disciple – an overview of each session
1. Your unwritten autobiography
If you are a Christian, you already have everything you need for your life story to make an impact that will last for ever. What story are you going to write?
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
2. How the story starts
The disobedience of Adam and Eve left us spiritually dead with driving needs to be significant, secure, and accepted. Becoming Christians meant a huge change in our identity and story. We are no longer spiritual orphans but holy people who are spiritually alive! And all our needs are now met in Christ.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God; To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:1
3. Fact or fiction?
“What is truth?” is a question that people have been asking for thousands of years. Jesus didn’t claim to know truth. He claimed actually to BE the truth.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. John 18:37–38
4. The story of the world
The world seeks to knock us off track and redirect our life stories away from the plans that God has for us through false promises, consumerism, and comfort, and by presenting us with a false picture of reality.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
5. The story of the flesh
The flesh is what comes naturally to a fallen human being. It consists of beliefs and thoughts that are contrary to God’s truth that pull us towards sin and hopelessness. Although we became new creations and holy ones when we turned to Jesus, no one pressed a “delete” button in our minds. Those unhelpful ways of thinking are still there. We do, however, have everything we need to overcome the flesh. But it requires some effort and persistence.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Romans 8:9
6. The story of the devil
The devil is real but is a defeated foe. We already have everything we need to overcome him in our lives so that we can fulfil the amazing plans that God has for us and make our lives count. But to overcome him we need to understand who he is and how he works.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8–9
7. Truth and emotions
Note the link between emotions (anger and anxiety) and giving ground in our lives to the devil in the now-familiar passages below. Our emotions are given to us by God and serve as barometers of our spiritual health. It’s essential to heed what they tell us and make adjustments when necessary if we want to stay on track.
“In your anger do not sin”: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26–27
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:7–8
8. Forgiving from the heart
Most of us have not been taught what forgiveness really is and that it is for our own spiritual wellbeing that God commands us to forgive.
“‘Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:33–35
9. Walking into the next chapter
Freedom is not the same thing as maturity but you can’t mature until you have taken hold of your freedom. Are you now ready for solid food? If so, be prepared to make a long-term commitment to learning to distinguish good from evil, truth from lies. You can be totally transformed as you choose to renew your mind.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12–14
10. Action story
God is God. He doesn’t need us to work with Him to fulfil His incredible plan for the world. Yet He chooses to partner with us and entrust us with a staggering mandate: to bring transformation to the world around us. We are ambassadors for Christ and can choose to offer our lives to God so that we make an eternal difference.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah