Making a plan.
Some of us LOVE it.
Many of us LOATHE it.
All of us NEED it.
Especially when it comes to our spiritual health & growth. According to theologian D.A. Carson:
“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
If we are to take seriously the command of Jesus to follow him, we also need an intentional plan for how we will follow him. Too often, too many Christians fall into the rut of simply attending Sunday services and then wonder why they experience little or no change in their lives. While I believe there is great value in corporate worship gatherings, a Christian cannot be sustained on Sundays alone. Each of us must learn to pursue Jesus the other six days of the week through his Word, prayer, community, service and other ‘disciplines’ of the faith. At Missio Dei Church, we are serious about discipleship and want to see each person who calls Missio Dei their home growing in the likeness of Christ through grace-driven effort: a striving after Jesus in response to his saving work in our lives.
As 2013 winds to a close, it is wise to consider what your plan for spiritual growth will be in 2014. To help you think through this, we are providing a Personal Discipleship Plan that you can use to be intentional about the pursuit of Jesus in all areas of your life. Additionally, we are recommending a Bible Reading Plan that is designed to take you through the entire Bible over the next 2 years. In that time, you will read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice. There is also a free Daily Devotional called “For the Love of God” by D.A. Carson, which follows this reading plan (You can alternately follow the daily blog which lists readings and devotional here). Ideally, your whole Community Group or Discipleship Group would fill out a Personal Discipleship Plan and choose the same Bible reading plan in order to grow together, hold one another accountable, and support one another throughout the year.
If the recommended reading plan and devotional is not for you, then we would suggest one of the following other plans and devotionals.
Other Reading Plans:
Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon (also available online free)
Devotions for a Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers
Solid Joys (online devotional) by John Piper
As we look ahead to 2014, let us echo the words of the Apostle Paul:
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. 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. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” - Philippians 3:12-16
Christ is All,
Pastor Bryan & the Elders