Luke Five - Following Jesus to deep waters

Making disciples of all nations.

Author: James Page 4 of 9

E34 – How to Disciple Someone to Study the Bible on Their Own

We all know disciples of Jesus need to be able to study the Bible on their own, but how do we teach them? Do we spoon feed them for years with the hopes they will eventually be able to read and apply God’s word to their lives, or do we do something more intentional?  We would argue the latter.

Today on this episode, we are going to talk about teaching something called the Cross Bible Study to the people we disciple.  I hope you find it helpful.  I know I did when it was first taught to me by Jim Millard.

Below you’ll see a picture of a sample Cross Bible Study.  You don’t have to do it exactly as I do, but it will at least give you an idea.

I like to write out the passage reference and the date, followed by drawing the cross and numbering it to remind me to follow each step with Jesus.

Next, I’ll go to step 1 and pray.  Then I will make a conscious effort to read with Jesus.

After I read the passage once, I will put a number 2) on my paper followed by a letter A).  I will prayerfully write out 3-5 questions (lettering them A-E) while asking Jesus to help me with the questions.  Then I will consider the questions with Jesus.

After I have answered all the questions, I will write 3) JESUS – “James,     ”

I will pause and listen to Jesus.  Sometimes I hear easily and sometimes I do not. On my best days, I listen quietly. If I do not feel like I am hearing anything from Jesus, then I will go to phase 2 of listening. I will imagine Jesus is sitting across the table from me, and I will imagine what He would say to me out of the passage. To me, this is a way of building up my listening muscle or perhaps is another way of listening. Whatever I hear I will write as accurately as I can.

Lastly, I will write a 4) and respond with how I will obey, or respond to God in some other way depending on what I heard.

I hope you find this helpful.  Let me know.

For story framework the website I mention on the podcast is



E33 – The Methods of Jesus (Part Matthew)

“You can’t take the teachings of Jesus and separate them from the methods of Jesus and get the results of Jesus.” – Jim Putman

Let’s take an aerial overview from Matthew and see what we can discover about the methods Jesus used. How did Jesus use His time?  Who was He with? What did He do?

We are trying something a little new on this episode. Let us know how you like it.

In faithfulness You have afflicted me

The other day I was reading a portion of Ps 119 and verse 75 stood out to me.  In the old NIV it says,

“I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.”

That last portion really caught my attention.  “in faithfulness you have afflicted me.”

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have had a number of friends afflicted as they were removed from the work they had poured their life into.  I’m not talking about a business they started, or a job they devoted themselves to.  No, they poured their lives into God’s work, and in faithfulness He afflicted them.

My friends left under stress and pressure with no time to close up relationships.  Some lost many of their belongings that they didn’t have time or room to take with them. Others just lost their ability to communicate with brothers and sisters in Christ that they had poured their lives into.  Gone.

As I look at the situation, it appears there will be a lot of tough times ahead for many of my friends who are still in the country.  I fear many of them will feel the afflictions of Christ in ways much harder than I ever have.

Why does the Psalmist under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit write, “In faithfulness you have afflicted me?”

I cannot give a clear answer, but I know it is true. In my own life, I have seen that I grow closer to God when I am afflicted.  I know God better through my afflictions.   Later another author under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit would write “I want to know Christ, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings…” (Phil 3:10)

Perhaps, just as I “afflict” my children with consequences in order to shape their hearts and minds, God in His love and faithfulness afflicts me to shape and mold me into His character. God, as a good father, knows that at times nothing else will accomplish His will except affliction.  In our sinful condition, it is necessary.

I do not enjoy affliction, but I have come to appreciate it. Affliction drives me to prayer more than anything else. Affliction shapes me in ways prosperity and blessing cannot.

Its not a topic we as American consider offen, but suffering and affliction are all through the Bible, and they are not necessarily spoken of as bad.

Hebrews 12:6 – The Lord disciplines those He loves
James 1:2 – Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds

So, the next time you feel afflicted, remember it is in faithfulness He has afflicted you.

Deep Water Short – Stop Going to Church

Should you go to church? The answer isn’t what you think.

Don’t judge your future based on mistakes in your past

I just read a great blog post about dealing with dissappointment in disciple making , and Craig brought up something really cool about Mark.

Think about this. Mark was such a poor disciple that he left Paul and Barnabus on his first missionary journey with them. Barnabus’ desire to take Mark with them again caused Paul and Barnabus to split up their work. Things aren’t looking so great for Mark right now.

Yet, God changes Mark and later not only will Paul say,”bring Mark because He is useful to me,”(2 Tim 4:10-14) but God will also use Mark to write one of the four Gospels of Jesus… the book of Mark.

You may be looking back on your life right now and find yourself unsatisfied with how you have lived for Jesus and with the fruit you have born.  Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up.  Surrender yourself fully to God and you will be amazed at the fruit He can bring in your life.

If you (and me) have failed in our walk we are in good company. Consider these names mentioned in the Bible: David, Peter, and Paul.  Just a quick glance will show you all of these men had some major failing points in their lives, but that isn’t what we remember them for.  We remember them for what God did through them in their lives.  Warts and all, God still uses them and He will use you, too.

E32 – Only Fit to be Slaves?

“Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.” -C.S. Lewis

Those parts of your life you do not surrender to your owner are the parts most vulnerable to attack from the enemy.

E31 – Becoming a Praying Disciple Maker

Do we know a lot about prayer, or do we pray a lot? Is prayer an afterthought, or does prayer define our spiritual walk?

Prayer is a discipline I know I need to grow in.  What about you?


Referenced in the podcast:

British evangelist – Gypsy Smith (1860-1947).  Here are two places you can learn more about his ministry. and

E30 – 4 Essential Practices for Cross-Cultural Disciple Making

Did you realize that if you have been following Jesus for more than two years you are no longer the same culture as your unbelieving neighbor? In fact, while we often think of cross-cultural disciple making as involving people from different countries, there are actually all kinds of different cultures everywhere… even in your hometown.

What are some of the key practices necessary to be able to successfully make disciples cross-culturally? In this podcast, we have put together 4 essential practices necessary for successful cross cultural disciple making.

Books mentioned:
The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken

The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken

E29 – Disciple Makers Love Their Enemies

One of Jesus’ most famous commands is to “love our enemies.”  Do we dare obey such an unusual command?  Do we dare disobey it?

Today in America it is election day.  So, in that vein, we’ll talk some about our political enemies, and how we can obey Jesus’ command to love our enemies.

In the podcast I mentioned several things by Carl Medearis.  Below are some links you can use to watch some of his talks.  I highly recommend the following.

You can also search his name on any podcast application and get to some great stories there as well.

E28 – 4 Tips for Frustrated Disciple Makers

Have you ever felt like you were the only one who cared about something, such as Disciple Making, in your church?  Here are 4 tips for those of you who find yourself frustrated.  Whether you are frustrated with your church, frustrated with the people you are discipling, or just frustrated with everything, these tips will help you evaluate what you need to do and help get you back on a productive track.

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