This third tier, “Come & Be with Me,” launches followers of Jesus on for a lifetime.
Where this begins is clear…with an all-in faith in Christ as our life in connection ” with Me.” Where this ends is the adventure we pursue by keeping in step with the Spirit because of Jesus’ “with Me” life in us.
How will we know when our group is ready to move on from “Come & Follow Me” to “Come & Be with Me”?
First, pull up and read this free, short description of the three training tiers (Jesus’ Three Training Tiers). Each read this on your own, then brainstorm, reminding yourselves that Jesus is in your midst.
Second, then keep pursuing ongoing, growing commitment to become more like Jesus in maturity and ministry. “Come & Follow Me” lays the foundation, and “Come & Be with Me” builds on this foundation for a lifetime.
Jesus Launches a Lifelong Adventure with His “with Me” Presence
Where this begins, I know…through a personal response of faith in Jesus Christ. Where your adventure will end, no one knows…except God Himself. And what a journey He has for us.
If you’re still tracking with me, I’ve tried to equip you with a style of learning Scripture that you can build on for a lifetime, flexible, adaptable, life-impacting. Content. Culture. Process.
- For content, engage in one chapter in the Bible and one chapter in a good outside book to challenge our perspective in any theme in which we desire to grow. The entire Bible is your playground for the rest of your journey with Jesus!
- For culture, launch interactive learning faith-communities where we stimulate one another to love and to good works. We grow in character, take responsibility to put truth into action to intersect our lives, and respond as both a learner and a teacher. As we enjoy one another, such a learning culture releases bold “high risk, no shame” lives because we have each others’ backs. Since this is more than knowledge-based, find mentors to help equip you in whichever additional skills you may need.
- For process, learn to alternate rapid and repeated reading, depending on the need at hand in a culture like above. Mutually ask and answer questions with understanding as lifelong life-learners with a strong bias to encourage each other to put truth into practice to impact life.
And be sure to reach out to those around you when you notice a skill to be strengthened. Initiate, whether an aspect of character to strengthen, learning to share our faith more boldly, dig deeper into Scripture, worship from our heart, or maximize the give & take of community life. Look around you. Find someone who does life in this arena better than you and learn from them.
Certainly, this takes time. But the time to begin is with the moment God has given us now.
Some Helpful Material for your Lifelong LIFE-Learning
1. Luke-Acts Two-Part History
This book published by Amazon.com acts as a guide or companion through these two key, foundational books describing the historical ministry of Jesus and how the church grew to have worldwide impact. The twelve week study takes each of us directly into the text of the New Testament, and is available on Amazon.com.
2. At some time, lay down the foundation of the seven “…Kept Simple” series of building block posts…in any order.
If any of these are unfamiliar or a current weakness, discuss with someone farther along in this area for practical tips. It’s crucial to put these into practice in daily life. Perhaps scatter these throughout your tier three training, learning to build these into your daily “life on the way.” These are all free posts on my website.
- Prayer Kept Simple (July 7, 2022) (Read the key passage: Luke 11:1-13)
- God’s Word Kept Simple (July 21, 2022) (Read the key passage: James 1:22-25)
- God’s Presence Kept Simple (July 22, 2022) (Read the key passage: Psalm 19)
- Identity in Christ Kept Simple (July 26, 2022) (Read the key passage: Ephesians 1:3-14)
- Sharing Jesus Kept Simple (August 6, 2022) (Read the key passage: Colossians 4:2-6)
- Making Disciples Kept Simple (August 16, 2022) (Read the key passage: Matthew 28:16-20)
- Forgiveness Kept Simple (November 28, 2022) (Read the key passage: Matthew 18:21-35)
3. Any of the other New Testament books you have not yet studied are rich resources. Or focus again on one NT book already studied, digging deeper for more treasure.
This is a lifelong journey, so remember “layer learning” learning one layer after another, then returning for more.
4. Discover Yourself in the Psalms
Available on Amazon.com. This companion takes you through the Psalms with a number of BIG-picture helps and a short paragraph description of each Psalm. Use this as a primary study, perhaps 5 or 3 a day. Or weave this in as part of your main study, one Psalm per day.
If you have already worked through the 13 OT Biographies as you looked at the historical portion of the OT, a five-week study of Proverbs has been included towards the back of the book. Take a look at it.
6. Read Christian books on the side, along with your primary study focus.
These are only a few. Personally, I grew most by beginning with classics from the 19th and 20th century, more than what is being written today for popular audiences. Much of what I have written has been gleaned from summaries of these treasures from masters. So I listed some of mine below before a few of the masters. Please don’t limit yourselves to these however because each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have come before.
By Jim Fredericks, available on Amazon.com (click here for complete list)
- Foundation Stones (devotional as I reflect on some of the important building blocks in my first couple years as a Christian)
- Jesus Is Enough! (devotional on one of my “deep artesian wells” of refreshing, John 15, “Jesus is the Vine & we are His branches”)
- Times of Refreshing (4-page devotionals on five building blocks for our journey with Jesus)
- Cultivating Enjoyment of God’s Presence (written for me! Yet drawn from the masters throughout the centuries, like Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubauch and the Psalmists to focus on what’s most essential on our journey)
- Big God! Bold Design, A Trilogy (God’s Initiating First-Love, Free Indeed!, Sailing the High Seas) (full-length books designed to be read as an integral whole)
Some of the classics that have impacted me greatly. Here’s a small sampling. BTW, I began gathering these by looking at who is quoted by author’s that impacted me.
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer (actually, most everything he has written).
- They Found the Secret edited by Raymond Edmond (strong intro to historical Christians, much used by God after an encounter with the Father, the Son or the Spirit. Powerful and very readable).
- Why Prayers Are Unanswered by John Allan Lavendar (despite the negative title, an excellent primer on prayer. Out of print, yet free PDF available on my site, click here).
- Practicing His Presence (excerpts from two of the masters on practicing God’s presence, Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach. Easy yet powerful read to put into practice over our lifetime).
- Experiencing the Trinity by Darrell W. Johnson (a superior small book that sky-rocketed my appreciation and understanding of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit).
- Power through Prayer by E. M. Bounds (Bounds specialized on small books on prayer that make prayer accessible to all).
- Quiet Talks on Prayer by S.D. Gordon (simple, yet powerful, and truth I have been soaking in more deeply for decades)
- Quiet Talks on Power by S.D. Gordon (simple, yet powerful, and truth I have been soaking in more deeply for decades).
- Add your own from mentors you respect, yet with an eye toward the classics.
7. Read the rest of the Old Testament
The Old Testament is the divinely inspired story of how God kept faithfully reaching out to His people, preparing them for the coming of Jesus. The OT encourages His people to develop endurance on our journey (Romans 15:4) and demonstrates God’s faithfulness in the midst of the unfaithfulness of His people as examples (1 Corinthians 10:6 + 10:11). It provides rich examples for us as we apply NT teaching to our lives.