Your Disciple Life Profile: A Tool to Chart Your Path as a Disciple in 2013

We’re just a couple of weeks into the new year. How are those resolutions coming? Especially the ones about becoming a stronger Christian in 2013?

             Jesus calls those who are His to live a life shaped by their relationship with Him.  He intended to  “make disciples” (Matt.28:19), who respond gladly to His call: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me….for whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”  (Lk 9:23, Mk.8:35)  

            This life is a daily quest, made up of specific, Christ-shaped attitudes, choices and actions. It is the interplay of the Bible,relationships, life-shaping circumstances, serving others and more. With each passing year that we “behold the glory of the Lord”, the hope is that we will be “transformed into the same image”, being ever more “conformed to the image of God’s Son (Christ)” (2 Cor. 3:18, Rom.8:29).  

            A Christ-like disciple life does not just happen. It is an intentional pursuit requiring reflection, regular course adjustments (repentance), with thoughts and behavior ordered by God’s Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

            The profile below, developed for use in our church, is intended to help you reflect and gain a clear sense of where you currently stand in your relationship with Jesus. It also provides a way to prayerfully chart a path for growth. What do you hope to see change or grow in your life with Christ by this time next year—and how do you intend to pursue it?

            How can you use this profile?

1.    Block out some time where you can be alone with the Lord for at least a couple of hours. Bring your Bible, perhaps a journal and this profile.

2.    Prayerfully, slowly engage the questions & read the Scriptures with each.  Ask the Holy Spirit to use the Word to reveal the truth of your heart & life before Him—which may be encouraging or deeply convicting. Assign a value to your response from 1 (least true of me) to 5 (most true)

3.     Identify at least one specific aspect in each section of your Personal Disciple Profile that needs some attention. Ask the Lord to show you practical steps to take to grow in that area as a disciple.

4.    Share the results with a Christian friend or two. Covenant to pray for one another as you take the next steps in your life with Jesus this year.

SECTION 1      

A disciple of Jesus isGOSPEL-CENTERED has been saved & is being shaped by the fullness of the good news of Jesus Christ.

“Jesus came, proclaiming the gospel of God, saying ‘the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel’….I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….I have been crucified with Christ. It is no long I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Mark 1:14-15, Rom. 1:16, Gal.2:20)

Therefore…

+ I am daily aware of and joyfully grateful for God’s gospel purposes in the cross & resurrection of Christ.  (Lk.19:10, 1 Cor. 15:1-11, Eph.1:3-2:10 ) 

                     1 ========2========3========4========5

+ I interpret my moments –good and bad–by the fact of my Savior’s unfailing love for me. (Jn. 15:13, Rom. 5:8 & 8:31-39:, 1 Jn.4:16)

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+ When I sin or fail, I am more likely to run to Jesus, delighting in grace rather than avoiding Him to wallow in guilt.  (Jn. 8:1-11, Rom. 7:15-8:3)

                     1========2========3========4========5

+ Gospel truths are shaping my life & thinking about my identity, circumstances, decision-making, troubles & relationships.  (Jn. 8:31-32, Phil.4:8)

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+ My relationship with Jesus is vibrant, intimate and life-shaping. (Matt.13:44-46, Jn.15:1-11, Phil. 3:7-9)

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+ I am learning to recognize gospel truths of Jesus revealed in the entire Bible.  (Lk. 24:44; 1 Pet 1:23-2:2)

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+ I am more satisfied with the presence and promises of Jesus than anything else on earth. (Jn. 4:14, 6:51; Ps. 73:23-28)

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SECTION 2

A disciple of Jesus…. GLORIFIES GOD, living all of life as a worshipper of God.

 “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given me’….Thus says the Lord, He who created you…He who formed you…: ‘Fear not, I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine….everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made”.     (Matt. 28:18, Is.43:7)

Therefore…

+ I live aware that the purpose of my life is to display God’s glory in all things thru Jesus’ supremacy.  (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 12:1, Col.1:15-19)  

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+ My heart delights in (& my emotions are stirred over) God’s glory as the most important reality in the universe. (John 17: 1-4; Ps. 63, Rev.4:11)

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+ I battle my tendencies to make life about me & my replacement agendas, rather than about God & His pleasure.  (Matt.16:13-23, Jer.2:12-13)

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+ I am faithful to gather each Lord’s Day & fully engage in participating in worship with God’s people with my local church. (Lk. 4:16, Heb.10:23-24)

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+ I maintain a consistent daily time of personal worship—including reading/meditating on the Bible & prayer. (Mark 1:35-38, Ps. 1, 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

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+ In all of my life— family & relationships, school, work, spending, hobbies, entertainment – I act to bring honor to Jesus. (Matt. 22:37,. 1 Cor.10:31)

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+ I pray boldly, asking God to move in me & our church in ways that can only be explained by Him. (Jn.15:23-24, Lk. 18:1-8, Acts 4:31)

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SECTION 3

A disciple of Jesus… GROWS TOGETHER with Christ’s faith-family as an apprentice, learning how to be and do life like Jesus.

“Jesus said, ‘teach them to observe all that I have commanded you’…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”    (Matt. 28:20, John 15:4, Eph.4:15-16)

Therefore…

+ I intentionally order my life to follow Jesus & be transformed like Him in thought, character & action. (Lk.9:23, Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 3:18, 1 Jn.2:6)

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+ I recognize & follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit –both positive & negative- each day. (Jn.14:26, 16:7-15, Rom. 8:9-16, 1 Thess. 5:19)

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+ I am pursuing a holy life, guarding my heart against sin, grieving and repenting when necessary. (Prov. 4:23, Ps. 51, 1 Peter 1:13-21, 1 Jn 3:4-9).

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+ There is a deep consistency between what I say I believe and how I behave in all places & times, both publicly & privately. (Matt.7:21-27,James 1:22-25)

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+ I have Christian friends who know where I stand on the items above, regularly pray, encourage and challenge me in my walk with Jesus –as I do with them. (Mk.3:14, Jn.13:14, 1 Thess 5:14, 2 Tim.2:2).

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+ I am fully engaged with the life & mission of HBC AND am actively involved with a Sunday School small group. (Acts 2:41-47, Eph.2:11ff)

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+ I consistently express the Christian’s “one anothers”: love, honor, encourage, forgive, serve, spur on, tell truth, be patient, pray, bear burdens, rejoice, speak grace-full words.  (Lk. 22:24-27, Jn. 13:34-35, Eph.4, Rom. 12:9ff)

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SECTION 4

A disciple of Jesus…SERVES THE WORLD as a missionary, spreading Jesus’ love and gospel to all people from neighborhoods to the nations.

  “As the Father sent me, I am sending you….Go, and make disciples of all peoples….Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (Jn. 20:21, Matt.28:19, 2 Cor.5:18,20)

Therefore…

+ I embrace my responsibility to represent Christ & steadily communicate His gospel to those in my sphere of influence. (Lk.24:47-48, 2 Cor.2:14-16, 5:18)

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+ I befriend, serve and verbally share the gospel with far-from-God persons. (Jn.4:1-42, 1 Peter 3:15)

                         1========2========3========4========5 

+ I know my neighbors’ names & their spiritual life/ relationship to Jesus. (Jn.1:35-42, Col.4:5)

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+ I am personally involved with injustice & broken people in my world. (Matt.25:31-46, James 1:27-2:8) 

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+ I have a ministry, place, people or cause where I am weekly investing my life (time, resources, gifts, abilities) in service for Jesus’ sake. (Matt. 9:36-37, 1 Cor.12:4-7,11)

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+ I order my finances by God’s plan, giving first & faithfully (moving towards a tithe) through my church’s  ministry budget., and growing in generoisty with other needs I encounter  (Mk.12:17, 41-44; 2 Cor.9:7-12)

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+ I am willing to do whatever it takes –change, sacrifice, etc- to reach unreached peoples at home and among the nations with Jesus’ gospel.  (Matt.10, Mk. 8:34-38, 1 Cor.9:19-28) 

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 NOW WHAT?    

+REFLECT: In prayer, ask the Lord to press home at least one of the lower (3 or below) marked areas in each area of the Disciple’s Profile on which He wants you to focus in 2013. Then, jot down at least 2 possible, practical, measurable ways you can begin to pursue growth in that area. Remember, it takes at least a month of consistency for a new pattern of thinking, behavior or character to take hold in a life

            Then, choose one of the strongest statements you marked in each area. Ask the Lord to show you how that might become even stronger in you and be more leveraged for His Kingdom purposes.

            + SHARE what you’ve discovered with a couple of Christian brothers (men) or sisters (ladies) who will pray with you, encourage you, and lovingly hold you accountable for pursuing what the Lord has shown you.

                      Christian growth is inescapably relational, so this is a crucial step in Christ-shaped life transformation. Hopefully, it will be someone who will also be transparent about their journey with you, so you walk forward together.

            +PRAY for yourself and others in your faith family to live as faithfully growing disciples. This sort of growth requires the wisdom of the Father, the life of the Son and the power of the Spirit. Jesus said, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me, and I in Him, He it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “ (Jn.15:4-5)

 

 

Let me know if this is helpful to you, or ways you think this profile could be improved.

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