Concepts From My Discipleship Days

I have spent a fair amount of time talking about Jan and discipleship on this blog and it would be good for me to review the concepts that we sought to cover as a group. I am remembering them as I share them. It’s been a while since I’ve read through this list, so typing it up might do us both some good.

What I want you to know, as in, have it become a part of your being, by the time you leave this discipleship group:

Get rid of all bitterness, hate, jealousy, guilt, fear (of anything but God), covetousness, anger, materialism, and need for approval.

Learn how to get spiritual truths and personal application out of the Old Testament.

Have as your driving force in life, to know God.

Have a spiritual perspective on life, rather than an early perspective.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Perfect love casts out all fear. God is love. God loves you more than anyone on earth. Completed love is when one understands the love that God has for them, and receives that love, and then gives it to all, impartially, by which one is supplied with more love, for it is in giving that we receive. It is the spiritual circle of love.

Learn how to have a quiet time alone with God and create an appetite for it so that you hunger for it daily.

Truly have an audience of One.

Learn how to pray.

How to be a godly woman.

The Bible, and life, are two-edged swords, you will reap just as you sow, and life and the Bible are “IF/THEN. If you do this, then you will receive thus.” (Important to emphasize here that the doing is still as a response to what has already been done on the cross. Don’t reverse the gospel flow! He did it first! We don’t just work for the reward. We get the reward because we work as a response to him, as our way of enjoying him. I’d hate for you to see our study as heretical. It just emphasized the gaps in our understanding. In this case, the gap that she saw in a lot of church teaching was costly grace. Far too many churches teach cheap grace. We can’t expect to receive the blessings God promises if we don’t keep walking in the direction he has called us, can we? We can’t keep living in sin, yet delight that his plans are to prosper us. If we still pursue our sin, we don’t want his plans! It’s a contradiction. A huge one. One that too many Christians make. We are his, all his, because he won us, and claimed us.)

The journey of any believer is a picture of the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. (One of the best things I learned.)

You are but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away, be about your Father’s business.

Your goal is to enter the Promised Land. Where you cease striving, bear fruit, and live as a vessel for the Holy Spirit to flow through.

How to witness and share your testimony.

It was an intense group. She taught us passionately and firmly, but always invited us to question her. For instance, she felt that nothing good could come from drinking alcohol and so she never did. I, for my own life, now that I can drink, disagree. Some great God-ordained moments happen over beers. She also taught that the NIV was not a good translation. NASB was by far the most accurate.  I think it just depends on your translation emphasis.

Fortunately, I am slow to disagree with, but quick to try out what I am taught. For this reason, I evaded many stumbling blocks, but benefitted very deeply from the parts of this discipleship that lasted. I spent two summers learning from Jan. She knew a lot.

It was always cool to see someone so much older than me still placing such large quantities of faith in spiritual things. By my experience most parents don’t trust the Lord to care for her kids—not like Jan anyway.

She’d let them do plenty of dangerous things without supervision. She wanted her boys to grow up to be the men that God intended them to become, sometimes that meant more risk. “You can’t worry about them. That’s sin. They’re God’s kids too and he’s more trust worthy than you. You have to believe that. It’s an assurance he’s given. Never doubt and assurance.” I still don’t know what to do with her philosophy of assurances. But I do know that we are not to worry. Maybe we should still have our children wear helmets, though.

The reason I thought to share that list, though, is because I remembered the idea of having an “audience of One” as I was journaling earlier this week. He is all the approval we need.

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About Jacquelyn Barnes

Former English Literature and Writing major at Whitworth University. Spanish Language minor. Browne's Addition Resident. Editorial Assistant at Gray Dog Press. Interested in postcolonial, multicultural, and feminist theories. Former ski racer. Longboarder. Runner. Member of Vintage Faith Community Church (we have no building). Painter. Morning person. View all posts by Jacquelyn Barnes

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