Christian Growth Tools
to Support our Christian Journey
My aim is to help anyone who knows Jesus personally to study God’s Word for themselves. It’s beyond wonderful when we realize that our Resident Trainer, the Holy Spirit, opens up Scripture for me personally. I have developed these simply, yet powerful tools over the years to assist Christians like you, having used them with Junior Highers and with seminary graduates.
S-T-U-D-Y & Explanation of S-T-U-D-Y:
This simple tool incorporates in simple form most of what a thick book on “how to study the Bible” provides (“simplicity beyond complexity”). I still use this as my primary way to study, even after 40+ years walking faithfully with the Lord.
“Telling My Story” & Suggestions for “Telling My Story”:
“Telling My Story” is a printable form to organize your three-minute evangelistic testimony. This is such a powerful tool! Paul told his story three different times in the Book of Acts. When we run into people on the go, often we have only a few moments. Now you will have a sharpened instrument. Also, if you do these in your small group, a side benefit is that it’s a great way to get to know one another on a different level.
Cultivating God’s Presence:
Quick-Hit Tools to Abide in God’s Presence
Develop a spiritual “longing statement.” See the hyperlink for some practical helps. This is short and pithy, and changes over time. It succinctly captures your deep longing toward God in this season. Today mine is “I yearn for increasing enjoyment of your presence as my good.” I wrote this on my daily prayer sheet, and often begin my day with this focus.
What do you do when you feel undue stress or know of something that you allowed to take you out of God’s presence? This hyperlink will describe “One-Minute Sabbath.” Since I have practiced this for quite some time, I now experience little lag time. Often I feel the stress drain quickly and return to a joy in His presence. And, yes, this takes me less than one minute!
Living things breathe. When a baby is birthed, she takes hold on new life with that first breath of life. If she had not breathed, she would not have lived to give us so many sweet memories with her. Prayer is as necessary for our spiritual life as breathing is for our physical. And as natural.
This is a very useful to examine the direction of their lives. This is not a sin-management approach. Instead, it’s a quick look-back for discernment in two arenas.First, I want to observe the footsteps of my Father’s care in my life since last check-in. It’s easy for me to walk through a day oblivious to God’s caring presence. Second, I want to observe which way the wind of my emotions/affections have been blowing in my heart, my innermost sanctuary. When were my affections gently moving me towards choices to lean into God? And when away from God toward my flesh-life?
Periodically during the year or at special times of decision, I set aside a 90-minute time to reconnect on a deeper level with God. For me, ninety minutes is enough focused time to accomplish that closer connection. It’s not too much time so in a busy season I can excuse myself with “I don’t have time.”
6. See also my December 14, 2017 post on the 3rd Cycle for Spiritual Development for other tips.
Companion through the Psalms (See Books by Jim Fredericks)
A brief summary of each Psalm with basic background information on the Psalms and key Psalms expanded at the end.
Jesus Christ teaches that God has spoken reliably and authoritatively (John 10:35; 17:17).
No matter what society says, everything is not relative. There are absolutes. God’s Word is our final standard. We can know some things for sure because God has spoken, even if there is a measure of relativity in our perception and understanding of what the Bible says. Let the Spirit of God Himself teach you (John 14:25).
God generously pours His gifts and provision into our lives.
Why is God so generous towards us? It’s who He is! Then we are able to know God more easily, love him more readily and partner with Him more fruitfully. What I have written are tools to help you engage Scripture on the heart level. Our only desire and our steadfast choice is to yearn for what leads to God’s deepening life within us.
I have three large concerns as I write.
First, that I might convince your mind before God ravishes your heart with His relational love.
Second, that you will read these booklets alone and be helped greatly. You will however settle for the helpful, but partial, change gained from learning, leading and living as individuals. And you might miss out on the greater call to live as “persons-in-community.
Third, that you might in some way view this sequence of building blocks as a finished program that will bring growth like a vending machine…presto! No such thing exists! We follow the Living God, who is relational at His core. What I have written is all I see now. What I have missed is an invitation for you to come alongside so we can learn together.