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Getting Ready (Spiritually) for 2015

How did you do spiritually in 2014? Would you say that you grew spiritually, stayed the same or took a step backward over the last 12 months? Could you truly say that you truly “followed” Jesus consistently over the past year?

Imagine someone came to you and said, “I want you to teach me to do what you’re good at – I want to learn from you!” and you happily agreed. You made an appointment with them to come to their first session but they were a no-show. The person then apologizes and sets up another appointment with you. No show again. I bet you would wonder what’s up with this person. You certainly are having second thoughts about whether they want to do this or not. Now, imagine the next day you run into someone who proceeds to tell you that they heard you had taught “Mr. or Ms. No Show” everything you know. I bet you would be like, “far from it!!!” 

Follow me here: They SAID they want to learn but they never did anything. Yet, they are telling people that they are following your every step and are attaching their name to your name. People do that all the time with Jesus.

The calling on our life, yours and mine, is to be a “disciple”.  To follow Jesus:

Matt 4:18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 ”Come, follow me,” Jesus said, ”and I will make you fishers of men.”

We aren’t “followers” of Jesus because we have taken on the title of Christian. In marriage, is the sole purpose taking someone’s last name or is there more to being married than that? Jesus’ purpose in calling us to follow Him wasn’t to gather a group of people who would call themselves by His name but don’t actually do anything – no life change, no application of His teachings, no helping others.

The simple way that I define a disciple is “a follower of Jesus who helps others follow Jesus.”

That’s what we want to help you to do this year: FOLLOW JESUS. One thing I have learned through the years about myself is that If I don’t have a plan to follow, a map of some sort, I probably won’t end up at the desired location.

This past Sunday at Vertical I shared with our church a challenge for the new year. We have a process we call “NEXT” that is designed to keep you moving towards your next spiritual step. They include things such as:

  • Pray to receive Jesus.
  • Begin to pray daily.
  • Read 21 day devotional (available at NEXT table).
  • Get baptized.
  • Begin serving at Vertical – Join a VTeam.
  • Find a VGroup (small group) to be part of (available thru NEXT).
  • Read 100 day devotional (available at NEXT).
  • Begin to financially Give regularly.
  • Take VERGE class to join Vertical and become a partner.
  • Continue to follow daily using the S.O.A.P. method (S = read scripture, O = observe it’s teaching, A = apply it today, P = pray about it)

I want all of you to be able to say at the end of 2015 that you have done and are continuing to do this daily. And once you have done all of this we continue to help others do the same.

A couple of other challenges I shared were:

  1. I want you to do the above with 2 to 3 people. You will hold each other accountable (“how’s it going? did you read…?”)
  2. If married, do this with your spouse. Share it with your children.
  3. Find 2 other people (not your spouse) to walk with as well so you can help one another.

The last thing I shared is that beginning this coming Monday, January 5th, we will begin the “Follow Fast ’15″. We will spend 6 days (Sunrise Monday until sunset Saturday) fasting as a church. I don’t know if you have ever fasted before but I assure you, there is no greater way to clear the spiritual cobwebs than thru fasting. I guarantee you that, if you do it right, you will grow spiritually through your fast. We will give further instructions about that over the next couple of days.

I want to follow Jesus with my life and hope that you do as well. 2015 is gonna be your greatest year ever spiritually, I believe it.

Got something to say? Go for it!