The Columns – January

DiscipleshipHeader

God created each of us to impact the world for His Glory. We have this kind of lasting significance only by growing in our relationship with Christ and increasing his impact on lives. Each month this page offers challenges aimed at doing just that. I hope you will resolve to join your church family in reading, memorizing, and living out the Word of God that together we might grow as disciples of Jesus Christ in 2016.

This month we are focusing on our need to increase in wisdom as we grow in our relationship with Christ. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). Jesus spent 30 years growing in wisdom before he began his ministry. Not only did he grow in understanding of God and His Word, but he also grew in understanding of the world he lived in and the people with whom he spoke. As disciples of Jesus, we too are called to increase in wisdom and understanding–continually learning about God, God’s Word and Truth, the world we live in and the people around us.

A disciple who is mature in wisdom knows God, the world, oneself as a child of God, the reconciliation offered through Jesus Christ and what this means for oneself and others. We grow mature in wisdom by continual learning through reading and studying God’s Word, learning about the world and society, discovering and developing spiritual gifts, knowing and implementing the spiritual disciplines, understanding the Triune God and faith. James gives us a clear vision of the character of wisdom in our memory verse for this month. Wisdom that is from God is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield (knowing when being right isn’t the most important thing in a situation), full of mercy (knowing when to let a wrong go rather than insist on consequences or compensation), full of good fruits (using our knowledge in ways that improves the world, blesses others and reveals God’s goodness), and without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. In other words, the character of our wisdom should look like Christ’s character.

May you increase in wisdom this year while growing closer to Christ.

Grow Opportunities
MEMORIZE
James 3:17 – But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

READ
James – Commit to join your church family in reading through the book of James this month. This can be done in solitude, with your family, with a reading partner or with a small group. Set aside time on a regular basis to read and reflect on God’s Word this month.

STUDY
The Book of James by Francis Chan
on RightNow Media
Through 12 sessions, Francis Chan works through James verse-by-verse, challenging followers of Christ to move beyond a private, intellectual knowledge of God and His Word, to a vibrant faith that impacts every square inch of life. If you do not have a RightNow Media account please email Stephanie Clark for an invitation (sclark@fumcshreveport.org).

ACT
• Take the Discipleship Survey at members.firstdiscipleship.org Take 10 minutes to reflect on your understanding of faith and pray about steps you will take to grow this month in wisdom. (Your answers are confidential and for your reflection only.)
• Learn a new scientific theory, a culture or nation you know little about, an important issue in our community, etc — study it from every perspective, reflect and pray about how this speaks to your faith and how your faith speaks to it, talk about your studies and reflections with a partner or small group.

LEAD
• Teach Sunday school, a Bible Study or lead a book discussion
• Share what you are learning this month (faith-related or secular) on Social Media using #1Discipleship #KnowGod

Stay Up To Date
on opportunities to connect, grow, serve & lead.

• View/Print this month’s events calendar.
• View/Print this month’s connect, grow, serve & lead opportunity descriptions.
• Check out our online events calendar.