Standing on the Shoulders of Faithful Fathers

Family Dogpile

This Sunday we celebrate fathers … hopefully, you’ll join in the celebration with members of your family … if not in person, then via video or a phone call.

I love this photo of our “family dogpile” … circa 1989 … and now, all three of our children have children for their own dogpiles! It vividly reminds me that the Bible has a lot to say to fathers (and mothers) about the importance of passing along to the next generation a legacy of belief and trust in God.

What the Bible says

Moses reminded the Israelites on the eve of their entrance into the Promised Land …

  • “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4–9).

Notice WHY Moses gave these instructions …

  • “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.” (6:2)

Ethan the Ezrahite, whose wisdom was exceeded only by King Solomon (1 Kings 4:31), expressed a similar sentiment in song …

  • “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)

Solomon himself wrote of the long–term benefits of fatherhood …

  • “The righteous who walks in his integrity – blessed are his children after him!” (Proverbs 20:7)

The apostle Paul first reminded his young apprentice, Timothy, of these same truths, and then urged him to follow suit …

  • “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you …” (2 Timothy 1:5–6a)
  • “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1–2)

Notice the four “generations” listed here: Paul … to Timothy … to faithful men … to others also.

I am blessed to say that I am “standing on the shoulders” of a faithful father … who is now basking in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many of you may be blessed with multiple generations of faithful fathers who have preceded you. What will our children, and grandchildren, and great–grandchildren be able to claim?

I learned many valuable lessons as an undergrad Christian Education major at Biola University back in the early 1970’s. This truth remains the most memorable …

“It’s more caught than taught.”

Jesus illustrated this principle in action and compared it to how our heavenly Father relates to us …

  • “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9–11)

“Everyday Intentionality”

Let’s circle back to the Deuteronomy 6 passage for clues to making this practical in our lives today. Our circumstances may have changed from those of the early Israelites. The rhythms of our 21st Century lives make look very different. But the one constant from this passage that can still be applied today is what I’ll call “everyday intentionality.”

The root of the word “diligently” in Deuteronomy 6:7 means “to sharpen” … used to refer to sharpening a sword or weapon. This immediately reminds me of Psalm 127 …

  • “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

Hey, Dads and Granddads, what are we doing every single day to pass along a legacy of faith to our children and grandchildren? How are we diligently sharpening the spiritual character of the lives entrusted to us? Just as we are standing on the shoulders of faithful generations who have preceded us, what are we doing to strengthen our shoulders, so that others can confidently stand as well?

With a passion for “equipping & mobilizing men to follow Jesus,” my prayer is that we grow daily in grace and Christ–likeness, so that our children and grandchildren will follow our lead, standing confidently on our shoulders of faith.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)

Happy Father’s Day!

~ tr

So long 2017 … Welcome 2018!

You’ve arrived at this blog for one or more of the following reasons:

… Instagram or Twitter led you here

… we crossed paths somewhere in the world … SoCal • Colorado • Mississippi • Montana • Haiti • Bangkok • Oregon • ???

… we’re related … by blood or marriage

… we’ve been colleagues in ministry

… you’ve mentored me along the way

… you’re a Dad (or GrandDad) leading a family

… you’re leading a church, non–profit, or business

… you’re a man following Jesus

That last one is the most significant! … and the primary reason for this blog post.

These two handouts are designed to help you and those you love and serve to approach this New Year of 2018 with more intentionality … something we all need.  The attachments are self–explanatory:

Think about the questions individually, or discuss them in a group with family and friends.  Pass them along to others who may benefit as well.

My prayer is that God will bless you beyond measure as you reflect on 2017 and prepare for 2018 … while leading others to do the same.

Peace & Joy!

~ Tim Robertson

P.S.  If you’re new to StrongStakes, here’s some background info.  Many years ago, Isaiah 54:2 strongly impacted my thoughts about following Jesus.  This verse contains powerful images that speak to our life of discipleship.

  • “Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not hold back.  Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”

The mission of StrongStakes is about equipping (“strengthen stakes”) and mobilizing (“lengthen cords”) men to follow Jesus.  Click the “Follow Blog via Email” link for automatic notifications when new disciple–building resources are added.

If these two handouts proved to be helpful to you, then post a comment on this blog, briefly describing how you used them.

Entering Advent with Intention

December 1 begins the season of Advent, observed by Christians world–wide as a time of expectant waiting, anticipation, and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Messiah.  The term derives from Latin, and literally means “the approach” or “the arrival.”  Jesus himself instructs His followers to “Watch. Stay awake. Get ready and prepare!”  What better time to build disciples, especially in our families?

A key word defining Advent is preparation, and preparation requires intentionality.  It takes careful thought, planning, creativity, and intentionality to lead our families in the path of following Jesus, the Christ–child.

A few years ago, I was dismayed to learn of a church near where we lived in southern California, advertising their Christmas Eve services with the following, attention–grabbing bullet points:

  • Experience live animals in our nativity scene.
  • Capture the moment in our photo booth.
  • Enjoy cookies & hot chocolate.
  • Hop on board the Christmas train.
  • Test your skills at the “snowball” toss.
  • Dash through the water in a giant bubble–roller.

Wow! … Really?! … It sounded more like a carnival at the county fair, than ways to prepare to meet Emmanuel.  Is this what it takes in our culture to prepare our families to receive “God with us”?

Intentionally building disciples in our families during this month of anticipation and preparation … in a “counter–cultural” way … will be aided by the following online resources.  Click on each link to be directed to another website, or to download a printable document.

The Advent ProjectBiola University produces this daily, content–rich, media–filled resource incorporating devotionals, artwork, music, and videos.  Begins December 2 and continues through January 7.

Good News of Great Joy … John Piper wrote these daily readings for Advent in the form of a printable document.  It can also be read online at Desiring God’s website.

The Glory of the One & Only Son … Denver Seminary compiles these daily devotions into a printable document.  This can also be read online at Denver Seminary’s website.

Family Advent Guide … Lifeway Christian Resources created this printable document including devotions, activities, and discussion questions that will help us celebrate the birth of Jesus with our kids.

Christmas Flash Mob … Enjoy this video filmed by Journey of Faith Church at a busy shopping center in southern California!

Share these resources with family and friends.  Post a comment on this blog about how you used one of these resources to build disciples during Advent.

  • “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Celebrating Thanksgiving as an Opportunity for Intentional Disciple–Building

Have you noticed how our culture forgets Thanksgiving in the mad dash from Halloween to Christmas? … even in the church.  We counter the culture’s obsession with Halloween by scheduling a “Harvest Festival.”  Once October ends, we quickly begin preparations for Advent, culminating in Christmas celebrations and traditions.

The fourth Thursday in November gets relegated to the day before “Black Friday” sales events, rather than a national day set aside to remember God’s goodness and thank Him for His provision.  When President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed a national holiday on October 3, 1863, he penned these amazing words:

  • “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy … I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday in November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in heaven.”

This handout … Thanksgiving Resources … provides resources to help turn this holiday into an intentional disciple–building opportunity with those who will join you around the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Before enjoying the meal, consider these options:

  • Invest several minutes reading aloud some of the historical narratives and Scripture passages.
  • Ask members of your family to participate in the readings.
  • Incorporate a time of corporate praise and prayer between the meal and dessert.

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

November Psalter Challenge

The Psalter, also known as the Old Testament book of Psalms, was ancient Israel’s song book.  Since Thanksgiving is celebrated in the U.S. during the month of November, what better way to prepare ourselves for this significant national holiday than to read through this book of praise and worship?

To encourage your participation during November, I propose that we read through Psalms in a slightly different way than normal.

 

  • On November 1, read these five Psalms:  1, 31, 61, 91, 121.
  • On November 2, read these five Psalms:  2, 32, 62, 92, 122.
  • Continue in this daily sequence until November 30, when we will read:  30, 60, 90, 120, 150.

Since the Psalter is packed with symmetry, be on the lookout for connections between the five separate psalms that will be read each day.

Join in the conversation by posting comments on this blog so we can all learn from each other what God is teaching us as we collectively read our way through the Psalms.

Click on this link to download and print a handout to carry in your Bible … November Psalter Challenge … divide into three parts for handy bookmarks to share with others.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

What exactly were Martin Luther’s “95 Theses”?

Today is “Reformation Day” commemorating Martin Luther nailing his “95 Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany 500 years ago.  His action provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

In a blog post made yesterday at Ligonier Ministries, the significance of Luther’s action may be summed up in this way:

“Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone … good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Ephesians 2:8–10).  Justification – God’s declaration that we are not guilty, forgiven of sin, and righteous in His sight – comes because through our faith alone the Father imputes, or reckons to our account, the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Martin Luther’s rediscovery of this truth led to a whole host of other church and societal reforms and much of what we take for granted in the West would have likely been impossible had he never graced the scene.”

Click on this link … Martin-Luther-95-Theses … to see what he staked his life and ministry on, as he nailed them to the door.

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Celebrating 500 Years of the Protestant Reformation

October 31, 1517 marks the day that Martin Luther wrote a document – “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” – then nailed it to the front door of the Wittenberg Castle church, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

Born in Eisleben, Germany, in 1483, Martin Luther went on to become one of Western history’s most significant figures. He spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But his 95 Theses attacked the Roman Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin.  He emphasized two central beliefs … that the Bible is the central religious authority, and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith in God’s grace, and not by their own deeds.

A valuable online resource has been created that will aid in remembering and celebrating this historic event … Here We Stand is a 31–day journey chronicling heroes of the Reformation.  You may read and/or listen to each day’s entry this month.

An ongoing challenge for any man or woman who claims to follow Jesus is to remember that we are now standing on the shoulders of men and women who have followed in His footsteps long before us.  The introduction to this online resource states:

  • “The Reformation was not about one or two big names — Luther, Calvin, Zwingli — but about a massive movement of Christian conviction, boldness, and joy that cost many men and women their lives — and scattered the seeds that are still bearing fruit in the twenty-first century.  Not only was Luther surrounded by many Reformers in Germany, but lesser–known heroes of the faith rose up all over Europe … heroes like Heinrich Bullinger, Hugh Latimer, Lady Jane Grey, Theodere Beza, and Johannes Oecolampadius.”

Click on these two links to access these resources:

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Commemorating Yom Kippur

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you; and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23:26–28)

*Note: This blog post has been adapted from two eNews articles by Koinonia House:

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, may be the most important holiday of the Jewish year.  It is observed on the 10th of Tishri, which this year starts at sunset tonight, Friday, September 29.  All day Saturday, Jews will forgo work, and fast for this holy and solemn day of repentance and reconciliation.

According to Leviticus 16, the high priest could not enter the “Holy of Holies” any time he chose.  When he did enter, precise, detailed instructions were followed for the sacrificial ceremony.  Along with the people of Israel, the high priest and his household also needed reconciliation with God.  A total of 16 separate sacrifices were offered (Leviticus 16:5–29; Numbers 29:7–11).

On this special Day of Atonement – the only day – that the high priest was allowed to enter the “Holy of Holies,” he did so only after elaborate ceremonial washings, offerings, and associated rituals.  After bathing, he put on linen clothes (rather than his sacred vestments), and then chose for himself and his household a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.  From the congregation he took two goats as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering.  He then had the two goats placed at the entrance of the tent of meeting where he cast a lot, assigning one goat for Yahweh and “one for Azazel.”

The goat assigned by lot to Yahweh was sacrificed as a sin offering, but the other goat was placed before the Lord alive in order to reconcile.  An indispensable detail of this ceremony was the placing of the live goat before the altar of burnt offering.  Leaning with his two hands on the head of the animal, the high priest confessed all the sins of the Israelites, symbolically placing them on the head of the goat.  This goat was dedicated as a scapegoat (Leviticus 16:20–22) bearing the guilt of Israel’s sins.  Then an appointed person took the animal into the wilderness outside the camp of Israel, where he set the goat free.

Many aspects of the Old Testament feasts were prophetic (e.g., the scapegoat pointing to the Messiah).  Since the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D. by the Romans, the God–centered observances of the Torah have tragically been replaced with a man–centered, good works system of appeasement through prayer, charity, and penitence.

Yom Kippur traditionally ends with one long note of the Shofar, a musical instrument usually made from a ram’s horn.  The significance of the ram’s horn is traditionally rooted in Genesis 22.  Here God commands Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as a test of his faith.  After God halts the sacrifice at the last minute, Abraham notices a ram trapped by his horns in a nearby thicket, and offers the animal instead as a sacrifice.

It’s interesting to note that this is the first occurrence of the word “love” in Scripture.  This strange event foreshadows Christ’s death on the cross as a substitutionary offering for our sins.  It may have even taken place at the very same spot where the “only begotten Son” of God was later crucified.

Those of us who follow Jesus, placing our trust in Him for our salvation, are now able to enter behind the veil of separation and stand in the presence of God in the “Holy of Holies.”  We have forgiveness of sins because of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.  He is our scapegoat!  His blood was spilled for our atonement!  Because of Him we are cleansed and made holy before God.

Violence and anger persist in our sin–stained world, but God provides a sanctuary of protection for us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.  During Yom Kippur, Jews may mourn and repent of their sins, but the sacrifice has already been offered to pay for their sins.  Jerusalem may be a “cup of trembling for all nations,” but it will one day hold the throne of the Messiah, Jesus Christ!

*Click on Fall Feasts: Yom Kippur and Yom Kippur to download these informative and detailed articles.

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Adding more Participles to our Life of Faith

If you ask a random “man on the street” to describe Christianity, most likely he or she will refer to the Ten Commandments or the “Golden Rule.”  The conversation might even turn towards some sort of earnings–based approach to gaining favor.  Ask the same question of a professing Christian and they’re likely to describe a grace–based approach to gaining access to their Creator.

But when you ask the Christian what happens next, more often than not, their answer stays stuck in grace, failing to realize and acknowledge that now a life of progressive transformation into Christ–like character has only just begun.  Dallas Willard, who now basks in God’s eternally gracious Presence, wrote extensively about grace …

  • “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.  Earning is an attitude.  Effort is an action.  Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.” (The Great Omission)

But what’s the nature of this “effort”?  There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament for Christians to obey, covering every phase of a person’s life in relationship to God and to others.  This is where many followers of Jesus get stuck again … we get hung up on what I’ll call the “imperative lifestyle” … attempting to “check the boxes” on a long To-Do list.  We tend to treat these commands like one–time events, religiously working our way down a new list every day.

What would happen if we added more participles to our everyday life of faith?  How different would our lives look?  Who might be drawn to the Good News about Jesus by observing our “participial living”?

Participles are words formed from a verb, but used as an adjective … acting as modifiers, applying continuous, ongoing action to whatever word they modify.  The common Greek language, used in the original writing of the New Testament, has been called a “participle loving language.”  In fact, the present active participle occurs 2,549 times in the New Testament … more than twice as many times as commands.  One of my favorites is found in 3 John 1:4 … applied to the Greek word [περιπατέω] and translated “walking” to indicate the apostle John’s joy upon learning that his “spiritual children” were conducting the affairs of their lives according to God’s truth …

  • “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”

During my senior year of college, I was introduced to the power of participles in Scripture in the classic Greek grammar text by Dana & Mantey …

  • “There are few languages which have equaled the Greek in the abundance and variety of its use of the participle, and certainly none has surpassed it … This wealth of significance which belonged to the Greek participle at the zenith of its development lies undiminished before the student of the New Testament, and becomes a valuable asset in interpretation when adequately comprehended.” (p. 220, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament)

If you’re prone to scholarly reading, a classmate of mine at then-named Biola College has since written a sequel that dives deeper into the significance of participles … Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.

I’m simply proposing that we add more “–ing” words and behaviors to our daily lives of following the footsteps of Jesus.  To the observant reader of this blog, you will notice that out of the 41 posts I’ve written here since December 30 of last year, 32 of the titles have begun with a participle.  This has been intentional. Which is what we need to be as we flesh–out our lives of faith … “fixing our eyes on Jesus” … in continuous, ongoing action.

When I sign an email or letter or card to our children and grandchildren, I frequently write “Loving You”! … my way of saying that my love for them is continuous, ongoing and active.  Let’s all apply that same attitude and effort in our daily lives of faith, following the footsteps of Jesus.

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Passing the baton to men who will follow Jesus

Wouldn’t it be great to leave a legacy of future generations following the footsteps of Jesus?  What’s the best way to begin?  How about using a Wallet Card? (click to download)

Before I explain how this works, let’s look at Scripture for some clues.  In his final written correspondence before execution at Nero’s hands, the apostle Paul charged his young protégé Timothy to pass along the baton of disciple–building.

  • “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1–2)

This was not a new concept for Timothy, since Paul had already reminded him in a previous letter how he had benefited from next–generation disciple–building.

  • “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

In Paul’s charge to Timothy, he uses six words or phrases that reveal the mechanics of spiritual “baton–passing”

1. “be strong” [ἐνδυναμόω] … This term means “to increase in strength.”  Because Paul wrote this as a present, passive, imperative (tense, voice & mood), it literally meant “commanded to continuously being strengthened.”  It’s a command to be transformed by someone else, namely the Holy Spirit.  In other words, God commands, then equips, and causes the action to happen continuously.

2. “grace” … God’s unmerited favor secures our salvation for eternity, but it also fuels our everyday living as we follow Jesus.  Dallas Willard wrote about this in The Great Omission …

  • “The true saint burns grace like a 747 jet burns fuel on takeoff.  Become the kind of person who routinely does what Jesus did and said.  You will consume much more grace by leading a holy life than you will by sinning, because every holy act you do will have to be upheld by the grace of God.” (p. 62)

While writing about Jesus’ resurrection, Paul adds his view on grace …

  • “But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

3. “heard in the presence of many witnesses” … Paul met Timothy near the beginning of his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1), so Timothy received ample opportunities to hear Paul’s message of God’s grace.  These were not secret truths shared in a vacuum, but public testimonies delivered repeatedly in major cities throughout the Roman Empire.  Timothy was probably also present in Rome during the two years that Paul was there under house arrest.  What he witnessed is what I call “whole–Bible disciple–building.”

  • “When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.” (Acts 28:23)

4. “entrust” [παρατίθημι] is the pivotal word in Paul’s charge to Timothy.  It literally meant “to set before,” as in setting food on a table before a guest.  Within certain contexts it came to mean “to deposit,” as would be done in a trust for protection.  In other contexts it was translated “to commit to one’s charge.”

The term is used twice in Mark 6:38 & 41, to describe the feeding of 5000 men, plus women and children.  Mark then repeats the term in 8:6 while describing a second miraculous feeding where it is translated “to serve to them.”

Jesus speaks this term from the Cross … “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” (Luke 23:46).  These cross–references provide wonderful clues about what Paul expected Timothy to do with the message of God’s grace that he had heard.

5. “faithful” [πιστός] is the adjective Paul uses to describe the type of people that Timothy should seek.  It means “trusty, believing, reliable.”

6. “able to teach others” [ἱκανός] is another qualifying characteristic of those to whom Timothy would pass the baton of disciple–building.  It meant “sufficient in ability” or “fit for a task at hand.”  The root word meant “to have come” or “to have arrived,” and it suggests “seeking intimacy with another.”  It can be translated “to become a fit follower.”

Now notice the results of this deliberate, intentional approach … Four–generation disciple–building! … Paul to Timothy to faithful men to others.

Against this spiritual backdrop, here’s how a Wallet Card works …

  • Click the link to download the handout, then print and cut into six cards.
  • Carry one in your wallet, another in your vehicle, another in your gym bag.
  • Tape one to your bathroom mirror, maybe another atop your computer at work.
  • Then pray that the Holy Spirit will impress on your mind the names of “men who will follow Jesus.”
  • As names come to mind, write them on the card.  Some may already be following Jesus.  Others may still be in search–mode.  Still others may have no clue of their need for a Savior.
  • One of the names may be a family member (son, brother, etc.).  Another name may be a neighbor or co–worker.  You may not have yet met still other names that will be added.
  • As you add names to your list, continue to pray … that the Holy Spirit would strengthen you, plus open a door of opportunity to naturally share your faith–story with these men.

If you’re tech–savvy, use Evernote (or similar app) to create a digital “Wallet Card.”  If you do, let me know so I can share how you did that in a future blog post!

Add the “Wallet Card” to your disciple–building tool–kit, and pray for effective results similar to what Paul wrote about at the end of his life on earth.

  • “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:11–14)

As the Holy Spirit continuously strengthens and equips you for this strategic task, please leave a comment here on the blog, describing encounters or conversations with “men who will follow Jesus”!

Peace & Joy!

~ tr