"And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come." Matthew 24:14 NLT
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How to be a strong follower of Jesus
One reason we have not completed the Great Commission given by Jesus to go and make disciple of all people groups is because it takes strong followers who will sacrifice everything to take the Good News to dangerous new places. Prepare yourself by learning some Christian disciplines. Doing these things don't make the different between being saved or not. Only trusting in Jesus to make you clean can save you. Doing these things will make you more useful in God's service.
You need to P.R.A.Y.
When you are walking, at mealtime, before bed, when you wake up, anytime, follow these 4 Bible verses as you talk to God in Prayer.
Praise v Tell God you love him and thank him. Psalm 69:30 Praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Repent vConfess any sin. Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Ask v Ask God to help you and others. 1John 5:14 Ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Yield v Pause and listen to God’s word. Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Make sure you understand the basic story that runs through the Bible.
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You need to become a Disciple of Jesus
|50 STEPS TO BEING A GOOD DISCIPLE OF JESUS - From his first teaching the "Sermon on the Mount"|
|In Matthew chapter 5,6 and 7, you will find 50 things you can do to be a good student of Jesus. In this teaching, you will learn that in order to help people with their problems you need to first "Get the plank out of your own eye." Practicing the 50 disciplines in the teaching will give you the authority to teach other people. Sometimes it is hard to get Bibles for people you are teaching. You can make a photocopy of just Matthew 5,6 and 7 and teach people to first master these teachings while they are waiting to get a whole Bible. Then your students can do the same and teach others. In this teaching, you will learn that persecution of the followers of Jesus is to be expected. If you are ever put in jail without your Bible, it will help you if you have taken the time to learn these 3 chapters by memory. The underlined work below helps you remember each of the 50 different teaching points. Talk to God like your close friend as you read the prayers below. Little by little, you will grow up in your faith, and that will give you the authority to ask others to grow with you.|
|Discipline||Text from the NIV Bible||Prayer||How can you practice this?|
|1||discipleship||Mat 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,||God, Help me to be a disciple and disciple others.|
|2||study||Mat 5:2 and he began to teach them, saying:||God, Help me to study the Bible and let Jesus teach me daily.|
|3||humility||Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.||God, I am a poor beginner and willing to start at the beginning as a disciple of Jesus.|
|4||mourning||Mat 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.||God, I mourn my sinfulness and I ask that you comfort me.|
|5||gentleness||Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.||God, Help me to be meek and let you be my source of strength.|
|6||hungering||Mat 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.||God, Help me to hunger to have a right relationship with you and others.|
|7||mercy||Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.||God, Help me to be merciful.|
|8||purity||Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.||God, Help me to keep myself pure.|
|9||peace- making||Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.||God, Help me to be a peacemaker.|
|10||suffering||Mat 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.||God, Help me to be happy when I am persecuted and suffer.|
|11||evangelism||Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 5:15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.||God, Help me to show everyone that I have the light of the Good News of salvation.|
|12||deeds||Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.||God, Help me to do good deeds that point to you.|
|13||sacrifice||Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.||God, Help me to understand and teach that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law.|
|14||consistency||Mat 5:19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.||God, Help me to not be a hypocrite like the Pharisees who did not practice what they taught.|
|15||calmness||Mat 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, 'is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.||God, Help me to control my anger and to not call people names like fool.|
|16||reconcilia- tion||Mat 5:23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 5:25 "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 5:26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.||God, Help me to try to be reconciled with my enemies.|
|17||self-control||Mat 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.||God, Help me to not look lustfully at anyone.|
|18||abstinence||Mat 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.||God, Help me to not sin with my body.|
|19||fidelity||Mat 5:31 "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.||God, Help me to avoid divorce and to teach people how to have good marriages.|
|20||trust- worthiness||Mat 5:33 "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 5:34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 5:35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 5:36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 5:37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.||God, Help me to be someone who does not have to swear to be trusted.|
|21||service||Mat 5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 5:39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 5:40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 5:41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.||God, Help me to not seek revenge and to go the extra mile for my enemies in service.|
|22||love||Mat 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 5:46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 5:47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.||God, Help me to have your perfect love even for my enemies.|
|23||selflessness||Mat 6:1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 6:2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.||God, Help me to be selfless and give to the needy but not brag about it.|
|24||quiet-time||6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.||God, Help me to pray alone to you and not show off for others.|
|25||intimacy||Mat 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.||God, Help me to not pray with mindless babbling but talk to you like a father who knows my problems.|
|26||respect||Mat 6:9 This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,||God, Help me to respect your name and your qualities.|
|27||submission||Mat 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.||God, Help me to know and do your will and expand your kingdom.|
|28||dependence||Mat 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.||God, Help me to depend on you to provide for my daily needs.|
|29||repentance||Mat 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.||God, Help me to be fast to ask you to forgive me when I sin.|
|30||prevention||Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'||God, Protect me from temptation and the devil.|
|31||forgiveness||Mat 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.||God, Help me to forgive people who sin against me.|
|32||self-denial||Mat 6:16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6:17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 6:18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.||God, Help me to fast from food from time to time and devote that time to prayer.|
|33||simplicity||Mat 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.||God, Help me to store up treasures in heaven by doing evangelism, and to not worry about earthly riches.|
|34||innocence||Mat 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 6:23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!||God, Help me to guard my eyes from bad things.|
|35||moderation||Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.||God, Help me to not love money.|
|36||contentment||Mat 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?||God, Help me to not worry because you care for me like you do the birds.|
|37||inner- beauty||Mat 6:28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 6:29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 6:30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?||God, Help me to not worry about my appearance because you make me beautiful like the lilies.|
|38||prioritization||Mat 6:31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 6:32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.||God, Help me to seek you first and trust that you will provide for all of my needs.|
|39||preparation||Mat 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.||God, Help me to not worry about tomorrow and to trust you with today's challenges.|
|40||mentoring||Mat 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.||God, Help me to deal with the plank in my own eye, so then I can help others with their sins.|
|41||discernment||Mat 7:6 "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.||God, Help me to treat the Good News about Jesus like pearls and give it to real seekers.|
|42||persistence||Mat 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.||God, Help me to pray persistently like knocking on a door that you will open.|
|43||reliance||Mat 7:9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!||God, I rely on you to give me the gifts I need to do the ministry you are calling me to do.|
|44||fairness||Mat 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.||God, Help me to know and teach that the summary of the law is to treat others like I want to be treated.|
|45||diligence||Mat 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.||God, Help me to be content on the difficult, lonely, narrow path that leads to heaven.|
|46||protection||Mat 7:15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?||God, Please protect me from people who lack the fruit of good character and can destroy me like wolves.|
|47||chastise- ment||Mat 7:17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 7:20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.||God, Help me to produce the fruit of being a good disciple so that I won't be disciplined in the fire.|
|48||character||Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'||God, Help me to look to Jesus for my salvation and character development and to not assume that gifts like prophesy show maturity.|
|49||practice||Mat 7:24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 7:25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 7:26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 7:27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."||God, Help me to practice the teachings of Jesus so that a foundation of character will keep me from destruction.|
|50||authority||Mat 7:28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 7:29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.||God, Help me live these 50 disciplines and that I can teach them with authority to others.|
|(Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.)|
You need to R.E.A.D. the Bible
In the book of Isaiah chapter 50 verse 4 in the Bible it says, “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”
The only way to learn the Bible is to spend time reading it and applying its teaching to your needs and the needs of those who are in need of your help. Many people have gone to Bible school and never learned how to teach the Bible. Follow this plan and God will give you “an instructed tongue” that will help the weary people.
R – Read 4 pages each day. Read 1 in the New Testament slowly and 3 in the Old Testament quickly.
E – Encircle 4 verses. Draw a circle around a sentence on each page that helps you with life’s problems.
A – Ask Jesus for help. In the margin of each page write a prayer to Jesus for help to do the thing that you circled.
D – Do 1 verse. Choose the circled verse that most applies to your current needs and do something that day that helps.
By doing this method you will read the Bible from cover to cover in 1 to 2 years. You will discover that God can speak to you through every page of the Bible. You will have made your own notes and be able to teach all pages of the Bible. You will be able to answer people’s questions about the Bible because you will know what every page teaches.
In the Bible we are taught to give the first part of our money to God. We are told to give a “Sabbath” day of rest to the Lord in worship and prayer and fellowship with believers. If you will give the best hour of your day, God will make you wiser and more able to handle the pressures of your busy schedule. Spend 40 minutes reading the Bible in the above way and 20 minutes praying. At the end of the week, you will have spent 7 hours hearing from God, and you will be more able to endure the problems of this life and to help other people with their problems. You will no longer have the feeling that you need to go to a special expensive school that teaches the Bible. You can teach this method to other people, and they can teach others. Your students will not have to rely on books that are hard to get that teach about the Bible.
You Need to Flee from Sin
In Romans 12:1-2 if the Bible God tells us that our quest for purity is a sacrifice. It is a kind of worship to God. And the result will be clearer minds and better discernment of what is the best path. It will not be easy for you. But if you do this, some people will see the path that you are on and want to follow your example. Obey this last challenge from the Bible: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.”
Men have some unique challenges avoiding sexual sin. Men can click here for an article about overcoming sexual temptation.
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