Run With Perseverance

Discipleship Study - Character - Hebrews 12:1-3 - Run With Perseverance - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Character – Hebrews 12:1-3 – Run With Perseverance – Growing As Disciples

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Perseverance 

You know quite a bit about running. You know a lot about perseverance. Yes, I know a lot about running with perseverance. Tell me what you know. To run with perseverance motivation is needed at the very start. With rock solid motivation training can begin. One cannot run well, with perseverance without daily training. Perseverance is built little by little, day by day through consistent and ongoing training. Each day of training builds upon the prior day of training. Running well, with perseverance begins with one step followed by thousands upon thousands of subsequent steps. Will you allow me to train you as you run on the course that I have laid out for you? Yes Lord, I will. That is very good.

Let me ask you a question about what you have said so far. Go right ahead. What is your motivation to run well in your life of faith with me? You showed me your love. You saved me. You forgave all my sins. You cleansed me of all my unrighteousness. You rescued me from a life without you. You adopted me into your family. You are my Father. I am your child. I now love you because you first loved me. You gave yourself to me. So, I now want to give myself to you. I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. There is no place I wouldn’t go or nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I want to live my life fully with and for you. I want to live a life that is pleasing in your sight. So, as you can see, I am highly motivated to run well in my life of faith with you. I can see that quite clearly. 

I have another question about motivation. What’s that? What else motivates you to run well in your life of faith with me? Many of your followers that have gone before me have run well in their race of faith with you. Many of your followers who now surround me are running well in their race of faith with you. I am encouraged by their example. They have thrown off everything that might have hindered them from running well. They have run or are now running with perseverance the course that you have laid out for them. They have not grown weary. They have not lost heart. I want to run with that same perseverance so I can be an example for others to follow. That is very good. 

One more question. I’m listening. What will help you to run and finish well? To run and finish well, I will need to keep my eyes fixed on you. A good runner does not look side to side or to the rear. They keep their eyes looking forward. That is what I will do. I will keep my eyes fixed on you as I run the race of faith you have laid out before me. You will keep me running. You will help me to run well and finish my race. Yes, I will. You can be sure of that. 

Lord, I will throw off everything that hinders, entangles and slows me down in the life of faith that you have given me to live with and for you. With a joyful heart, I will keep my eyes fixed on you as I run the race with perseverance.  Amen

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

Character – Hebrews 12-1-3 – Run With Perseverance – 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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Cry Out To Him Day And Night

Discipleship Study - Prayer - Luke 18:7 - Cry Out To Him Day And Night - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Prayer – Luke 18:7 – Cry Out To Him Day And Night – Growing As Disciples

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  Luke 18:7 (NIV)

Persistence

Persistence in prayer has not been my one of my strongest points. I have seldom prayed more than a couple times for any one request. I must admit that I have sometimes even wondered why I need to pray at all. You know what I want and need even before I ask for it. Yes, I do. Can you think of any reasons why I want you to be persistent and consistent in your prayers to me? I know that you want me to live in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, I do. Coming to meet with you in prayer is part of that intimate relationship you want to have with me. Yes, it is. Have you sometimes thought that I should give you exactly what you want at the very moment you ask for it? I have thought that before; I’ll have to admit. Why don’t I always give you what you want, when you want it? Sometimes, I have asked for something that would not be good for me. You might have something entirely different that is far better for me. I might not be ready to receive what I am asking for from you. It might not be the right timing. An improper gift or a gift given before the right time might be a curse rather than a blessing. You are wise to understand that.

What possible answers might I have for your prayers? Your answers could be “yes”, “no”, or “not yet”. That’s right. “Yes”, is not the only possible answer to your prayer. “No”, may be an even better answer to your prayer. Don’t think that I have not heard and answered your prayer simply because my answer to your prayer was “no”. In response to a “no” answer to your prayer, what would happen if you kept on praying? I might better understand why you said, “no” to my prayer? That’s right. “Not yet”, is an answer to your prayer that would offer a good reason for you to keep on praying, don’t you think? Yes, I do. Why is that? As I keep on praying, I will better understand your timing. Yes, you will.

You can be very sure of one thing. What’s that? I delight to hear and answer your prayers. It gives me great joy to see you coming to rely on me. I do want you to live in a close and intimate relationship with me. I do want you to ask me for all that you want and need. Will keep on bringing all your prayers to me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.

Lord, often I have prayed just once for something. If I didn’t receive an answer I did not pray again. Now I see that you want me to be urgent and consistent and persistent in my prayers. I will pray and not give up. I will wait until you hear and answer my prayer. Amen

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Prayer – Luke 18-7 – Cry Out To Him Day And Night – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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God Is With You

Discipleship Study - Knowing God - Joshua 1:8-9 - God Is With You - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Knowing God – Joshua 1:8-9 – God Is With You – Growing As Disciples

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 (NLT)

Wherever You Go 

You will be tested. You will face challenges. You will fight battles. You will need courage and strength that you do not have. You will be tempted by fear. You will battle discouragement. Without me will give into fear and discouragement. Without me you will be weak and cowardly. How can I have your courage and strength? How can I fend of fear and discouragement? How can I win the battles that I will face? How can I be victorious in all the tests and challenges of life?

What have I said to you? What am I commanding you? What have I provided for you? You have given me your word. You have said that you will be with me wherever I go. You have commanded me to be strong and courageous. You have told me to not be afraid or discouraged. You have said that you will give me prosperity and success. You are right about what I have said to you. What must you do if you want to prosper and succeed? What must you do if you want to be strong and courageous? What must you do if you want to keep fear and discouragement far from you? There is something I must do? Yes, there is something you must do. I must believe your word. I must believe that you are with me wherever I go. I must believe that you are with me to help me. That’s right. What else must you do? I must keep your word in my heart and on my mind continually. I must study your word. I must meditate on your word day and night. I must put your word into practice. That’s right. 

What will my word do for you? Your word will give me courage and strength. Your word will guard and guide my life. Your word will help me to follow and obey you. Your word will prosper my life and give me good success. Your word will remind that you are with me wherever I go. Your word will continually remind me that you are with me to help. Will you study my word? Will you meditate on my word day and night? Will you believe my word and put it into practice? Yes Lord, I will.

Lord, your word is continually in my heart and on my mind. It is my delight to meditate on your word day and night. Guard, guide and bless my life with your word. Help me to obey and put your word into practice as I follow you. Amen

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Knowing God – Joshua 1-8-9 – God Is With You – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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A Gentle Answer

Discipleship Study - Wisdom - Proverbs 15:1 - A Gentle Answer - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Wisdom – Proverbs 15:1 – A Gentle Answer – Growing As Disciples

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) 

Stirring Up Anger

You have an easy choice to make. What’s that? You can either turn away from wrath or stir up anger. Is that really an easy choice to make? What do you think? Well, it may be an easy choice to make away from the heat of a battle. During an argument or debate, it is a very difficult choice to make. Why is that? I like to win arguments and debates. I’ve noticed. Sometimes, I will go to great lengths to win an argument or debate. How so? In the heat of an argument or debate I will sometimes say things that I know I will deeply regret later. But, I will completely lose perspective. What do you mean by that? I will make winning an argument or debate my only goal. I will use words I shouldn’t have used. My words have done damage that is hard to repair. I will have said things that are difficult to retract. Whoever said, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was an idiot. Words do hurt. Words do cause damage. Yes, they do.

Why must you win every argument and debate? That is a very good question. You don’t have to think twice about your answer, do you? No, I do not. It is my pride that drives me to want to win every argument and debate. That sounds and is pathetic, I know. Yes, it is. Can you lay down your pride? Can you humble yourself before me? Can you make better choices that will allow you to be my witness in the world? That is at issue here, isn’t it? Yes, it is. You cannot be filled with pride and driven to win every argument and debate and still be a bright and shinning witness for me in the world. You cannot stir up anger and bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. No one is drawn to stirred up anger. I cannot use a pride filled, angry, argumentative person. That is not who you want to be. That is not who you are. That is not the kind of life that I have called you to live. I get that. I want that. I know.

I want you to make some decisions in advance. Like what? Make serving me your goal. Choose to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Set aside your old sinful desire to win every argument and debate. Walk away from wrath. Choose to not stir up anger. Have a higher purpose in mind. Allow me to work in and through your life. Shine brightly for me in the midst of all the wrath and anger that is in the world. Will you make these decisions so that you can serve me? Will you make these decisions so I can use you?  Yes Lord, I will.

Lord, without your help there is no way I will be able to answer anger with a soft answer. I would rather fight fire with fire. Give me the strength to be your witness by answering anger softly with the grace and mercy you provide. Amen

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

Wisdom – Proverbs 15-1 – A Gentle Answer – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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All Things Are Pure

Discipleship Study - The Mind - Titus 1:15-16 - All Things Are Pure - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – The Mind – Titus 1:15-16 – All Things Are Pure – Growing As Disciples

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. Titus 1:15-16 (NIV) 

Influences 

Be careful about the influences you allow into your life. What do you mean by that? I’m sure that you have a very good idea about the meaning of my question.  I would like to hear your thoughts about what influences you are allowing into your life. Do you think I have a lot to say on that subject? Yes, I do. I want to hear and you need to hear what you have to say on this subject. At one time, there was no guard over the influences that I allowed to come into my life. I allowed anything and everything from the world to speak into my life. I equally accepted the good and the bad. I was willing to listen to everything the world had to say to me. My life was shaped by both the good and the bad that I took into my life. Unfortunately, the world spoke far more of its corruption and impurity into my life. On top of that, the world has a habit of elevating what is corrupt and impure while it also ridicules what is good and right and pure. So, as I was following the values, patterns and practices of the world I was becoming more and more corrupt as I allowed the world to mold and shape my life. My heart and mind and life were becoming more and more corrupt as I followed the ways of the world. I approved of what was evil. I ridiculed and mocked all that was good and right and pure. That’s not good. No, it is not.

What happened to you? How did you change your course? How did you turn away from the evil influences of the world?The impure and corrupt life I was living left me bruised and battered. I began to suffer the consequences of my self-centered, self-indulgent and self-sufficient life. I hurt others and others hurt me. I felt weary, worn out, empty and hopeless. That is when I cried out to you. I asked you to come into my life. I asked you to change the course of my life. I’m sure that I am incorrectly expressing what happened. Why is that? I know that you were pursuing me. I know that you were seeking me out. I know that you were calling me to come to you. I deserve no credit for crying out to you. It was you that brought me to yourself. Yes, I did. 

What about now? How are you guarding the influences that come into your life? I am separating myself from what is corrupt and impure. I am very careful about what I allow to speak into my life. As I have left my old life behind I am allowing you to change my heart and transform my mind with your word. I am allowing you to mold and shape my life as I love, follow and serve you in the new life that you have given me to live. That is very good. Now, you are using me to be an influence for what is good and right and pure. You are using me to speak what is good and right and true into the lives of others. Yes, I am. 

Lord, at one time all my thoughts, words, and actions were corrupt and impure. Thank you that you are purifying my thoughts, words and actions as I follow and serve you. May all I think, say and do be a testimony that brings glory to your name. Amen

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

The Mind – Titus 1-15-16 – All Things Are Pure – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Keep Yourself Pure

Discipleship Study - If - 2 Timothy 2:21 - Keep Yourself Pure - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – If – 2 Timothy 2:21 – Keep Yourself Pure – Growing As Disciples

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:21 (NLT)

Ready

I know that you want to be used by me. I know that you want your life to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. I know that you want me to use your life according to my purposes and plans. I know that you don’t want any of the gifts, talents and resources that I have given you to go to waste. I know that one day you would like to hear me say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” You have told me all of these things in your prayers. Yes, I have prayed for all these things. It gives me great joy to know that you have heard these prayers of mine.

How you live your life will determine how fully these prayers of yours will be answered. How so? How you live your life will determine if you are ready to be used by me. I want to be ready to be used by you at all times and in every situation. If you want to be used by me you must turn and run away from evil. You must separate yourself from anything that will stimulate sinful desires within you. You must resist the urge to engage in unfruitful arguments that will only start fights. Avoid all foolish and worthless talk of every kind. Instead pursue me. Pursue the righteous life I have given you to live. You will not be alone in your pursuit of me. Be encouraged by and give encouragement to those who, with a pure heart, are also pursuing the righteous life that I have called you to live. Will you do what I am asking of you? Yes Lord, I will do all that you are asking of me. Then you will be ready to be used by me. You will be a tool in my hand. You will do the work that I have prepared in advance for you to do. You will know my will. You will walk in my ways. You will bear fruit for my kingdom. You will bring glory to my name. That is what I want. That is what you will do.

Lord, I am all yours. I will turn away and run from every evil. I will pursue you and the righteous life you have called me to live with and for you. It will be my joy and pleasure to be ready for you to use, Bear fruit and bring glory to your name though my life. Amen

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

If – 2 Timothy 2-21 – Keep Yourself Pure – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Shuts His Ears

Discipleship Study - If - Proverbs 21:13 - Shuts His Ears - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – If – Proverbs 21:13 – Shuts His Ears – Growing As Disciples

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13 (NIV)

Cry Of The Poor

Are you listening? Are you watching? Are you paying attention to the needs of those around you? It is easy to ignore those who are poor. Nothing will stop you from walking right on by those who are in need. Are you seeing and hearing the cries of the poor? Those are tough questions. Why is that? I can’t honestly say a wholehearted yes to any one of your questions. I probably haven’t been listening. I’m sure that I have not been watching. The poor and needy have become invisible to me. I don’t mean to walk right on by those in need. I want to hear and respond to the cries of the poor. That’s all I wanted to hear from you. 

Since you have said that you want to hear and respond to the needs of the poor you will be tested. How will I be tested? I will make it so you will be able to hear the cries and see the needs of the poor. You will no longer be able to walk blindly by those in need. You will no longer be deaf to the cries of the poor. The poor and needy are all around you. Those who need help are both near and far. Once you hear and once you see you will be tested. How will I be tested? Do you really need to ask that question? I suppose not. The test will be in how I respond to what I see and hear. That’s right. The question you will ask me is, “Will I hear and answer the cries of the poor?” That’s right. You want to know if I will help those who are in need. Yes, I do. You want me to know how I will respond to what you allow me to see and hear. Yes, I do.

I will tell you right now how I will respond to your questions. I will give my answer in advance of your test. I will make my answer firm and sure right now. I will not waver. I will not shrink back. I will not change my mind. I will hear and respond to the cries of the poor. I will help those in need. Why will you do this? I want to become like you. I want to love like you loved. I want to give like you gave. I want to do all that you would do for all those who are in need. I will do whatever you are calling me to do for you. That will be very good.

Lord, I will not shut my ears to hearing and responding to the cries of the poor. I will listen carefully and respond enthusiastically to those who are in need. Use me to help others. Help me to love like you loved and give like you gave. Amen

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

If – Proverbs 21-13 – Shuts His Ears – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Wait For The Lord

Discipleship Study - Heart- Psalm 27:14 - Wait For The Lord - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Heart- Psalm 27:14 – Wait For The Lord – Growing As Disciples

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

How Long

How long? How long, what? How long do I need to wait? You are impatient. You want quick answers and easy results. It is very difficult for you to wait. Yes, I am sorry to say that I have not been a big fan of waiting. I have found it very difficult to wait. You are right, I have wanted quick answers and easy results. I have been and still am an impatient person. You have made a lot of progress. How so? You are much more patient than you once were. I have been developing patience in you. Your ability to wait before me as grown immensely. At one time, you were so impatient you could hardly sit still. Don’t you remember those restless days of your life. Yes, I remember.

What have you learned as you have learned patience? What have you learned as you have come to sit still in my presence? I have learned that there is no greater lesson to learn than to sit still before you. In your presence, I have come to know you, your will and your ways. I have discovered that there is no place that I would rather be than in your presence. I have learned that there is nothing I would rather do than to draw near to you. In your presence, you have taught and trained me. In your presence, you have guarded and guided me. There has been no other way for me to receive your wisdom than to come and ask you for it, as I have waited in your presence. You have blessed my life as I have sat still and waited before you. That’s right.

Let’s return to your first question. How long? Yes, how long. How long do you think you will need to wait before me? That’s a hard question to answer. I don’t know how long. Yes, you do. Tell me what you know. My life will consist of continually waiting before you. I will learn to love to wait before you. Waiting before you will not be a chore. Waiting before you will be a joy. Waiting before you will never be a waste of my time. As I wait before you, I will receive instructions. As I wait before you, I will receive direction. As I wait in your presence, I will know when to go and where to do all that you ask of me. As I wait before you, I will be given power and strength to do whatever you have given me to do for you. Yes, you will. I will be strong and bold and confident because I will know that you are with me to help me. How will you know for certain that I am with you to help you? I will know that you are with me to help me because I will have heard your voice speaking to me as I have sat still and waited in your presence. That’s right.

Lord, I have never liked waiting. I have been impatient and wanted instantaneous results. So often I have raced ahead of you into plans that were not yours for me. Now, I will expectantly and patiently wait for you to act in my life. Amen

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

Heart – Psalm 27-14 – Wait For The Lord – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Withdraw – Pray

Discipleship Study - Rhythms - Luke 5:15-16 - Withdraw - Pray - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Rhythms – Luke 5:15-16 – Withdraw – Pray – Growing As Disciples

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:15-16 (ESV)

Noise

My life has gotten far too busy. I have pursued a hectic and wearying schedule. I’m always on the go. I have raced from one thing to another. I have so little time and no margin. I have been crabby. I have been short tempered. I’m stressed out. I’m at my wits end. The busier I am the less I seem to get done. I feel like I am accomplishing a lot of nothing. I feel like I’m going nowhere fast. Will my life amount to anything when it is all said and done? Will I have gone where you have sent me? Will I have done what you have asked me? Will I have borne fruit for your kingdom? Will I have brought glory to your name? Those are very good questions. How will you ever know the answers to them? What do you mean by that? Where will the answers to your questions come from? Will you find the answers to your questions from within yourself? I will certainly not be able to answer my questions by myself. The answers to my questions are certainly not within myself. Only you can help me to know the answers to my questions. That’s right. 

Are you asking me a lot of questions? Are you quietly waiting to hear my answers to your questions? Do you think that I will shout out answers to your un-asked questions as you race through your busy life? Will you be able to hear me above the crowd that has pressed in on your life? You have asked me great questions. No, I have not been coming to you to ask you questions. No, I have not been quietly waiting to hear any answers from you. No, I don’t think you will shout out answers to questions that I haven’t even bothered to ask of you. No, I don’t think I will be able to hear your answers above the crowd that I have allowed to press in on my life. You have answered me well.

Is there something that you want to do differently? Is there a new pattern that you would like to establish in your life? Is there a new rhythm for your life that would help you to hear from me? Yes, I want to meet with you. I want to take time to listen to you. I want to hear from you. That sounds good. Those are great desires. What action will you take? I will set aside a time and place to meet with you. I will withdraw from the crowds. I will step away from busyness. I will eliminate all the noise in my life. I will talk and listen to you. I will wait patiently for your guidance. I will listen to your instruction. I will go where you guide me and do what you ask of me. Then I will know for certain that my life will count for something as I follow and serve you. Yes, you will.

Lord, I have allowed myself to be surrounded by busyness in life. I have been swallowed up by continually answering the never-ending needs of those around me. Help me to take time and make a place when and where I can withdraw to meet with you in prayer. Amen

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

Rhythms – Luke 5-15-16 – Withdraw – Pray – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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Near To Him – Near to You

Discipleship Study - Rhythms - James 4:7-10 - Near To Him - Near To You - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Study – Rhythms – James 4:7-10 – Near To Him – Near To You – Growing As Disciples

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:7-10 (ESV)

Draw Near

I have led a double-minded life. I have had unclean hands. I have had an impure heart. I have played around with evil. I have allowed myself to be tempted. I have led a wretched life that was no laughing matter. I have also turned away from that life. That life is done. That life is gone. That life is dead and buried. You have given me a new life in you. You have changed my heart. You have transformed my mind. It is now the desire of my heart and thought of my mind to give myself to you without any reservations. No longer am I half heartedly following you. No longer do I have a double mind. Now, I am wholeheartedly devoted to loving, following and serving you. I can see that you are fully devoted to me. Your thoughts, and words and deeds are pleasing to me.

You seem quite confident of your commitment and very strong in your stand. My confidence is not in myself. If my ability to love, follow and serve you stood on my own strength I would be without hope. I would certainly fail. All my trust is in you. It is the joy of my life to draw near to you. It is my delight to hear all that you have to say to me. There is no place I would rather be than in your presence. There is nothing I would rather do than worship you. There is nothing I want more than to live in a close and intimate relationship with you. I have tasted of your kindness and mercy. You have lavished me with your love. I know that you will draw near to me as I draw near to you. Yes, I will. I know that I will be strengthened and changed as I am in your presence. You will mold and shape my life. You will make me into the person you have created me to be. You will use my life to bear fruit for your kingdom. You will allow me to bring glory to your name. You will strengthen my desire to live my life fully with and for you. You will strengthen my ability to resist the devil and all his evil. Yes, I will. You will fan the flame of passion in my heart and mind to love, follow and serve you. Yes, I will. That is what I want. These are the things that I am asking for. These desires of your heart will be granted.

Lord, my life is completely in your hands. I am unconditionally at your disposal. I am all yours without any reservations. I am reverently submitting myself to you as I draw near to you. I am resisting the devil and his evil. Draw near to me Lord. Amen

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

Rhythms – James 4-7-10 – Near To Him – Near To You – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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