Spiritual disciplines for a lifetime of spiritual growth

When a counselee graduates from the discipleship counseling process, I encourage him to continue in the spiritual disciplines and patterns he has developed in the counseling process.  Sometimes it is easy to forget the things that most help us walk with God, so I have put together a brief list of essentials for the spiritual life for my counselees.  This is their “last” homework assignment — though it is something they will spend their lifetimes completing (download it here as a PDF):

Bible reading: Read the Bible every day. Use a plan, if needed. Be consistent.

  1. Read with the intent of knowing God and His mind, not “solving problems.”
  2. Establish a time and place that you will meet God every day — e.g., on sofa at 6:30 am
  3. Keep a Bible, pad & pen (and maybe a devotional book) at that location.
  4. Read the Bible systematically & with balance (history, poetry, prophets, gospels, epistles).
  5. For every two minutes you read, meditate for one minute.
  6. Keep a log of what passage you read —
  • What is the main idea/central truth?
  • What does this passage reveal about God?
  • What is one key verse that you can think about today?
  • Pray the passage.
  • Commit to do (at least) one thing that day that will reinforce what you learned.

Bible memorization: Practice the regular discipline of Bible memorization:

Reading/listening:

  • Listen to other good sermons during the week to renew your mind: Grace Bible Church, Grace to You (John MacArthur), Desiring God (John Piper). Ask if you need more suggestions.
  • Regularly read other good biblical books: read books on spiritual life (Jerry Bridges, John MacArthur, John Piper), marriage and family (Stuart Scott, Martha Peace, Paul Tripp, John Piper, P&R Publishers), Christian biographies, and theology (John MacArthur, puritans like Thomas Watson). We have many excellent resources in our bookstore including a “book of the month.”

Worship: Participate in worship at your church. Take notes on the sermons and ask, “What is in this for me this week?” Find a small group or ministry to connect more deeply with the church. Join the church as an act of commitment to the church.

Service: Regularly (and consciously) do acts of love and service for others. Treat others as more important than yourselves by following the example of Christ (Jn. 13:12-17).

Marriage: Regularly (weekly at least) do things for one another that demonstrate that the marriage and your spouse is your highest earthly priority.

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