As the Lord taught in the Parable of the Sower, many will depart when testing comes.
Many depart from Church, and many are now even departing from pursuing their CALLING in Christ when the tests come. You can never pass a test by quitting.
1 Peter 1:7 AMP - "So that the genuinenes of your faith may be tested, your faith which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire....."
The Cross is a vertical post that represents our connection to God and a horizontal one that represents our connection to one another. One thing that taking up our cross means is that we must have both of these in our lives. Of course, our connection to God eclipses the importance of our connection to one another and must always be kept first. But if we have this and keep it first, we will also have the other.
As John also wrote, we cannot love God who we do not see if we do not love our brother who we can see (see I John 4:20-21).
John 20:21 -- "Just as the Father has sent me forth so I am sending you."
This is certainly a command of Jesus for the Body of Christ to meet the needs (both temporal and spiritual) of new believers so they may indeed advance in the faith.
The humbling service of DISCIPLING a new believer into:
WHO HE IS IN CHRIST,
HIS RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD,AND
WALKING IN THE SPIRIT
is the most valuable Christian service someone can minister to someone who has just had the "born again" experience.
OLD THOUGHT PROCESSES
In order for the church to advance into her destiny there are old thought processes that need to be dismantled:
1. The idea that higher spiritual advancement and development is reserved for the clergy.
2. The idea that spiritual training and discipling is the sole responsibility of the pastor and/or elders.
3. The idea that it takes years in the faith to be able to DISCIPLE other believers.
4. The idea that the only thing the laity is to be involved in is Church programs and listening to sermons.
Submitting to DISCIPLESHIP training develops a "personal ministry to others consciousness" in the believer as well as promotes unity and brotherly love in the fellowship of the Body of Christ.
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