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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Dear Colleagues,

BOTTOM LINE DISCIPLING (Part 1 of 6)

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A lot of people dabble at discipship.  Most efforts are program centered with little attention to life on life relationships. Kind of an auto assembly line approach, where one size fits all.  So lets talk about what really transforms lives into Christs image in the discipling process.  It is a given that unless the Holy Spirit is at the heart of our efforts, it is an exercise in futility. 

Lets start with the discipler. If he or she is to bear true fruit, it will only happen as a product of a rich and deep walk with God. By that I mean the discipler is dead serious about consistent, unrushed, in depth time with God in prayerful meditation, study, and application of Gods word.  Feather weights in the spiritual disciplines are not fruit bearers.  Jesus talked about the vine branch relationship.  That is, Jesus, the vine, pours His life into us, the branch.  The two live in intimate union and communion with each other, and fruit naturally happens. Heres how He puts it,  Just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares the life of the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from me you can do nothing at all (Jn. 15:4, 5 Philips Trans.).

Secondly, discipleship is not a program but a relationship.  One life poured into another.  Or several people; building into each others lives (See Col. 3:16; Eph. 3:16).  Paul talked affectionately of his son in the faith, Timothy, reflecting back on how they did life together over a period of about 17 years.  Pauls example of godly sacrifice was infused into Timothys life by their close proximity to each other:  You have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions (2 Tim. 3:10, 11 -NKJV) Timothy caught Pauls godly example, and chose to emulate it. (See Pro. 23:26; 2 Tim. 2:2)

This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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