Echo Devotional: Day 11 – Practicing Jesus

Practicing Jesus

 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  (Matthew 7:24, ESV)

Practice does not make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.  When we practice something in the wrong way, we become experts at doing things wrong.

I started playing golf in 2001.  The very first time I played, I borrowed someone’s wooden clubs and Hogan blades.  Yep, I didn’t say irons, I said blades.  They were extremely difficult to hit well.  In addition to playing with horrible clubs, I had absolutely no clue how to swing and hit the ball effectively.

I hit the ground.  I hit the air.  I watched the other guys.  I asked questions.  I tried.  When I got in the truck to go home I swore out loud that I was never going to play again, ever.

A few days later I received a birthday present that changed my whole approach to the game.  Someone gave me their Calloway clubs and irons, a bucket of balls, and a one-year subscription to Golf Digest for my birthday.  I was immediately obsessed with perfecting my golf game and overwhelmed with HOPE!.

I got coaching, took a couple of lessons, bought clothes, bought accessories, and started playing every single Friday over forty degrees.  Everything about my previously bad golf game changed when I discovered how to practice and how to develop a few good habits that gave me some success.

The same exact thing happened when I met older men and women in the faith who had developed rich discipline in practicing the ways of Jesus.  They taught me to experience God, know Him personally, experience the Holy Spirit, and receive Him fully.  They gave me ways to see and ways to approach God that gave me hope.  They helped me practice Jesus and I have been changed for eternity through learning to truly experience the intimacy of following Christ’s ways in personal relationship.

TWO KEYS TO PRACTICING JESUS

  1. The Holy Spirit

Following Jesus is highly intuitive and requires being led by God’s Spirit through your inner being.  You have to become one hundred percent dependent upon God’s Spirit to draw you, speak to you, influence you, and nudge you toward developing relationship with Jesus Christ by faith.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

• The Holy Spirit helps you and comforts you. (John 14:16)

• The Holy Spirit teaches you. (John 14:26)

• The Holy Spirit represents God’s fullness on earth. (John 16:7-11)

• The Holy Spirit guides you. (John 16:13)

• The Holy Spirit empowers you. (Acts 1:8)

• The Holy Spirit intercedes for you. (Romans 8:26)

2.  Structure and Plan for Daily Disciplines

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” 

(Matthew 7:24, ESV).

The primary way the Holy Spirit trains us in the ways of Jesus is through our development of daily disciplines in prayer, reading and memorizing the Word of God, worship, and putting the Word into practice.

I never developed well in the game of golf until I established productive habits.  I went into the back yard and, using multiple clubs, I hit 50 to 100 golf balls a day at different targets.  I videoed my swing.  I had other people watching me and giving me feedback.  Regular discipline changed my game.

Practicing Jesus requires daily Bible reading, memorizing His words and allowing His Spirit to put them to work in you and through you.  You will then establish discipline to put what you read into practice through a lifestyle of worship and discipleship. 

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”

(Matthew 7:26, ESV).

QUESTIONS

How does the Holy Spirit work in leading you to practice the ways of Jesus in your daily life?

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What are three ways of Jesus that you sense He is leading you to develop at this time in your life?  Read Matthew 5-7 or John 15-17 and write down the ways of Christ that stand out to you.

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List two or three people who are currently helping you develop disciplines to better practice Jesus.  Do you have a counselor or someone helping you with discipleship, praying with you, encouraging you or supporting you in some way?  How are they helping you?  If not, who comes to mind as someone you can ask?

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PRAYER

Lord, Jesus today I praise you for calling me into intentional discipleship.  You have called me to follow you.  I didn’t just join a religion and I am not just attending a church, I’ve received the Divine Call from heaven to be a fully devoted disciple of you, Lord Jesus Christ.  Today, I surrender to your call to discipleship.  Empower me with boldness and courage by your Holy Spirit to follow through with the things you are leading me to do and the ways you are calling me to walk in.  I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NEXT STEPS

  • BAPTISM – if you have never been baptized after receiving salvation, go to myanchorchurch.com/baptism and register for baptism today.
  • GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack.  Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.
  • GET IN A GROUP – explore the opportunities to connect with other people in an Anchor Group at www.myanchorchurch.com/groups.  You will grow and you will help others grow in their faith.

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