Double Minded Man

Discipleship Study - The Mind - James 1:6-8 - Double Minded Man - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – The Mind – James 1:6-8 – Double Minded Man – Growing As Disciples

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:6-8 (NIV)

Ask For More

It does no good to pray prayers filled with doubt. Why would you even bother praying to me if you did not believe that I would hear and answer your prayers? That’s a good question. There is the opposite side of that question. What’s that? If you believe that I will hear and answer your prayers why don’t you come and ask me for more? You want me to ask you for more than I am already asking of you? Do you think that you have been asking for a lot from me? That’s what I thought. Isn’t that something? You think you are asking for a lot from me. I think you are asking for very little from me. Who do you suppose is right? There is no chance that I am right. If you say that I am asking for very little from you then that has to be right. Why do you suppose you haven’t been asking me for more? That’s a good question.

I know that my prayer life is weak and not very well developed. I’ll start right there. I want you to enroll me in your school of prayer. I want you to teach me how to pray. I want you to guide my prayers. I want your help to know how to pray. I want to be able to pray powerful and effective prayers that bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I want to be able to pray faith filled prayers that you hear and powerfully answer. I want you to fully develop a prayer life within me. I want to be able to hear your voice. I want you to be able to hear my voice. I don’t want anything to stand in the way. I don’t want anything to come between us. I don’t want anything to hinder my prayer life with you. I want to continually live in a close and intimate relationship with you. I want to know you. I don’t want to sort of know you. I want to really know you. I want to do your will. I don’t want to sort of do your will. I want to fully do your will. That’s very good.

Lets talk about being double minded. I’m listening. I don’t want any of that. I want to be fully devoted to you. I want to love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. I don’t want to hold anything in reserve. I don’t want to ever retreat. I don’t want to live with any regrets. There is one thing I know for certain. What’s that? I will need your help. You can make me faithful. You can help me to walk intimately with you. You can keep me on track. Yes, I can.

There is another thing I want to ask from you. What’s that? I want my faith to be strong. I don’t want to have a weak and wimpy faith. I want to have a giant amount of faith in you. I want to be able to do whatever you ask of me. There is one more thing. What’s that? I do believe that you will hear and answer these prayers of mine. I have no doubts. I have no questions. I will also start asking for more from you. That will be very good.

Lord, I know that you hear and answer prayer. I believe that you will hear and answer my prayers. Help me to keep on coming to you to pray for all that I need from you. I will be patient and persistent in my prayers. I will believe and not doubt, as I trust you. Amen

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The Mind – James 1-6-8 – Double Minded Man – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

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Evil Desire

Discipleship Study - Temptation - James 1:13-15 - Evil Desire - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Temptation – James 1:13-15 – Evil Desire – Growing As Disciples

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15 (NIV)

Desire

You are too close. I am too close to what? You are way too close to what feeds evil desires within you. I’m not sure what you mean by that. How are you most likely to be tempted? Where and when and how are you most vulnerable to temptations? You want me to be aware of my vulnerabilities? Yes, I do. You want me to think about where and when and how I am most likely to be tempted? You got that right. How often have you been tempted by something that was completely unexpected? Not very often. Isn’t it true that most of the time you can predict when, where and how you will be tempted? Yes, that is true. You also know your vulnerabilities quite well, isn’t that true? Yes, that is also true. So, you know exactly what I mean when I say that you are way too close to what feeds evil desires within you. Yes, I guess that I do. You guess? No, I know exactly what you have in mind. What are you going to do about you being too close to what feeds evil desires in you? First, I will need to take a detailed inventory of what I am allowing myself to be close to that is feeding evil desires within me. Then, I will separate myself from anything that is feeding evil desires within me. I will put anything that is feeding evil desires within me on a famine diet. That will be good.

You are not close enough. I am not close enough to what? You are not close enough to what feeds righteous desires within you. I’m not sure what you mean by that. What will strengthen you against temptation? What will make you able to stand against temptation? What have I given you to help you to live the righteous life that I have called you to live? What will fight in you, with you and for you as you face temptations? You have given me your word. Your word will strengthen me again against temptation. Your word will make me able to stand against temptation. Your word will help me to live the righteous life that you have called me to live. Your word will fight in me, with me and for me as I face temptation. That’s right. As you starve what feeds evil desires in you, will you feast on my word that will feed righteous desires in you? Will you resist evil and draw near to me? Yes, Lord, I will. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free to live your life for me. I will make you able to stand against evil. That is exactly what I want.

Lord, I know I cannot stand against temptations to sin with my own strength. I need you to use your word to change my heart and transform my mind so I will have your desire and strength to resist temptations to sin. Do your work in me. I am relying on you. Amen

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Temptation – James 1-13-15 – Evil Desire – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Lamp Of The Body

Discipleship Study - Eyes - Matthew 6:22-23 - Lamp Of The Body - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Eyes – Matthew 6:22-23 – Lamp Of The Body – Growing As Disciples

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)

Focus

What is the focus of your life? I’m not sure that I understand your question. What will you pursue? What do you value? What are my choices? That is an insightful question. Why is that? You know that you have a choice to make. You may think that you have many choices. You would be wrong about that. Why is that? In regard to my question there are only two choices. In answer to my question you will choose one choice over another. I have no idea what you are talking about. I will make what I’m talking about clear to you.

In this life you will either choose the things of this world or the things of heaven. You will pursue the treasures of this life or the treasures of heaven. You will store up earthly or heavenly treasures. You will focus your attention on all that you can see now or on what remains unseen and is in the future. You will live your life for yourself or you will live your life for me. You will keep your eyes on me or you will allow your eyes to be allured by all that the world has to offer. Have I made myself clear to you? Yes, you have made yourself perfectly clear to me.

I have allowed my eyes to be allured by the things of this world. I have chased after comfort and pleasure. I have pursued all the earthly treasures that money could buy. I have let my focus be on what I can see in the here and now. Seldom have I thought of heaven. Storing up treasure in heaven has rarely entered my mind. I have lived for myself rather than for you. Forgive me. Everything has changed. That life is now gone. You have set me free to live my life with and for you. I am now pursuing you and the life that you have called me to live. Earthly treasures mean nothing to me. Now, I want to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Now, I want you to use my life however you see fit. Now my eyes are on you. Now my life is focused on knowing you and walking in your ways. I am at your service. My life is in your hands. I am at your disposal. I want to do all the good works that you have planned for me to do for you. Now, I want to store up treasures in heaven with you. That is very good. That is what you will do.

Lord, my eyes and life have been focused on treasures of this life. Forgive me. No longer will I attempt to store up earthly treasures. Instead my eyes and life will be focused on loving, following and serving you. Help me to store up treasures in heaven with you. Amen

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Eyes – Matthew 6-22-23 – Lamp Of The Body – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Lean Not On Your Own Understanding

Discipleship Study - The Mind - Proverbs 3:5-6 - Lean Not In Your Own Understanding - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – The Mind – Proverbs 3:5-6 – Lean Not In Your Own Understanding – Growing As Disciples

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Give Up

You have walked a path that has been filled with twists and turns and ups and downs. You have bounced from one thing to another. You have gone one-way and then another. You have gone forward and backward. There has been nothing straight about your path. No wonder you have been weary and worn out. No wonder you have been bruised and battered and broken by life. Why has your path led you to wander from one thing to another from one day to another? I have been relying on my own understanding. I have been doing what has seemed right to me. I have been doing my best to live my life in ways that I had hoped would be good and right. I have made mistakes. I have made bad choices. I have hung out with the wrong crowd. I have accepted bad advice. I have gone down dark and dreary paths that led nowhere to nothing good. I have had enough. I am fed up with my life. I want something more. I want something different. I want something else. I want something far better than what I have had in my life up to this point. I feel like I’m stuck. I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do. My own understanding has failed me miserably. I need help. I need help right now. Are you asking me for my help? Yes, I am asking you for your help. Are you ready to give up? Yes, I’m almost ready to give up. I will come back later when you are really ready to give up. What do you mean by that? Do you want me to give up? Yes, I want you to give up. I want you to give up on your own understanding. I want you to give up control of your life. I want you to give up and walk away from the crooked, dark and dreary path you have been on. As long as you are not ready to give up on your old life you are not ready to turn your life over to me. No, I’m ready to give up on my old life. I ready to give up on my own understanding.  I’m ready to turn my life over to you. I want to follow you. I want you to lead and guide my life. Forgive me of all my sins. Cleanse me of all my unrighteousness. Make me new and clean in you. You be the Savior and Lord of my life. Lead me on the path that you have laid out for me. I will follow you. I’m giving up. I am giving all of me to you right now. Follow me. Yes Lord, I will.

Lord, my path has had many twists and turns and that I wish I had not taken as I relied on my own understanding. I want to make a change of leadership. You are now in charge. I will trust you with all my heart as I follow you. Amen

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The Mind – Proverbs 3-5-6 – Lean Not On Your Own Understanding – 4 Page Discipleship-Study-Guide

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Handling The Word Of Truth

Discipleship Study - Truth - 2 Timothy 2:14-16 - Handling The Word Of Truth - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Truth – 2 Timothy 2:14-16 – Handling The Word Of Truth – Growing As Disciples

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:14-16 (NIV)  

Workman

I have been drawn in. You have been drawn into what? I have been drawn into quarrelsome words. I have been drawn into godless chatter. I know that quarrelsome words and godless chatter are not worth my time. They are worthless words that bear no fruit of any kind. They are worse than that. Yes, I know quarrelsome words and godless chatter harm both those that hear and those that speak them. That is exactly right.

What will help you to steer clear of hearing and speaking quarrelsome words and godless chatter? That’s a good question. I am very thankful that I know the answer to that question. Let me hear your answer. If I make it my habit and daily pattern to meet with you in your word I will be protected from quarrelsome words and godless chatter. I would like to hear you say more about how you will be protected by my word. If I study your word daily I will be filled with your words. Your words will push quarrelsome and godless chatter out of my heart and mind and life. Instead of thinking of quarrelsome words and godless chatter my heart and mind and life will be focused on your words. My heart and mind and life cannot think both your thoughts and quarrelsome thoughts and godless chatter. No, it cannot. Your word will make me want to think your thoughts. Your word will make me able to put your thoughts and words into practice in my life. Yes, my word will protect your thoughts by giving you my thoughts to think and words to put into practice. 

You have something that you would like to ask me. You have a desire that is on your heart. Yes, I have a prayer to pray. There is something that I want from you. I’m listening. I want you to help me to be a workman that correctly handles your word. I want to know your word. I want to put your word into practice. I want your word to guard and guide my life. I want you to strengthen me by your word. I want your word to make it so I don’t speak or listen to quarrelsome words and ungodly chatter. I want your word to keep from ever being ashamed. I want your word to help me to live in every way that is pleasing to you. I want your word to bear fruit in me for your kingdom so I can bring glory to your name. Keep meeting with me in my word and you will have what you have asked of me.

Lord, I present myself to you. Help me to avoid quarrelsome words and godless chatter that are of no value. Instead help me to be an approved workman who listens to and correctly handles your word of truth. Help me to live a godly life that is pleasing to you. Amen

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Truth – 2 Timothy 2-14-16 – Handling The Word  Of Truth – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Be Reconciled

Discipleship Study - Remember - Matthew 5:23-24 - Be Reconciled - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Remember – Matthew 5:23-24 – Be Reconciled – Growing As Disciples

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) 

Against You

Are you serious? What do you mean by asking me if I am serious? Am I serious about what? I know that I must be reconciled with the people in my life. I know that I can’t hold anger, bitterness, resentment or anything like that against them. That’s right. You want me to forgive others just as I have been forgiven. That is also correct. Holding on to anger, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness will only serve to harm me. I can’t let anything like this come between you and I. No you cannot. I want to be able to freely worship you with nothing coming between us. That is very good. You still haven’t answered my question. Am I serious about what? I’m coming to that. Your word seems to say that I have to go and be reconciled with anyone who has anything against me. What if I don’t have anything against them? What if they have something against me and it’s one hundred percent their fault. Does that seem likely to you? Maybe not. What are the chances that someone has something against you and you don’t know about it? There is almost no chance of that. I would have to be pretty dense not to know that someone was holding something against me. What are the chances that you are one hundred percent free of any fault when someone is holding something against you? There is probably even less chance of that. You have probably done something to offend them even if it was not intended or it may have even been an accident. Maybe you have a bad habit that you are completely unaware of. That’s right, that’s very possible. But, isn’t it even more likely that you also are holding something against someone that is holding something against you? Yes, I suppose so. So, there is probably a mutual need for you to give and receive forgiveness when someone is holding something against you. I’m sure that’s true. So, in answer to your question. Yes, I am very serious. If someone is holding something against you, I want you to go and be reconciled to them. Think of it as a ministry that I have given to you. In the unlikely event that you have no fault in the matter you would still be helping to release another person from the bondage of anger, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Will you go and be reconciled to anyone that holds anything against you? Yes, Lord, I will.

Lord, I don’t want anything to hinder my fellowship with you. I want to worship you with my entire being. I know it is crazy to think I can have broken relationships with other people and have an unhindered relationship with you. Help me to reconcile with others. Amen

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Remember – Matthew 5-23-24 – Be Reconciled – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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He Should Pray

Discipleship Study - Trouble - James 5:13 - He Should Pray - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Trouble – James 5:13 – He Should Pray – Growing As Disciples

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13 (NIV)

Let’s Talk

I have not been very good at doing either. What’s that? I have not been good at praying even when I have been in trouble. I have not been good at giving you praise even when I have been happy. Why is that? I’m not really sure. Oftentimes, I haven’t really reflected on my situation. There are days that I probably couldn’t tell you if I was in trouble or if I was happy. My days have blended together in a sort of a bland and gray and drab sameness. I just keep trudging forward. I don’t get too high and I don’t go too low. I haven’t gotten in big trouble very often. That’s what you think. I haven’t been too happy either. That’s not good. So, I haven’t prayed and given praise to you very much. I know this sounds pathetic. It does. I do regret that I have been living this unreflective prayerless and praiseless life. I do want to live a very different kind of life. I would like to live the life that you have called me to live. Do you think that I want you to live a bland and drab and gray kind of life? That can’t be the kind of life you want to live. It isn’t. Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with joy? Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with prayers that I will hear and answer? Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with my peace? Yes, I would. That’s the kind of life I want to live. What do you suggest?

Let’s meet together and talk about your life. Right now? Yes, right now. You’re here. I’m here. Let’s talk. This can be the first day of every day, going forward, where you will meet with me to talk about your life. Tell me what you need. Ask for my help. Open up your heart and mind and life to me. Let’s talk about what troubles you. I know that you are quite a gifted worrier. That comes with not bringing my prayers to you. I know that you are filled with anxiety. That comes with trying to solve all my problems by myself. I know that you lack real happiness and joy in life. That comes with not carefully considering all that I have been given. I have been given much. You have richly blessed my life. Yes, I have richly blessed your life. I have helped you through every trouble you have faced in life. Will you come to meet with me? Will you offer all your prayers and praise to me? Yes, Lord, I will.

Lord, thank you that you delight to hear my prayers and praise. Help me to grow deep in my prayer and praise to you. In trouble I will pray. In happiness I will praise. Help me to bring my prayers and praise to you in both good and bad times. Amen

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Trouble – James 5-13 – He Should Pray – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Self – Confidence

Discipleship Study - Confidence - Nehemiah 6:16 - Self-Confidence - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Confidence – Nehemiah 6:16 – Self-Confidence – Growing As Disciples

When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:16 (NIV)

Impossible Work

Well, this is impossible. It can’t be done. There is no way, no how. This is so far beyond me. What’s that? This work that you have given me to do for you. How in the world did you expect that I would ever be able to accomplish this work? I couldn’t accomplish this work in a hundred lifetimes. That may be an exaggeration. But, I only have one lifetime and I certainly can’t accomplish this in it. You’re getting a little worked up about this. Are you expecting that I will disagree with you? You don’t disagree with me? No, I completely agree with you. Are you telling me that you have deliberately given me work to do that I cannot possibly accomplish?  That’s exactly what I’m telling you. Why would you do that? That seems a little unfair to me. Are you telling me that you only want me to give you work that is easy to accomplish? Do you only want work that you can accomplish with your own gifts, talents and abilities? Those are interesting questions. No, I don’t want to be given only easy work to do. No, I don’t want to be given work that is only within my gifts, talents and abilities. I’m glad to hear that from you.

Do you know why I give you work that you can’t possibly accomplish by yourself? I’m not sure. When you accomplish a job with your own gifts, talents and abilities who gets all the credit? I guess I do. That’s right. When I help you to do something that you can’t possible do who gets all the credit? You get all the credit. You get the praise and the glory because both I and everyone else knows that it is you who has accomplished a great thing in and through me. You have allowed my life to be a witness for you in the world. Do you like knowing that I have worked in and through you? Do you want to know that I have made you able to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and glory? Do you like it when your life serves as a witness for me in the world? Yes, I like knowing that you are working in and through my life. Yes, I like knowing that you are making me able to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom and glory. Yes, I definitely want my life to serve as a witness in the world for you.  Is it fair then that I give assignments that are far beyond your ability to accomplish them without my help? Yes, it is.  That’s good. That is what I will keep on doing.

Lord, this will sound crazy. I would like you to give me work that I can’t accomplish without your help. I would like to learn how to rely on you more completely. I would like others to see you by the work you do in and through me. Amen

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Confidence – Nehemiah-6-16 – Self-Confidence – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Built An Ark

Discipleship Study - Faith - Hebrews 11:7 - Built An Ark - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Faith – Hebrews 11:7 – Built An Ark – Growing As Disciples

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.  Hebrews 11:7 (NIV)

An Assignment

Would you take on a very long and difficult assignment from me? Would you do what I asked of you even if you didn’t fully understand everything that I was asking of you? Would you continue to do the work that I had given you to do with little or no affirmation from others? Would you keep on working for me in the face of ridicule, scorn and rejection? Are you going to ask me to work on an assignment like this? You know that I am. You know that I will. You know that I have already asked you to take on such an assignment. Then I must have already said yes to you. Yes, you did.

If I have already said yes to taking on a very long and difficult assignment from you why are you asking me these questions now? You already know the answer to that question. I do? Yes, you do. So you tell me why I have asked these questions of you. You want to remind me that the assignment I have taken on comes from you. You want me to be encouraged and strengthened in the work that you have given me to do for you. You don’t want me to become discouraged. You don’t want me to give up. You want me to know that your hand is on me. You want me to remember that you are working in and through me. You want me to know that you are using me according to your purposes and plans. Yes, all of this is true. 

Why is the work so long and difficult? Why is the assignment so large and demanding? You asked for this kind of assignment. You said that you wanted me to use you. You said that you wanted to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. You said that you wanted me to use you however I saw fit. You said that you were completely at my disposal. You didn’t want some small assignment from me. You said that you didn’t want to give me anything less than your fullest wholehearted effort. Have I misheard you? Did I get something wrong? No, you have not gotten anything wrong. You have not misheard me. I am fully at your service. I am thankful that you are using me. I am encouraged that your hand is on me. Nothing will please me more than to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I will keep doing the work that you have given me to do. That will be very good.

Lord, help me to listen to your voice so that I will be able to hear and obey you. Give me courage, strength and faith so I will be able to continually do all you are asking me to do for you. Use me according to your purposes and plans. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship study guide click here:

Faith – Hebrews 11-7 – Built An Ark – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Loves The World

Discipleship Study - If - 1 John 2:15-17 - Loves The World - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – If – 1 John 2:15-17 – Loves The World – Growing As Disciples

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)

Loving You

Tell me what you see. I see two choices. What are your choices? I can love the world or I can love you. I can’t love both the world and you. Why is that? If I love the world my desires and values will line up and be consistent with the world. I will have worldly desires. Like what? I will desire whatever my flesh craves. I will want whatever my eyes see. I will pursue whatever my prides seeks. All these desires, cravings and pursuits will fill my heart full with values that do not come from you. No, they do not. As it is my life is under the constant influence of the world. It is seeking to conform me to all its patterns and practices. It wants to mold me into its shape. The world would be happy if I looked and acted and sounded just like everyone else in it. Is that what you want? No, I have no desire to follow the world and all its evil desires, cravings and pursuits. What is it that you want?

Instead of loving the world I want to love you. Loving the world will keep me from loving you. That’s right. But the opposite is even more powerfully true. It is. Loving you will keep me from loving the world. As I love you, the world will not be able to conform me to its image or mold me into its shape. It will not be able to conform me to its pattern. No, it will not. Your power that is at work in me is far more powerful than the power that is at work in the world. Yes, it is. You are molding and shaping my life as I come to know, love and follow you. Your love is changing my heart and transforming my mind. You are making me into the person you want me to be. You are helping me to live the life that you have called me to live. You are helping me to know your will and walk in your ways. Yes, I am. Loving you has given me the desire to obey you in all that I think, say and do. That is very good.

Heavenly Father, I love you with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. The world and all that it has to offer has lost its appeal to me. It is the desire of my heart to live my life fully for you. I want to know you and do your will. Amen

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If – 1 John 2-15-17 – Loves The World – 4 Page Discipleship Study-Guide

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