A Period of Exponential Growth

December 24, 2020

The Cambridge Dictionary defines exponential as an exponential rate of increase becomes quicker and quicker as the thing that increases becomes larger. I'm confident the writer of the definition didn't have discipleship in mind when he or she wrote it. However, the definition is applicable. Growth in the life of a believer can be referred to as exponential if the rate of growth becomes quicker and quicker as the believer increases in Christian maturity.

When used in a sentence, the dictionary suggested, "We are looking for exponential growth in our investment." Perhaps, that's what Paul had in mind when he wrote to young Timothy, ..."discipline yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (I Tim. 4.7b-8) Time invested in the Word of God not only pays high dividends, but can also cause growth in Christ to be exponential.

I just recently celebrated 80 years on this planet. I received more birthday greetings than on any other birthday. Several of the greetings come from members of my last pastorate and included statements, such as:

Your discipleship program was transformational in our lives. It changed my life. I am eternally grateful.
My husband and I are so grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the levels of discipleship training our hunger for the Word developed. (Phil. 1.6)
Discipleship training was especially effective in my spiritual growth. It taught me volumes of how to behave in the Spirit of God.
I know that I am not alone when I say that I grew the most spiritually in my adult life by going through the different levels of discipleship training.
Last year, I became the assistant pastor of our little country church. Discipleship training had a great deal to do with that.

I would call those comments as exemplifying exponential growth in Christ.

You May Be a Christian But Not a Disciple

November 3, 2020

A recent survey revealed that among professing evangelical believers only 11% go beyond their confession of of faith to be a true disciple. The word disciple means a learner, one who becomes a student of the Word and daily seeks to grow in grace and become better acquainted with Jesus. II Peter 3.18

Further surveys indicate that a significant number of professing Christians fail to develop a biblical worldview. For example, in a recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that 37% of white evangelical protestants support gay and lesbian marriages.

Discipline is often a missing word in the Christian's vocabulary. One can see the evidence of that fact in the increasing rate of obesity in our society. Paul made it clear to young Timothy that godliness comes through discipline (I Tim. 4.7) The Message paraphrases it well,

Exercise daily in God, no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart.

Find a program that works for you. Ask the Lord for a brother or sister in Christ to journey with you. Hold one another accountable. Accountability and discipline go together. Take it to heart. It's time to get started.