This article was first published in Wesley TIDINGS, January 2022
What’s on your heart for 2022?
I long for renewal. Something new from the Lord. That’s my hope for 2022 as I put the past year behind and press on to take hold of what the new year brings.
I sincerely believe I can experience and encounter the new as I grow in the likeness of Christ in my discipleship.
I also know that the Lord wants to do a new thing for us as a church this new year. I believe He is inviting us to be renewed through our discipleship as we take the next step to grow in Him.
Let us be intentional about our discipleship this year.
Let me offer three reasons why that is so important. First, we need to be intentional; otherwise we will drift from God. Our sin-led disposition is to move away from God unless we intentionally stay close and grow in Him. In these pandemic times, all the more we need to be intentional in being more like Christ so that we may truly make our life count in these challenging and perilous times.
The second reason is that intentional discipleship is simply obeying God’s clarion call for disciples who are willing to grow deep instead of remaining shallow. God is calling a generation who is willing to grow deep, so that we may truly know Him and make Him known for such a time as this. Let us respond to His call.
Lastly, we need to be intentional because Christ is returning soon. The Covid-19 pandemic is a divine reminder from the Lord that we are truly in the end times.
Let us make the best of every opportunity to grow deeper so that we may know and experience the transforming power of God preparing us for the return of His Son.
So let us be intentional in following and growing in Christ.
To be intentional is to first engage in right methods for growth. The Wesley Discipleship Model is a holistic framework which outlines five faith environments of Significant Circumstances, Scriptural Obedience, Spiritual Relationships, Spiritual Disciplines and Sacrificial Service or CORDS for short, for us to intentionally grow.
Let me encourage you to do a spiritual health-check at wesleymc.org/spi-health-check so you may know how to take the next step in your intentional discipleship.
Next, find a community that you may be accountable to for your growth in discipleship. It may be to join a Small Group, or form a group of spiritual friends to journey together. I pray we may experience the abiding presence of God encouraging us to help each other grow as we stay accountable to one another. I pray for us to encounter spiritual breakthroughs and be deeply encouraged through the sharing of testimonies and stories of faith and perseverance.
Finally, ask the Holy Spirit to make you willing. No human reasoning or persuasion can make us intentional. Only the Spirit of God can grant that inner desire and willing posture. When we are willing and available, God can and will do a deep work of transformation and renewal in our lives as we take that next step of growth in Him. Let’s humble ourselves and ask the Spirit of God to grant us that willing heart.
Yes, a new year brings fresh possibilities of renewal!
My prayer for you is from Ephesians 4:23-24 (NLT):
“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.”
Yes, let us put on our new nature as we grow in the likeness of Christ so that we may find our joy, purpose, and strength through our intentional discipleship for the season ahead.
Come, let’s take the next step together as a Wesley family.
Growing with you,