Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ministry is a Gift from God

And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him." John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.
(John 3:26-27)

Understanding that men to disciple are a gift from God is a key principle that bleeds into our ministry at several different levels. It helps us stay dependent on the Holy Spirit to perform the supernatural part of ministry. It helps us to maintain a proper perspective with Jesus and remain humble. Understanding that the ministry comes from God forces me to pray more. It also puts my ministry techniques in the correct perspective, it’s more about the “who” rather than the “how”. It helps me to quit playing the comparison game by thinking somehow I’m better or worse than the other laborers around me based on the number of men I am discipling. The sooner we figure out that our ministry is a gift from God the more spiritual that ministry will be. So where’s your man and are you praying that God will give you one? FJ28

For questions or comments drop me a line at

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time Well Spent

Read John 3.22-36

After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.
(John 3:22)

One of the primary methods Jesus used to develop the disciples was to simply spend time with them (Mk 3.14). They were with Him as He ate, walked, performed miracles, taught, in the cities, on the water, and in the wilderness. They saw Jesus in every part of life. By the end, His influence was evident; Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Most of us can’t hang out with the people we are discipling 24/7. We have jobs, husbands, wives, kids and other responsibilities. Our discretionary time is limited. But we can still maximize our time with those we are mentoring. I have found that when I see a guy at least four times a week, I usually have a pretty significant impact in his life. That may seem like a lot, but let’s break it down. I see him at Chapel , next at the leader’s Bible study, later in the week at the outreach Bible study and then for one on one time at lunch. Four times in a week. That’s a good goal to shoot for with a busy schedule. Want to maximize your time even more? Move the guy into your spear bedroom. Deb and I have been doing this for a few years now and the pay off for time invested is huge. But not everyone can move people into their home. So just practice the principle the best you can; more time equals more influence. FJ27

For questions or comments drop me a line at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Hunt for Truth

Read John 3.1-21

“Are you a teacher in Israel and do not understand these things?” (John 3.10)

As a disciplemaker, I can empathize with Nicodemus. My face flushes red as I read and reflect on my own lack of spiritual insight. But the great thing about this discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus is that they are having it. Jesus is not too busy or put off to spend some time with a guy who ought to know but doesn’t. He certainly knew that Nick could have run back to his self-righteous buddies and further maligned His name. But Jesus makes the investment anyways. And what did it cost Nicodemus? He had to meet Jesus at night, no doubt for fear of being seen with this new religious radical. Nick was at least curios and had the gumption to talk to “the Man.” He was still teachable, still seeking, still searching for the truth. And he doesn’t put his tail between his legs and whimper off when Jesus challenges him on his lack of understanding. He humbled himself. As I read this account, I am comforted by two things. First, Jesus is still willing to teach spiritual knuckleheads. And second, despite our short-comings, we are still exerting the effort to pursue the truth. FJ26

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Deception of Popularity

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25)

Jesus did not let His popularity go to His head. The passage says “He knew all men.” In other words He knew what was in man and how fickle he can be. He knew that on one day they would sing Hosanna and on the next chant “crucify Him.” It is a fleeting thing the popularity of man. This is why Jesus focused on pleasing only one person, His Father in Heaven. He is not fickle. He is constant and unchanging (Lam 3.22-23). And He is the true rewarder of a life of Faith in Him (Heb 11.6). There is a danger lurking in waters of disciplemaking. One can start believing his own press. Young disciples start looking up to you and are enamored with the fact that you have been walking with Jesus a little longer. The platitudes begin to roll in. Be careful with what you believe. Don’t be carried away by the crowds or you’ll be carried away by the crowds (usually to a cross). Focus on pleasing God not men. FJ25

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blasting Cap Religion

…a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.
(Ecclesiastes 8:5)

It’s a little unnerving the first few times you do it but after a while you get the hang of putting a blasting cap into an explosive charge. This is one of those soldier tasks that requires the right procedure at the right time. Mix them up and it could ruin your day. There are some things in the Christian life that have proper timing and procedure as well, like praying first. Ever make a decision and it turned bad and you said to yourself, I better pray about this. Or struggle through days of anxiety and then finally remember to pray. Remember this sequence; Pray first. SP320

Selling Jesus

Read John 2.13-22

They had turned worship into a capitalistic venture and the Temple had become a place to make a buck. Jesus’ response? A violent and emotional reaction to the materialistic sins of the people. Turning over tables, making an improvised whip and driving man and beast out of the Temple. This is not your Sunday School Jesus, meek and mild with the little lamb on His shoulders. This really ticked Him off. I wonder what He thinks of Christianity in America today. I know “the workman is worthy of his wages” (Mt 10.10) but I also know that there are intentional strategies developed by stone cold pagans to get rich off of Jesus’ name. I think God can see the difference between the man who is honestly supported by those he ministers to and the publisher or recording studio that is making 87% of the profits. Am I alone here or are you seeing the same kind financial opportunist that Jesus threw out of the Temple?

So how does this apply to me? Quit feeding the machine. Only buy books and music when you need it and not on a whim (especially fad Christian books and music with no substance). Encourage authors and artists to break from big publishing and recording names. If you are writing books or recording music put it on the internet for free or ask for a modest donation. If you feel like your book needs to be in print, get it printed at cost and sell it for a reasonable price (“the workman is worthy of his wages” (Mt 10.10) You’re not going to get rich this way…but that’s the point. FJ24

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Every man a conqueror, the desire to win

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
(Romans 8:37)

It wasn’t the toughest obstacle course I had been on but I would soon learn to hate it. We were training with the Seals on Coronado Beach and my Commander decided to show off a little in front of our Navy friends. We ended up going through the obstacle course 4 times to prove we were the better warrior. Not sure that really proved anything (except a lot of bruises and barely able to move the next morning). We are competitive beings by nature. I believe God has wired us that way, to be winners. Unfortunately, we have made a total mess of the things with our sin. But He intended the Conqueror Spirit to be use for good rather than evil. In fact in Christ, we are made overwhelming conquerors. Through Jesus we win in a big way. We just need learn from the scriptures how to win God’s way. SP319

Friday, July 25, 2008

Poncho Liner Poverty

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
(Luke 9: 57-58)

A 5x7 sheet of nylon, slightly quilted, intended for use in the Tropics was all we had to sleep with in the mountains of North Georgia in the middle of winter. Life was rough and there was more shivering than sleeping going on, I can assure you. These kind of sacrifices are part of being a soldier. (Remember the guys sleeping next to the tire of their hummer in the dirt during an incredible sand storm on FOXNEWS.) Following Jesus is the same. When Jesus replied to the one who wanted to follow Him, He said it will take sacrifice. To be as Hard Core about your faith as you are your profession. Spiritual wimps need not apply. I think that’s what He’s saying to this would be recruit. Do you find your faith taking you out of your comfort zone? Jesus says that’s normal. SP318

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pressing the Envelope for the Kingdom

Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not realizing what he was saying.
(Luke 9:32-33)

I have men and women in the ministry that I call Warhorses. They are committed to the hilt and run to the point of being expended, pressing the envelope physically. They will show up to Bible study or chapel after a week in the field. Hungry and tired, they still make it a priority to minister to others. I think Jesus and His disciple had reached the point of being totally expended by “pressing the envelope” several times in their ministry (Jesus asleep during a storm (Mat 8.24), not being able to eat a meal (Mark 3.20), asleep in the garden (Mat 26.40). It’s a work ethic that Jesus left us through His example and teaching that we seldom hear preached today. Obviously rest has its place but are you pressing to exert yourself for the King and Kingdom? SP317

Miraculous Healings

Read Mt 9.27-34, Mk 7.32-37

It is interesting that Jesus heals the blind, deaf, and mute. These three have their spiritual parallels as key areas in discipleship. Jesus opens our spiritual eyes to see His works happening all around us. To identify those who are in need and desire help in following Christ. He opens our spiritual ears to hear from His Word and the Holy Spirit’s promptings to obedience and ministry. And He loses our spiritual tongues to tell others about Him. As Disciplemakers, we are to provide the same healing for others. Helping them to see, hear, and to speak with spiritual healthiness. Have you been healed in these three areas? Are you healing others?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two Different Ministries, One Affect

"For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon!' "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' "Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children."
(Luke 7:33-35)

I had been easing my buddy into a position of a palatable presentation of the gospel for two months. At the end of training one day, a zealous brother approached us, slammed a little New Testament on the desk and said "Read this!" Not my style and I was a little put out but asked my buddy what he thought. He replied, "I kind of needed a kick in the pants, I think I'll start reading it." Different is not necessarily wrong. SP316

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Old Man Wants to See You

And Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher."
(Luke 7:40)

When someone in authority wanted to see me, I always assumed the worst. Call me a pessimist but I don't think I'm alone. Why is it that almost all of us respond to these words with anxiety rather than joy. Could it be that we know ourselves too well. How would we respond if we heard "God wants to talk to you." Wouldn't it elicit some of the same fears. In all actuality, I think it's good thing, its a healthy sense of fear that keeps us humble, repentant, and real. I am a sinner, saved by grace! (See Isaiah 6.1-6) SP315

Your Testimony

Read Mt 8.28-34, Mk 5.1-20, Lk 8.26-39

Jesus heals the demoniac and refuses anymore personal discipleship. He simply tells him to go share his testimony. How important is it for a disciple to have a testimony about what Jesus has done in their lives? This is Discipleship 101. What has Jesus done in your life? Can you make a list of 20, 50, maybe 100 things He has done for you? Can you communicate this in a way that others understand and can follow Jesus as a result of your testimony? Remember this young follower of Christ received virtually no training and yet he completely obeys his new Master. Share the great things Jesus has done for you and you will be well on your way to becoming a fisher of men (Mt 4.19).

For more information on how to develop a personal testimony see

Side note: Jesus tells the man to go and tell of the great things “God” has done for him (Lk 8.39 or Lord in Mk 5.19). He immediately goes out and tells people the great things “Jesus” had done for him (Mk 5.20, Lk 8.39). The Gospel writers demonstrate their understanding of the deity of Christ.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just One Thing

"Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
(Luke 8:39)

This is an amazing turn of events in one man's life. He is released from the bondage of suffering and pain in a demonic state and given a new life. And Jesus only asks him to do one thing. And think about that for just one second, of all the things Jesus could have told him to do, this was the one thing He commanded. "Go home and tell others the great things I've done for you." Just one thing. Are you doing this "One Thing?"

Application: In the next week tell three people about what Jesus has done for you. SP315

Hanging Out at the Wedding

Read Jn 2.1-11

Jesus was not burdened by the social side of life. He was always around people. He was a man who was approachable and didn’t count the crowds as a bother. They were the people He came to rescue. They were the objects of His compassion. He saw their spiritual potential and was quick to forgive their shortcomings. He was also so engaged in their lives He was not willing to silently let them slip into Hell. He was passionate about correcting and straightening their relationship with God. I must say, for me, this is one of the most challenging aspects of being Jesus’ disciple. Crowded rooms make me nervous. I’d rather hang out with those who completely agree with me and my theological views. And I certainly do not enjoy chit chat or immature spiritual discussions. To be honest, I’m more like a Pharisee than Jesus. I’d rather set the rules for my club and unless you have the appropriate password, you’re not going to disturb my tidy little space. But as His disciple, we must be committed to stretching ourselves to becoming more “others focused” like Jesus was. I am working on the social skill set that communicates love for all kinds of people in all kinds of settings. I’m working on making relationships more about giving than receiving. Follow me as I follow Christ (1 Cor 11.1) FJ22

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can You Hear That?

Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools...
(Ecclesiastes 5:1)

When approaching the target a good reconnaissance begins by using the ears before the eyes. When approaching the Throne of Grace it is the same, the ears first. God puts a premium on the listener/learner. As you read or listen to the Word of God is your brain on transmit or receive? Remember, God's not after your attendance, He's after your heart.

Application: When you finish reading your devotions or hearing a sermon, ask yourself, "What is God trying to tell me?" Then write it down. SP313

The Invitation

Read Jn 1.40-51

It’s amazing to see how effective a simple invitation can be. Jesus says,”Follow Me” and they follow Him. Then brothers invite brothers and friends invite friends to come and discover who Jesus is. Pretty soon there was a crowd of folks following Jesus. The ministry of a disciplemaker in the beginning was to simply invite their family and friends to see Jesus. At Ft Benning we practice a very aggressive invitation plan; If it breaths, invite it to chapel or Bible study. Here’s what it sounds like; “Hey man, we have this great Bible study, you ought to come and check it out.” Then we hand them a business card with the time and place. Is that it? That’s it. My personal effectiveness in evangelism has never been better because I’m finding people who are interested in Jesus rather than trying to convince those who are not. Make it a habit to invite 5-10 people to Chapel or Bible study a week and see what happens. FJ21

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So Now that You’re Not Perfect

Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16

“Sir, your uniform looks great, but you have a string hanging from that pocket.” In all my years in the Army, I have never been able to meet the standard perfectly. And I think I have demonstrated pretty clearly using the 10 commandments that we can never perfectly meet God’s standards either. For some, this may cause them to give up, “why even try,” they say. But God does require our obedience. Some may try to earn God’s forgiveness by trying harder. But try as they may, they will always come up short. The fact is we need a Savior. We need to be saved from our own wickedness and a final destination that will eternally separate from God. Jesus is that Savior! He is our only hope for both forgiveness and obedience. Repent from your sins and spiritual pride. Embrace the Christ and His way of life.

Who to Follow

Read Jn 1.35-51

The disciples of John left him and began following Jesus. This makes perfect sense to us as we read it in the Gospels. Of course they are going to follow Jesus, He’s the Messiah right? But how do we feel when one of our own leaves us to follow another spiritual leader? Or when they pursue a different ministry or move away in search for a clearer understanding of Jesus. Do we hold them in a clenched fist or an open hand as John did? Ultimately, I have no disciples. They are all Jesus’ disciples. My attitude as a discipler is very important in this area. It is crucial that I recruit to the King and His Kingdom rather than to my own ministry. Don’t stop recruiting to your ministry, just keep an open hand and heart. Have the attitude of John the Baptist and point them to Jesus first. FJ20

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Want What You Got

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Exodus 20:17

I looked at my MRE: tuna and noodles again! Then I looked at my assistant’s chicken chow mein, “boy, I sure would like to have his meal…” BOOM, just broke the 10th commandment of not coveting. “Would you just look at that vehicle, I’d rather have that one… POW, broke it again. “Wish I had a Special Forces Tab…” SLAM DUNK. Ladies and gentlemen, he’s down for the count! He’s broken the 10th commandment three times in one hour! Sound absurd? Not really; it happens every day. This is the commandment that the great Apostle Paul said “got him” every time. It’s the easiest of all to break and we do it all the time. Any time I look to my neighbor’s stuff with the idea that I would be more satisfied with his than mine, I have coveted.


Read Jn 1.29-37

It took two days for the disciples to get it. On day one, John announces “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” The disciples don’t budge (vs29). The next day, two of them get it and begin to follow Jesus (vs35-37). As Disciplemakers, don’t be surprised when people don’t figure it out on the first go round. In fact make a plan to come back to the important things over and over again. Paul had learned this principle in his teaching, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.” (Philippians 3:1) Remember, our Forgetories are better than our memories. FJ19

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Someone’s Listening

"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16

We were rippin’ into the boss but good and of course he wasn’t there. Or at least that’s what we thought. Turns out our sergeant was standing right behind a half open door listening to every word we had said about him. Boy, there were some red faces in the crowd when he stepped around the corner. His half grin verified he had caught us in our half-truths. We were a little embarrassed but we should have known someone was listening. And if it wasn’t out team leader certainly God was. Every time we breathe a word of insult, gossip, or slander, God hears it all (even when we just think it).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

There’s Nothing Petty About Petty Theft

"You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

We had a great time on our staff-ride studying the WWII battlefields of Tunisia and now it was time to head back home. As we checked out of the five-star (really two-star) hotel, I saw that the lovely Tunisian desk clerk was writing with a US Government ballpoint pen. I asked her casually if I could have “my” pen back. She was visibly shocked and replied, “I’m sorry, sir, but this is my pen.” To which I replied, “No, Ma’am; it says right on it “US Government,” I’m with the US Government, so it’s my pen.” I broke the tension by laughing and assuring her that I was just kidding with her. But then I started to think about all the US Government pens in my house. Could it be that I was more guilty of thievery than she? But it’s just a pen! Not the excuse I would accept from my son if he took one from the store.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just Lookin’

"You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

“Chaplain, I’ve never committed adultery. Sure I look but its not like I’m cheating on my wife or anything. It’s OK to check out the menu as long as I don’t order, right?” It would seem the simple act of lust would be pretty harmless but actually according to Jesus it’s the same as committing adultery. That would put 99% of us red-blooded American men in violation of the seventh commandment (and some red-blooded American women as well). That’s a high standard of holiness and believe it or not there are folks out there that think they are just that perfect. Every time we think we have a handle on personal purity, God raises the bar and shows us we just can’t make the grade.

The importance of being saturated with the Word

Read Mt 4.1-11, Mk 1.12-13, Lk 4.1-13

When Jesus is temped in the wilderness, He leans heavily on the Word of God as His defense. But quoting a verse may not be enough to shield one from the stealthy attacks of the evil one. In one of the temptations the Devil actually uses the Word of God as a weapon. Jesus rebuts the attack by saying, “on the other hand” and quotes a balancing scripture verse. In other words Jesus is so proficient with the Scriptures that He parries His enemies miss guided thrust with another verse of Scripture. He interprets Scripture with Scripture placing the verse in its proper biblical context and application. This is evidence that Jesus was completely immersed in the Word of God. There is a big difference between being familiar and being proficient. FJ18

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And What About the Soldier?

"You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13

One of the most common questions I hear from soldiers is, “How can I be a soldier and still keep the fourth commandment?” The answer is in the forth commandment itself. You shall not murder, not you shall not kill. If killing was the real problem, then as soon as you plucked that carrot out of the ground to feed yourself… boom… you just broke a command. No, it’s murder breaks the commandment and not the use of military force to preserve freedom and protect the innocent. Now wait a sec; before we think we’re totally off the hook, consider Jesus’ words: Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said…Do not murder…But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell…” It’s not my military service that puts me in the greatest danger of breaking this commandment; it’s my pride and anger making me the violator.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fulfilling All Righteousness (Mt 3.15)

Read Mt 3.13-17, Mk 1.9-11, Lk 3.21-23

John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance so why did Jesus need to be baptized? Jesus was sinless and had no need to repent but He did need to live up to all the expectations of righteousness in order to be holy (2 Cor 5.21). It wasn’t merely not doing the don’ts; it was doing all the dos as well (being perfect as His Father in Heaven is perfect; Mt 5.48). So John’s baptism has more significant than just repentance, it was the right thing to do. As we are discipling men and women we need to help them understand the importance of baptism and every other positive command. It is part of Jesus’ Great Commission and it’s the right thing to do. FJ17

Monday, July 07, 2008

Honor Your Mom and Pop

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

“I want out of the Army!” “Why?” “Because the only reason I joined was to show my parents I can control my own life.” “And who’s in control of your life now?” “Well… uh… the Army.” “Boy, you showed them.” That’s a conversation I’ve had with many soldiers. The problem isn’t necessarily parents; it’s our rebellious nature. The first place that rebellion becomes evident is in our relationship with parents. But that’s just the beginning and ultimately it’s only a small glimpse of our rebellion against God. Honor, respect, and obedience should begin in the home. If it’s cultivated and nurtured properly, there’s a good chance it will reflect in our relationship with God. Some may be thinking it’s too late. If you have breath, it’s never too late. Go back, make things right, and receive the special blessing that comes with honoring your mother and father. Just a thought: the older I get, the smarter my folks get.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Polarizing Effect of Jesus

Read Mt 3.11-12, Mk 1.7-8, Lk 3.15-18

Jesus Christ will cause division. Right and wrong. Believing and unbelieving. Saved and lost. Eternal life and eternal damnation. This is a matter of fact that comes with relating to Jesus and straight from His words. As much as we’d like to soften the blow eventually it boils down to one question, “Will you follow, trust, embrace, Jesus?” I agree with the Universalist on this point, “All roads do lead to Heaven.” But how long one gets to stay there is where our disagreement begins. There is a final judgment. We will all stand before God to give an account. And the only delineating factor will be our relationship to Jesus. “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (1 Jn 5:12) It is very important as disciplers of Jesus to acknowledge this fact and communicate it in love. We do not use it as a contentious weapon but as a compassionate warning. FJ16

Universalism is a religion and theology that generally holds all persons and creatures are related to God or the divine and will be reconciled to God.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Attitude Check

Read Mt 3.7-10, Lk 3.7-14

John the Baptist’s job was to help people achieve a right attitude. He accuses the people of having false motivation disguised under spiritual pretense. When John was asked, “what should we do?” which really means “how shall we repent?” each response has something to do with relationships. The fruit of repentance is always about repairing relationships. Whether it’s our relationship with God and our relationship with other people, John’s message would needle into the true motive. He was the perfect forerunner for Jesus’ message of loving God and loving neighbor. FJ15

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rest for the Best

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8

In Kuwait, I made the big mistake of telling the XO I’d take a day off when he took a day off; four months later, not a single day off. By the end of the tour, we were both crispy critters. Then, just as we were ready to fly home, Operation Desert Fox kicked off and we headed back to the desert. As I looked him in the eyes, I could see a deep weariness. Then it dawned on me: I was looking in a mirror. All because we had not taken time to rest. There was no way to be at our best for this very unexpected crisis. We have a very demanding job and there are times we can’t afford to take a break in the midst of our demanding duties. But God has commanded rest for a reason. Leaders, there comes a time when you may have to order your “High Speeds” to stand down. And you owe it to your soldiers to be at your best and get rest yourself. A rest plan is just as important as a security plan. Get some rest. That’s an order from God. SP304

Discipleship begins with Preparation

Read Mk 1.1-6, Lk 3.1-6, Mt 3.1-6

Getting soldiers ready for combat is the primary objective of TPLs (Troop Leading Procedures) There are orders to give, inspections to conduct and rehearsals to perform. All in preparatory to accomplish the mission. It seems God does a lot of preparation as well. He helps us to recognize Him and receive Him by doing some work in our hearts and minds before we will actually respond to Him. Some of that prep work may be giving us knowledge that we lack. Some may have to do with changing some of our attitudes. It’s a matter of getting the heart ready to receive the teacher and His teaching. Repentance is a very crucial component of heart preparation. It is the expression of need, a need to change, a need to be forgiven, a need for Jesus. As a discipler, are you alert to God’s preparatory works? Are you participating in the work that is necessary to get a person ready to receive Christ? FJ14