28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature inChrist.
29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
I recently watched a new documentary fronted by Hercule Poirot, the French detective, well not really it was the actor David Suchet. The focus was the it is a tracing of the life of Paul, amazing and moving. I was moved to see the resolve of this man, Paul that is, the outright single-mindedness he was on his purpose, that Christ might fill all in all. He clearly was a man with a desire of brining Christ to a broken world was uttermost, it was not just salvation but a transformation he believed in, the belief that he could change his world, he really had a conviction and laboured to that end.
“To this end I labour”, I now continue with the thoughts around that ”labouring to an end”, I have already competed 2 posts and cover 4 steps for us in of setting a pace to get the job done. All who have celebrated the arrival of 2013 it is once again the beginning of a new year, it affords us in our thinking a focus on the coming year, what I would give my self to, what I would labour towards, I trust this further journey will add to the last two blogs under the same topic heading, read on!
Step four VERBAL CONFESSION
As soon as it is feasible it is good to confess your faith verbally. Confession with the mouth seals something in your heart. It is this commitment, confined in your own words, that spurs you on in your Christian pilgrimage.
Verbally sharing your faith deepens your appreciation and conviction of the life you have received, as well as sharpening your ability to communicate it effectively to others. Sharing your experiences confirms the God of history that invades today and brings hope for tomorrow.
Confession quickly allows us to find from the crowd those whose faith and boldness is similar to your own, and you will be drawn to them as they are drawn to you. It is often the beginning of progress in meaningful relationships.
Step five LEARNING FROM OTHERS
‘Of the past’
I owe a great debt to men such as Bryn Jones, Arthur Wallis, Ern Baxter, E Stanley Jones, Austin Sparks Andrew Murray, F .B. Meyer, S.D. Gordon, Watchman Nee, Rees Howells, Charles Spurgeon. George Eldon Ladd and others, the list is endless. Most I have never met in the flesh, but have sat for hours on end listening to them opening their hearts in revelation of Christ to me. All this has taken place through my being a prolific reader. I cannot over estimate the value books in my life. The writings of such men as these speak to all ages and times, since the principles set out are themselves eternal.
‘Of the present”
One of life’s privileges is the opportunity of fellowship with men of spiritual experience beyond ourselves. They may not see themselves as fathers or mentors to us, but many of them are that. They are deep waters of revelation, experience and truth for us. I am again indebted to numerous men in my lifetime – Keri Jones, Tony Ling, Ray Bevan, Dave Mansell, Charles Simpson, Gordon Fee, Tom Wright, Derek Morphew, Sam Solyen and others, endless list again. For some of these were willing to take an interest in me and allowed me to draw upon them in my development, others I meet and continue to draw from their journeys through writings. Needless to say I clung to several of these very strongly and learned from every one of them.
Then again in retrospect I see how many men who were growing up alongside me in their own faith have greatly influenced my life. I think in lots of instances we owe as much if not more, to brother-ing than fathering in our spiritual progress.
Step six LEARNING TO HANDLE DEFEAT
I have seen so many allow themselves to be wiped out by mistakes. If I had allowed this to happen to me then I would have been destroyed in the first 3 months of my life. But again-and-again I came back to the bedrock conviction that I was born again despite my many miserable failings. The burden and what I had seen came to the fore front, resurrection from deep within the very taste of the future God has allowed me to taste came strong at those times
I have continued to go forward with this conviction of faith, that God is greater than my mistakes, bigger than any problem I face, deeper than any shallowness of thought, word, or action on my part. Even realizing that my mistakes and my success are as much part of who I am today rather than only seeing the success made me they all have made me and brought me to today! I got to today because of my successes and my failures they made me and i am not so bad after all.
This enables me to bounce back again from any failure, embracing grace as the means to restored fellowship, and giving me liberty from any condemnation that would threaten my progress or happiness.
That’s long enough for this one we will continue next time on Step seven Power of Discipleship