Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 293 of our trek. Yesterday we hiked on the 13th trail of this trek, which was the Trail of Discipleship. Today we will explore a related trail which will help us to put practical content into what we explored yesterday as we hike the Trail of The Process of Discipleship.
There is a total of 18 trails on the trek we call the Principles of Spiritual Growth, which is adapted from a short book written by Miles J. Stanford. These practical lessons were instrumental in my spiritual growth as a young man seeking to create and live my legacy.
As we continue on each trial of our overall trek, I trust that you will also find this information valuable in your own life, regardless of where you happen to be on your faith trek. Each of the trails that we hike builds on the previous one, so if you miss any of the days of our Wisdom-Trek, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen to them and read the daily journal.
We are recording our podcast from our studio at Home2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. If all goes according to plan, we should be heading to The Big House on the day this episode releases. We hope to get a lot more renovation work completed while we are in Marietta this time.
Paula should be back from her visit with Aunt Pauline late Friday. It has been a great visit for her, and we are certainly glad that she made the choice to invest the time with her.
Speaking of investing time, as we head out for our hike, today we want to discover how best to invest our time in the process of becoming a disciple of Christ. As with every activity that we integrate into our lives, let’s change our mentality from spending time to investing time. When we invest time, it has a return on it, just like a monetary investment. The difference is when we invest time, it can have an eternal return that is part of living our legacy each day. Our trail for today is the Trail of The Process of Discipleship as we learn the process to become an effective disciple. This is the 14th of 18 trails which makes up the trek we call…
One of the best analogies of the process of discipleship is found in the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:15 where it says, “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” It shows a distinct process of growth through patience. A parallel passage to this which gives us an analogy of return is Mark 4:8, “Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” There is a theme throughout the Bible of what it takes for solid growth that produces a good return. It is integral to the process of discipleship if it is to be long lasting. A farmer completely understands that concept that is also mentioned in James 5:7, “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.”
Within our lives, it has been a long season of growth from when the seed fell on the fertile soil of our hearts, sprouted, grew and is now producing an abundant harvest in our lives that is nourishing others. So many Christ followers only get to the 2nd or 3rd stage in this life process toward discipleship. If you are just growing and not producing an abundant harvest, then you will never be able to reach the level where you can feed others.
One important aspect that is missed by many Christ followers is that before the plant sprouts and grows, the original seed must die to bring out a new abundant harvest. As Christ was approaching His crucifixion and death, He knew that He must die to bring new life. John 12:24-25, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”
To make sure that His closest disciples understood the Process of Discipleship, Christ provides further explanation in Mark 8:34-37, “Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
When the believer takes up his cross through the process of discipleship, the process of death begins to set in. The disciple finds himself a seed sown by the Son, planted in a home, office, shop, hospital, church, or online social media, as their place of ministry. Whatever or wherever it is, through the process of discipleship, there will be the death from which resurrection life follows.
We need to enter deeply into the truth that Christ could not enter into the glory of heaven until He had first given Himself over to death. This great truth will help us to understand how in our life and in our fellowship with Christ, we have to first surrender ourselves, every day, to die to sin and self. It is then we can abide in the unbroken fellowship of discipleship with our crucified and risen Lord.
On our trek Principles for Spiritual Growth, today we learned the precise path that must be taken on the Trail of The Process of Discipleship. Once we have fallen on the fertile soil of God’s Word, we must die to self so that we can grow, produce an abundant harvest, and will be used to feed those who hunger and thirst for God’s justice. We must be patient through this process because it requires the proper nutrients, care, weeding, and most importantly, time. There is no shortcut to the process of discipleship. Tomorrow we will move onto our next trail, which is the Trail of Rest. Throughout the process of discipleship, which will last our entire lives, there are times for rest. Every trail that we hike will help us to create and live our legacy each day. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person, so they can come along with us each day.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!