scripture 4 today:

“Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” ‭‭John‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

The situation with Lazarus was not simple, there was a deeply intertwined relationship between Jesus, the disciples, and their whole family. so Jesus tells them that he is going to go and heal Lazarus, and they all end up putting various points of argument forward about why not to do that. Finally, Thomas steps in and answers that if He wants us to do it then we’ll go do it even if we have to die! Jesus wants us to step into the messiness of life around us regardless of how hard it gets…

Question for the day: What mess is He calling you to step into? Somedays a lot more than others…

Day 10

 

Day 10 gives us the single answer to the source of how we can deal with doubt: God is light, ask Him to enlighten every corner of your darkness…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…doubts don’t disqualify us from following Jesus…

Scripture 4 today:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

We were born with the darkness of doubt, and it sometimes overcomes us. The root of all the mental illness today is one form or another of darkness.  God does not expect us to know it all, or even know very much for that matter. What he wants from us is to first trust Him, and then second to let his light shine into the darkness of doubt and lack of knowledge. The only way you can learn something new is for someone to show you the way through it, and God just wants us to let Him crack through any area of darkness and show us the way through it…

Question for the day: Write down a question you have for God and bring that to Him. I hve a couple good ones for him today, you???

Day 9

Devotional Point 4 today:

…we weren’t just not okay in our sin or like a little bit infected; we were dead…

Scripture 4 today:

“Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” ‭‭John‬ ‭9:39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

One of the great difficulties of dealing with people like the Pharisees, is that there is no convincing them even when they are absolutely wrong. So, Jesus heals this poor blind guy who had never seen, it was confirmed by his parents, and the truly “offensive“ part is that it happened on the Sabbath Day. They have no regard for incredible miracle, they were only focused on how they could dissect events to find a way to indict Jesus for the violation of their laws. We have a God who has come to change hearts, we just have to stay focused on that.

Question for the day: Who is someone who needs to hear about the miracle Jesus has done in your life? There are some genuine seekers that I need to be more focused on enseuring they get the good news…

Day 8

Day 8 is the part where we see Jesus giving us one of the 7 great “I am”… I am the light of the world…

Devotional Point 4 today:

What we base our decisions on and take our cues from reveals who or what we trust the most.

Scripture 4 today:

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

The important context here is that Jesus makes this statement right on the heels of the feast of the tabernacles which celebrated the light that guided the Israelites in the Sinai wilderness for 40 years. Inside the scope of that light was everything and every blessing they needed, one step outside of that light was sure destruction. he wants us to live in that cloud of light that he provided so many years ago and will still provide for those who believe in him today. outside the cloud of his light, is total destruction…

Question for the day: How can you choose to trust Jesus the most? This is a choice we have to make every day in every circumstance.

Day 7

 

Day 7 gets into the real way we can see the fruit of the spirit in those who are Christians: is there a river of living water coming from inside them???

Devotional Point 4 today:
…disciples of Jesus are peaceful and confident. Because we know the One who is constant….

Scripture 4 today:
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:
A question we all have to ask ourselves is: are there rivers of living water flowing out for me? Or is it just an occasional trickle? we saw a couple of days ago that the spring pushes its way up out of the ground end eventually becomes a stream in the eventually becomes a river. What the Holy Spirit does inside of us pushes its way out regardless of anything we say or do. So the real question becomes can the world around you see that spring leading to screen leading to a river?

Question for the day: Why is it so easy to slip into suspicion in our interactions with people? I think that most of us have been hurt so many times that it’s pretty easy to look at the future based on the past.o

Day 6

Devotional Point 4 today:

Jesus has what we need—the words of eternal life.

Scripture 4 today:

“Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” ‭‭John‬ ‭6:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

That work which we need to be about today and every day is to believe in the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  So, what is this that we could believe Him for? The obvious one is salvation, but that was a once-off thing and is done. But what about the rest of it? Now that is where the rubber meets the road. That road is actually not all that complicated and mostly revolves around relationships: family, our physical work and the results of that work, our calling in the body of Christ, and His commands…

Question for the day: what do we need to do today to shift our dependence on to the Holy Spirit in our lives??? Get focused on where the rubber meets the road in the 4 areas…

Day 5

On Day 5 we dig into that fundamental question we have to ask ourselves every day: do you really want to be healed?

Devotional Point 4 today:

…it’s possible to know about God and still miss Jesus…

Scripture 4 today:

“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” ‭‭John‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

This is probably the most relevant question any of us will face today: do you really want to get well? Bizarrely, he doesn’t say yes he just goes into this explanation about how he couldn’t get down to the water when it was moved once a year. So Jesus answers, I’ll take that as a yes then… The whole thing then kicks off this giant fight that Jesus has with the religious leaders. It is inconceivable that you would not want to be healed all a pretty colour day just because it’s the sabbath. Lest we think how incredibly stupid this is, the religious leaders of today do the exact same thing…

Question for the day: What is He always saying? What is His go-to approach or reaction? How can you pick up on and put those things into practice? Jesus is always talking about people being healed, their lives changed, and being transformed. Something to keep focused on every single day.

Day 4

Day 4 digs in to what we need inside of us to follow Jesus example of “line crossing love“…

Devotional Point 4 today:

Disciples of Jesus display His line-crossing love

Scripture 4 today:

“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

A well it’s something that someone dug up at some point in time, and delivers water from an underground aquifer. A Spring comes up through the ground by itself. Normal water will not give you the strength to have “line crossing love“, only the spring of his Love pouring out of us 24/7. In the Greek, this phrase “springing up“ is the same language used for the experience of someone who has just been healed, they jump up and dance like there’s no tomorrow. A well can be covered up, but not a spring…

Question for the day: Who is someone who’s difficult for you to love? Why? What line can you cross to reach out to them today? It has been very difficult for me to love my mother who participated in my abuse when I was a little boy and then participated strongly in alienating my daughter against me. I can reach out with a message today, and more often…

Day 3

Day 3 brings forward one of the most important parts of discipleship: “with them”…

Devotional Point 4 today:

Community is vital to commitment and growth!

Scripture 4 today:

“After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Most of the academic work on this section of John’s gospel is around the 2 baptism ministries. But the writings of the time show that they were probably out there about 6 months being taught by Jesus. So, we know that the stepped out of the noise of the city, and stepped into a “quiet place”  where they could be taught by a Jesus. It is the only known time for them all to get away for intensive teaching like this, and it became the foundation for Jesus ministry. But it was not totally isolated because He was baptising at the time as well…

Question for the day: who are you doing the mission of discipleship with?

Day 2

Day 2 gives us some very interesting things to think about regarding how to step into the power He has for us…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…Jesus is inviting us to step into our power and utilize our influence…

Scripture 4 today:

“His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

This story has some very interesting components to it: Whilst it is a very physical miracle, it is done to save embarrassment  of the hosts, the  friends of His mother. An important point about wine is that it runs out, and in this case it ran out too early. It would have been very odd for these servants to take orders from a guest, so Mary, obviously a close “member of the family” of the bridegroom gives the orders and they obey. Jesus first miracle is done to preserve the emotional wellbeing of his mother and the bridegroom. And He brings in several other things along the way, pay attention…

Question for the day: What is an area of your life where you have been spectating instead of participating? Church service serving

Day 1

 

Day 1 of our new series starts off at the source of everything that makes our lives work: the Light of the World…

Devotional Point 4 today:

…John believed Jesus was God…

Scripture 4 today:

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Light is the only force in nature that does not degrade or diminish over time. What we are seeing in many of the stars is light that is just getting to us from stars that burned out many millions of years ago, but the light itself, which can be quantified, has not diminished even slightly. The light in fibre-optic cables powers the entire backbone of the internet today, it is the only thing that can. There is unlimited power and capacity in light, and as such we need to get a whole new view on the power of the light that Jesus brings into our lives…

Question for the day: What prevents the light from shining in your life today?

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