Tag Archives | bible

Disciple-making small groups. What Are They?

Image of Mark Gardner's disciple-making small group announcement

What Are Disciple-making Small Groups?

As announced last week in my post, Disciple-making small group begins in March, Christie and I will begin a small group in our home patterned on Jesus’ disciplemaking model. Please read that post for the full announcement. Four people have already expressed interest.

IN THIS POST, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • An overview of Jesus’ disciple-making model
  • How we’ll use Jesus’ model in our group
  • What you’ll learn in our group

OVERVIEW OF JESUS’ DISCIPLE-MAKING MODEL

When Jesus began his ministry, he needed to train people as quickly as possible to take responsibility for his mission of building God’s kingdom on earth. He didn’t know how much time he had before he would be killed.

He shared with

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What Did Jesus Do When He Didn’t Like What Was Happening To His Culture And Country?

Many friends have shared with me their concern about the state of our country and world. Jesus faced very similar challenges:

  • A national population moving away from God.
  • Decreasing moral values in his culture.
  • Too much poverty and suffering.
  • Other religions becoming more prominent in his homeland.
  • And a national government that did not care about these and other issues important to Jesus and his heavenly Father.

So what did Jesus do about it?

His response is the key for us to know how best to respond to conditions in our country. We need to act the same way he acted. What did Jesus spend more time doing than anything else? Answer: making disciples. Yes, he preached to the multitudes

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Life in God’s Family

There’s a true story from Columbus about a middle-aged couple named John and Beth.

One day at work, John had a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital where he underwent surgery.  Later, as John was recovering in the ICU, a nurse came out to talk with Beth and saw about 20 people filling the small waiting room and spilling out into the hallway.  The nurse saw Beth speaking with some of them and asked Beth if they were her family.  Beth said, yes, they’re my church family, and there’s more in the cafeteria, because we can’t all fit in here.  The nurse said that in all her years of work, she’d never seen a church that responded with …

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When God Doesn’t Make Sense

Sometimes God doesn’t make sense

In 1992, after pastoring for 9 years, God told me to become a counselor.   I didn’t think I could to do it, and didn’t understand why he was telling me to do this.  But he opened doors for me to get 2 part-time counseling jobs. Then, 1 year later, I lost both counseling jobs over 1 weekend!  God didn’t make sense.

We have all encountered times when God doesn’t make sense:  deaths, life-threatening illnesses, accidents, lost jobs, crises, etc.  Anyone in a personal relationship with God will be confronted with his truth and reality that is different from what was thought to be true.

This confrontation may be through life experiences, or, may be as …

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God’s Holy Spirit: How to Have a Relationship with God, Part 2

My first post on having a personal relationship with God shared how that is possible and how to begin it. This post explains how God interacts with us through his Holy Spirit.

Basic facts about the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit, as a member of God’s Trinity, is one with God and the same as God.
  • God the Father and Jesus, the Son, speak through the Holy Spirit; he is God’s connection with us.
  • The Holy Spirit is a person of God in his own right, and interacts with us in several ways.

Five ways the Holy Spirit acts in our lives

The Holy Spirit joins his spirit and mind with ours

Read John 14:15-17 from the story of the …

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How to Have a Relationship with Your Heavenly Father

It is easy to relate with our heavenly Dad because he made us to be like him

God encouraged me to refer to him as “Dad” to help me think of him that way. Jesus was the first to refer to God as “Dad.” In the gospels, he calls our heavenly father “Abba,” which is Jesus’ native Aramaic language for dad or daddy.

Early in Genesis, God tells us that he made us in his image—like him in ways critical to relating with him. Knowing what we are like helps us to understand God.  Here are some of our characteristics that are the same as God:

  • We have a mind made like God’s, processing thoughts as he does.
  • We have
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