Three Weeks of Personal Spiritual Formation to Become a Disciple of Christ
“Living for Christ” By Dr. David Gordeuk
The Christian life is like a race: there is a beginning when you are born again, but the race goes on from there, as you live life each day. These daily reading and prayers can help you establish a good pace for your Christian race.
How to Begin Living Your New Life in the Spirit
When you placed your faith in Jesus Christ, you began a new life. You are following the example of the early Christians. They heard the message that Jesus had died for them. Peter gave them instructions for beginning to live a different way than they had been living. When they heard the message they asked “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation.’
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:37-47).
These new Christians were instructed in applying their faith to their lives. It meant making changes.
One major change was that they were to repent. That means they were to change their minds about how they had been living and thinking. To follow that example, you must also develop a new mindset about everything. You can now begin to see things from God’s point of view. That will make a big difference in your life.
These new believers in Jesus were also told to save themselves from the perverseness of the general society. The disciples of Jesus who were teaching them gave them a lot of instruction about conforming their lifestyles and thinking to God and not to society. In the next weeks, you will learn how different a child of God is from a worldly person.
To emphasize their commitment to Christ, these new Christians were encouraged to be baptized in Jesus’ name. Being baptized is an open declaration that you are dead to the old life of sin and are starting a new life of doing what is right. We read that the people who believed were baptized. When you follow Jesus, you are one who is called away from the world to be part of his church. Baptism signifies that you are serious about following Jesus and are joining his people. You should meet with the church leaders about being baptized since you are now part of the people of God.
The Holy Spirit in You
The promise to new believers is that as they believe and are baptized, they will receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune God. That means that God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Three are One. The Father is in Heaven and Jesus the Son is seated at the Father’s right hand. The Holy Spirit is in the world, and when you believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit came into your heart to live in you. The Spirit of Christ, living in you, will teach you and will be your Guide and Counselor.
Four Basic Goals
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
The new believers were intent on maintaining their faith. There were four basic dimensions in their new lives that related to other Christians. As a follower of Jesus, you will want to establish these four areas of spiritual growth.
1. Place yourself under Bible teaching – “continue in the apostles’ doctrine.”
A. Make sure you have your own Bible.
B. Every day, read the Bible yourself. In the following pages are suggested readings for the first three weeks. Following that, a good place to read is the Gospel of John. Each week, memorize a Bible verse.
C. Join with other Christians in Biblical instruction. Becoming part of the church is important.
2. Establish and continue fellowship with God’s people
A. Find a brother or sister who will walk with you as you learn what it means to live for Christ. It is recommended that you meet one on one at least once a week.
B. Join other believers in the worship times – Sunday is our traditional Lord’s Day Worship.
C. Keep yourself open for a place where you can serve.
3. Break bread with other Christians – do breakfasts or lunches with someone who will encourage you.
4. Make prayer a daily activity ~ Suggested prayers are presented here for the first three weeks. You may want to memorize The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6:9-13
Begin a daily personal Bible reading and prayer time. On the following pages your will find suggestions for three weeks of establishing a regular habit of daily devotions. Each day read a passage from God’s Word. The suggested prayer guides you in confirming your personal agreement with God’s message to you about your relationship with Him. There is also a recommended reading in a book for new Christians.