True Discipling

Posted in Discipleship with tags , , on November 7, 2013 by mikekeaton

The other day I read an article about what is the measure of true discipleship?  check it out here

For the record I use the word ‘discipling’ for discipleship. I feel there are many views on discipleship and it might be just me but I feel the word discipling is unique and may convey the idea that is in my heart and minds eye.

Anyway, back to true discipling.  What is true discipling?  That’s a huge question.  I do think that discipleship is “THE” mission of the local church.  We should always be asking, “are we making disciples?” How do we know we are making true disciples?  The article referenced above suggests, when that disciple begins to make other disciples…in other words, when reproduction occurs.

That might be the measurement for the outcome or result and there could be others.  But how do I know when I am truly discipling?   Well, for me this question is being fleshed out in front of me right now.  The church where I am privileged to serve has experienced many changes.  There are many people that I have had the blessing to disciple that have moved on to other missions, churches, and cities.  Many of those individuals, in fact all of them, were quality people and great leaders.

The people that are here now, which include some who have hung around and many new ones, are the new crop of disciples that need to be discipled.  So the measure for me and true discipling is whether or not I am going to roll up my sleeves and get to work on developing them into who God wants them to become.  Actually, that is my calling, to make disciples.  I am guessing if I do my job and get others to join me in this calling, then in about 8-10 years, we will send those out and then there will be another brand new crop.

So, for me, the measurement of whether I am a true discipler is based on my faithfulness to the call and the mission of the church, no matter who is in front of me.

what’s your thoughts?

Why you should read your Bible

Posted in Discipleship with tags , , , , on February 22, 2013 by mikekeaton

Proverbs 22:17-21
17 “Listen” to the words of the wise; “apply” your heart to my instruction.  18 For it is good to “keep” these sayings in your heart and always “ready” on your lips.  19 I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the Lord.  20 I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.  21 In this way, you may “know” the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you. (Holy Bible, New Living Translation)

I have been troubled lately at how many people do not read their Bibles.  I don’t know if I have too high of an expectation or if I am being judgmental (I hope neither), but I just think that if someone says they are a believer…a Christian, then they should read their Bible.

I know some people don’t know how, or where to begin because maybe they are a fairly new Christian and they need some guidance.  Others probably have been a Christian for a longer time but never really had any help either.  So, for them, I would be more understanding and give them a pass.  But, for those who have been a Christian for a while, or a long time, then, honestly, I just don’t get it.

I was reading in Proverbs 22 today and the above verses stood out to me.  There are many reasons why anyone should read the Bible but these verses clearly showed me something that is soooooooo beneficial to me and all others from intaking the Word of God-the Bible:

Advice, Knowledge, Trust and Truth!

Some very important and needed things for me and others everyday!  Advice, Knowledge, Trust and Truth.  Here’s the idea…”Listen to these words”, “apply my instruction”, “keep these sayings ready in your hearts and on your lips”…

“so you will Trust in the Lord”, “so you may know the truth”, “filled with Advice and knowledge”

We all need more faith and to trust more in the Lord, in who He is and what He can and will do in us and for us.

We all need to know what actually is “the” truth, so we can discern all the errors, fakes, counterfeits and deceptions that the world throws at us everyday.

We all need advice and knowledge on how to live each day.

The Bible tells us, if we will listen to it, keep it, apply it, then we can have all these things…but we must “INTAKE” the bible!!

READ YOUR BIBLE TODAY!  You’ll be glad you did!  God’s Word is Good!!!! 🙂

Peace on Earth!! ??? Yeah Right!!

Posted in Advent with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by mikekeaton

Peace on Earth!!  ???  Yeah Right!!

Have you been watching the news lately?  not much peace in the world, in Washington, or in Newtown, CT.  Everything but Peace!!

One of the many themes of Christmas is Peace!  This comes from many sources but probably the main source, at least from my viewpoint, is from the story of the birth of Jesus!

In the Bible in the book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1-20, tell us a great story about the night that the baby Jesus was born.  In this story, there is a scene where the shepherds get a heavenly visit with a great promise…

Peace on Earth, good will to men!!

-Peace on earth…peace…on…earth…YEAH RIGHT!!

However!!

What the Angels and heavenly host were announcing, was that peace was on the earth in the person of Jesus who is the Christ child- He is the long awaited Messiah and “HE” will be…PEACE, for all mankind!!

another passage in the Bible is found in Ephesians 2, consider its truth…

12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,-ESV

Here are a couple more…

Colossians 1:20 – “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross”.-ESV

Isa 53:5 – “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed”.

Jesus was on the earth, He is our peace…Peace on earth!

Peace is possible, but, we must look “to Him”!  Not legislation, not gun control, not anything else….He, Jesus,  is the only source of real, true, lasting, eternal, everyday peace!!

Any questions?  feel free to write me and I will be glad to expound and offer any help I can.  Most importantly, just cry out to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to be your Peace!!

Stay tuned for some practical suggestions in tomorrow’s post on how to have or experience peace!!

 

Advent Readings – (a 2nd option)

Posted in Advent, Discipleship, Spiritual Intake with tags on December 3, 2012 by mikekeaton

I hope you are off to a good start celebrating and observing Advent!!  if not, then its not too late to start!!  Saturday night I posted some daily Advent readings, but here is a 2nd option of readings in case you want to expand or just like these better…

Blessings…

First Week of Advent

Sunday Romans 13:11-14

Monday 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Tuesday Mark 13:33-37

Wednesday John 1:1-5

Thursday John 1:6-9

Friday Jeremiah 33:14-16

Saturday Isaiah 6

 

Second Week of Advent

Sunday Romans 15:4-13

Monday Psalms 43:3-6

Tuesday Psalms 27:1-4

Wednesday Psalms 119:105-106

Thursday John 12:35-36

Friday Ephesians 5:6-14

Saturday 1 Peter 2:5-9

Third Week of Advent

Sunday Isaiah 60:1-3

Monday 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Tuesday 1 John 1:4-7

Wednesday John 3:16-21

Thursday Isaiah 40:1-11

Friday John 9:1-7

Saturday Luke 3:1-6

Fourth Week of Advent

Sunday Isaiah 11:1-10

Monday Zephaniah 3:14-17

Tuesday Matthew 1:18-25

Wednesday Luke 2:8-20

Thursday Matthew 4:14-16

Friday Isaiah 2:1-5

Saturday Luke 2:25-33

Advent Readings

Posted in Advent, Discipleship, Holidays with tags , , , on December 1, 2012 by mikekeaton

I am posting these passages for any and all who would like to celebrate and observe Advent this year on their own or with their family.  Our church is observing Advent this season as an effort to recapture the true meaning of Christmas and to keep Christ in the center of it all.  Our Christmas series of teachings is emphasizing this.  learn more…

If you have never observed Advent then I recommend you do some searching online or feel free to leave a comment and I can pass along some more info.

This schedule includes more than needed readings for this season of Advent because each year is different in terms of number of days.  Feel free to adjust the readings to your likings…

First Week

Sunday – Is. 40:1-5

Monday – Is. 52:7-10

Tues. – Is. 40:9-11

Wed. – Gen. 3:8-15

Thurs. – Gen. 15:1-6

Fri. – Deut. 18: 15-19

Sat. – Ps. 89:1-4

Second Week

Sunday – Is. 11. 1-10

Monday – Zech. 6:12-13

Tues. – Micah 5:2-4

Wed. – Mal. 3:1-6

Thurs. – John 1:1-8

Fri. – John 1:9-18

Sat. – Mark 1:1-3

Third Week

Sunday – Luke 1:5-13

Monday – Luke 1:14-17

Tues. – Luke 1:18-25

Wed. – Luke 1:39-45

Thurs. – Luke 1:46-56

Fri. – Luke 1:57-66

Sat. – Luke 1:67-80

Fourth Week

Sunday – Is. 7:10-14

Monday – Luke 1:26-35

Tues. – Is. 9:2-7

Wed. – Matt. 1:18-25

Thurs. – Luke 2:1-20

Fri. – Matt. 2:1-1

Sat. – Luke 2:21-35

 

Just Trust in the Lord

Posted in Discipleship, Learnings with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by mikekeaton

“Trust in the Lord”.  those words seem like “christianeze” (def.-trite language and cliches used often by those who call themselves Christians).  Those 4 words may seem like they are trite or cliche, but truthfully they are “inspired by the Holy Spirit”, they are also “God Breathed” and according to 2 Tim 3:16 they are “profitable” for us.  profitable sounds nice, in this messed up economy, anything profitable sounds pretty good.

Just last night I was learning along with my community group about overcoming worry.  the simple remedy for worry that was offered by our teacher was to trust in the Lord and pray!

REALLY?!  Just Trust in the Lord?

seems so simplistic.

why is it so hard?  why do i worry?  why cant i just trust in the Lord?

so this morning i read in Psalm 37 these truths:

-“Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the Land and befriend faithfulness”

-“commit your way to the Lord, Trust in Him, and He will act”

-“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, fret not yourself…”

-“fret not yourself, it tends only to evil…those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land”

-“I have not seen the righteous forsaken”

-“the Lord will not forsake His saints”

-“wait for the Lord and keep His way”

-“the Lord is the stronghold of the righteous in time of trouble, the Lord helps them and delivers them, BECAUSE…

THEY TAKE REFUGE IN HIM!”

I think the Lord is speaking to me….ya think?!

Trite or cliche…doesnt matter, the Lord just wants me to trust Him, He promises me if i do that He will help me and He will direct my steps!!!

praying today and…t.r.u.s.t.i.n.g.

Just Trust!

how do you deal with worry and trusting in the Lord?

The cry of our hearts

Posted in Learnings with tags , , , on November 2, 2012 by mikekeaton

I am detouring today from the posts of the last few weeks concerning our finances that have been connected to our series of teachings at our church.  I think this post is highly relevant in the current political atmosphere, but, not only as it relates to politics…but also, really, our whole life.

everyday i try to read a chapter from the book of Proverbs and at least 1 or 2 from the book of Psalms.  i call it my daily dose of “wisdom and worship” 🙂  So, today i was reading Proverbs chapter 2 and Psalm 20.  I really love the 2nd Proverb, b/c it really captures the cry of my heart and should be the cry of all our hearts….the need for wisdom!!

As a church leader, husband, father, and other roles of life, I often feel so inadequate and inferior to the demands of the role and calling.  I feel there are so many smarter and better qualified people than me.  So, I constantly cry out to the Lord for wisdom…i want wisdom…i need wisdom…so i ask for it all the time!!

Verses 1-10, basically say we need to pursue it, look for it, desire it, search for it, expose ourselves to it, immerse ourselves in it and as a result…we’ll get it!!  Verse 10 says “wisdom will come into your heart”…i am still waiting for that day 🙂  i wonder if i will know it when it happens?  will i feel adequate?  will i feel like i should be leading?  will i know i am wise?  i dont know…probably not!

I am promised, as you are also, that if we seek wisdom, we will gain understanding, knowledge and wisdom of God, which is the beginning point, and from there we will know how to walk and live a life of integrity and morality, and wise choices while having the favor of God.

Dude….i need all of that!!

Now, as that applies to the current political scene.  Don’t we need wisdom to discern who and what to vote for?  This presidential election seems to me to be pretty important to our future on earth in America.  Seems like wisdom is what is needed, not allegiance to a political party or traditional bent or leaning.

Psalm 20:7 said, that there are those who trust in chariots and horses but our trust is in the name of the Lord our God.  perhaps an application of “chariots and horses” could be “candidates and houses” (houses of representatives that is)…some trust in certain candidates and their political views to be their “savior” or the one who will “fight for their rights”.  But we, BUT WE, (who is the we? perhaps…the people of God?), but we…trust in the name of the Lord our God…what is His name?

Psalm 20:5, uses the word “banners”, the name of the Lord our God that refers to “banners” is Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord our Banner…which basically means, it is the Lord our God who goes before us carrying our banner, “fighting for us, representing us”…some trust in chariots and horses, but we…we trust in the name of the Lord our God!!

We need lots of wisdom as we go and vote and really for everything in our life and everything i and you will do this day…seek wisdom, search for wisdom, let it be the cry of your heart this day, and every day!

lots of love…have a great weekend!  blessings,

mk

Advancing God’s Kingdom with our Money – devotional – day 13

Posted in Finances with tags , , on October 31, 2012 by mikekeaton

You cannot serve God “and” Money, but you must learn to serve God “with” money.
Think about, discuss or pray about the verse that relates most to your life:
Luke 16:11-13 (Jesus said) “So if you have not been trustworthy
in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?…No
servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve both God and Money.”
Proverbs 10:16 The good man’s earnings advance the cause of
righteousness. The evil man squanders his on sin. TLB
Matthew 6:19-21 (Jesus said) “Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose
understanding rather than silver!
Proverbs 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he
has no desire to get wisdom?
1 Corinthians 4:2 It is required in stewards, that a man be found
faithful. KJV
The world asks: “What does a person own?” God asks, “How is the person using what they have been given?”
A Christian is one who does not have to consult his bank book to see how wealthy he really is.

from Brian Kluth’s 40 day generosity devotional

Stewardship and Contentment go hand in hand – devotional – day 12

Posted in Finances with tags , , , on October 30, 2012 by mikekeaton

We said this past weekend that stewardship requires faithfulness!  To be faithful we will have to be content to a large degree.  Contentment can come as well as good stewardship if we focus on what is in “front” of us vs. what is “ahead” of us!  Enjoy today’s passages.

Focus on being content with God’s daily provisions.
Think about, discuss or pray about the verse that relates most to your life:
1 Timothy 6:6-8 Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we
brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
Proverbs 30:8-9 Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just
enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content
without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s
holy name. TLB
Matthew 6:9-11 This is how you should pray: “’Our Father in
heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be
done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread…”
Philippians 4:11-12 I have learned to be content whatever the
circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, & I know what it is
to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and
every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty
or in want.
You are only poor when you want more than you have.  The trouble with most people is their earning capacity doesn’t match their yearning capacity. 
The most expensive vehicle to operate, per mile, is the shopping cart.  🙂

from brian kluth’s 40 day devotional to a more generous life

BE FAITHFUL in your money handling!! -devotional – day 11

Posted in Finances with tags , , on October 29, 2012 by mikekeaton

i thought this one was good in light of the topic of our conversation yesterday at our worship gathering.  enjoy and keep growing spiritually!!!

A main focus for your giving should be your local church and ministry staff.

Read the following verses.  Think and pray about the verse that applies the most to your life.

1 Corinthians 9:11-14 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?…Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17,18 Pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

1 Corinthians 9:10 Christian workers should be paid by those they help. Those who do the plowing and threshing should expect some share of the harvest.

Galatians 6:6 Those who are taught the Word of God should help their teachers by paying them.

2 Chronicles 31:9-13 Hezekiah asked the priests about the heaps; the chief priest, answered, “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.” They faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.

Deuteronomy 12:19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites (ministers) as long as you live in your land.

No church ever has a money problem, only a faithfulness problem.

From Brian Kluth’s online evotional – 40 day spiritual journey to a more generous life