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Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Immediately Answer the Call and “Get ‘er Done” - Purity 620


 Immediately Answer the Call and “Get ‘er Done” -  Purity 620

Purity 620 01/05/2022  Purity 620 Podcast

Good morning, 

Today’s photo of a sliver of a crescent moon and the fading blues and pinks of sunset over the Hudson River comes to us from yours truly as I was blessed by this sight upon arriving home last evening.   The sunsets in our area of upstate NY have been amazing the last two evenings and the fact that we get to enjoy these sights periodically should fill us with wonder and the urge to praise and thank the Lord for all that He provides.  

It’s Wednesday and as we make it to the midweek point and seek to get over the hump, I would encourage you to face the problems that surround you and if you can deal with them, immediately.  

It’s not always easy but I like to practice what I preach and sometimes you are put to the test when your day just begins.  This morning, I was greeted with a problem upon waking.  As I slept my children messaged me with the news that they are concerned that there is a wasp’s nest somewhere in our home as they have both been stung by wasp and seen a total of 5 wasps in our home in the past month. 

While part of me felt tempted to text back a pithy reply like “Deal with it” or with an exasperated question like “What do want me to do about it?”, I instead took their concerns seriously and used part of my morning to examine the woodwork in the basement to see if I could see any signs of wasp infestation.  So armed with sealing compound, bee spray, and a flashlight, I went about the task of trying to address this problem.  

If nothing else I sealed up a few holes where cold air was coming in but in truth I did discover one hole that seemed new which received a healthy dose of bee spray in addition to a sealing compound plug.  So I advised my kids via messenger of my efforts and asked them to remain diligent in reporting any future instances of wasp activity.  

This morning’s task brings to mind my philosophy on dealing with problems that I have arrived at after years of suffering the consequences of procrastinating (which is just word that means doing nothing), denying a problem exists, or just hoping a problem will go away on its own.  My philosophy is to address and try to solve problems as soon as possible as they arise, as in immediately.

While waiting on the Lord will be absolutely necessary as part of our faith walk, God created man to “tend to the Garden” and be stewards of the things that He has entrusted us with.  So if something goes wrong and the problem needs to be addressed or a task needs to be performed, I have learned that it is best if we do so immediately.  

Putting things off for another time may be wise in some instances, as we can discern what the situations at hand require, but I know that I have a penchant for forgetting things so if I can, I deal with problems as they come because I have learned that in this world broken by sin, another problem or task to be done is right around the corner. 

So “get ‘er done and get ‘er done now” is sort of my problem solving philosophy of life and actually is the disposition that we are to take when walking in the Spirit.  When a problem arises or a call from the Lord comes, we should take action immediately.  

I did a quick word search of immediately at Blueletterbible.org and found that many of the uses of immediately either describe people taking action or people being miraculously healed.  

Matthew 4:19-20 (NKJV)
19  Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Acts 16:10 (NKJV) says
10  Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

 

Immediately, they left their nets! Immediately, they sought to go!  Move it. Move it.  

 

Our lives of walking in the Spirit are directed by the Holy Spirit, so if we get an intuition to do something that is out of the ordinary and seems to be good, I have learned to obey “the call” immediately.   I have been “directed by the Spirit” to pray for people, to do good deeds, perform work, and to make decisions that I later wondered where I got the wisdom from and in every instance it has resulted in good and left me with no regrets.   

As for the appearance of immediately in the Bible regarding the healing, scripture indicates that God heals miraculously in an instant.  If a healing miracle is to be claimed today, it should only be applied only to instances where the person received immediate, complete healing. 

Before you say I don’t believe in miracles because of that strict classification drawn from scripture, I would say that I believe that all healing comes from God, miraculous or otherwise as God also heals through His providence.

As Creator and Sustainer of all things and Sovereign King over His creation, the Lord sets the conditions and grants healing providentially through non-miraculous means.  Why does one treatment work for one person and not the other? Why do so people get sick and die and others get sick and recover?  God’s will, grace, mercy, and providence all play a hand in our experience in ways we can’t understand or direct.  His will, rather than our will, will be done.    

But God does set those conditions in our world that we can learn from and adhere to be healed.  We can take steps to live a healthy lifestyle and deal with problems immediately that will cause stress or suffering if they are not addressed. The “healing” that we can receive is the peace we can have knowing that we have fulfilled our roles as stewards over what we have been given and then trust the Lord to help us knowing that He is faithful to do what is right.   

We can’t control everything, and we can’t demand that the Lord will bless us as we wish, but we can be faithful to answer His call on our lives and to be responsible stewards over what we have received.  

Walking in the Spirit is supposed to be a dynamic interaction with the Lord in which we are actively seeking His presence, wisdom, guidance, and strength as we try to discern His will for our lives and skillfully deal with the situations that arise in our lives in a way that solves problems and represents Him on the earth.   

So rather than putting off to tomorrow what you could do today, consider doing it immediately.  Sometimes we can cultivate the fruit of the Spirit of peace and joy by being responsible and taking action to maintain, to fix, or to perform the things that God has given us in our lives.  So keep walking and talking with God, and when you do keep your eyes open to be aware of what situations need to be dealt with and when you should take care of them. And don’t be surprised, if the Lord encourages you to do them immediately. 


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NLT2)
3  But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

Today’s verse speaks of the reality of the Lord’s care and the clear and present danger of the enemy.  

One of the popular worship songs being played currently is “Promises” by Maverick City Music. The chorus of that song resounds with the declaration of “Great is Your faithfulness to me” speaking of God’s care, guidance, and presence in our lives echoing today’s verse’s simple truth that the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen us and protect us from the evil one.  

The evil one is Satan, the enemy who lives to steal, kill, and destroy.  His tactics include deception, accusation, condemnation, and temptation to lead us astray. He can also influence others to do his will and harm us.  

So we not only have to be steadfast to monitor what is going in our thoughts and what we are putting before our eyes that may lead us into temptation, but we must also be wise and discerning when it comes to the company we keep.   

The implication of today’s verse is that when we follow the Lord and His ways for our lives we will receive His strength and His protection.  That protection and strength doesn’t only have to come in some miraculous or providential way.  By following the Lord and living according to what the Word of God says, we are shielded and armed for battle to resist and defeat the enemy.   

The Lord provides to those who ask, seek, and knock.  So seek the Lord by faithfully applying His word to your life and you will be strengthened and be guarded from the attacks of the evil one.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 3.   

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

GOING THROUGH STEP TWO

In Step One you dealt with counterfeit guidance. In Step Two you will determine if you have been deceived. Scripture teaches that Christians can fall away from the faith by paying attention to deceiving spirits.64 We can also be deceived by the world, deceive ourselves, and wrongly defend ourselves. We need God’s help to determine whether deception has occurred, so ask for God’s guidance as follows:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are the truth, and I desire to live by faith according to Your truth. The truth will set me free, but in many ways I have been deceived by the father of lies, the philosophies of this fallen world, and I have deceived myself. I choose to walk in the light, knowing that You love and accept me just as I am. As I consider areas of possible deception, I invite the Spirit of truth to guide me into all truth. Please protect me from all deception as You “search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23, 24).

In the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

Prayerfully consider the lists in the three exercises below, using the prayers at the end of each exercise in order to confess any ways you have given in to deception or wrongly defended yourself. You cannot instantly renew your mind, but the process will never get started without acknowledging mental strongholds or defense mechanisms, which are sometimes called mental flesh patterns.

Ways you can be deceived by the world:

·       Believing that acquiring money and things will bring lasting happiness. (Matthew 13:22; 1 Timothy 6:10)

·       Believing that excessive food and alcohol can relieve my stress and make me happy. (Proverbs 23:19-21)

·       Believing that an attractive body and personality will get me what I need. (Proverbs 31:10; 1 Peter 3:3, 4)

·       Believing that gratifying sexual lust will bring lasting satisfaction. (Ephesians 4:22; 1 Peter 2:11)

·       Believing that I can sin and get away without any negative consequences. (Hebrews 3:12, 13)

·       Believing that I need more than what God has given me in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15)

·       Believing that I can do whatever I want and no one can touch me. (Proverbs 16:18; Obadiah 3; 1 Peter 5:5)

·       Believing that unrighteous people who refuse to accept Christ go to heaven anyway. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

·       Believing that I can associate with bad company and not become corrupted. (1 Corinthians 15:33, 34)

·       Believing that I can read, see, or listen to anything and not be corrupted. (Proverbs 4:23-27; Matthew 5:28)

·       Believing that there are no consequences on earth for my sin. (Galatians 6:7, 8)

·       Believing that I must gain the approval of certain people in order to be happy. (Galatians 1:10)

·       Believing that I must measure up to certain standards in order to feel good about myself. (Galatians 3:2, 3; 5:1)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been deceived by (confess the items you checked above). I thank You for Your forgiveness, and I commit myself to believe only Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Ways to deceive yourself:

·       Hearing God’s Word but not doing what it says. (James 1:22)

·       Saying I have no sin. (1 John 1:8)

·       Thinking I am something I’m really not. (Galatians 6:3)

·       Thinking I am wise in this worldly age. (1 Corinthians 3:18, 19)

·       Thinking I can be truly religious but not bridle my tongue. (James 1:26)

·       Thinking that God is the source of my problems. (Lamentations 3)

·       Thinking I can live my life without the help of anyone else. (1 Corinthians 12:14-20)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have deceived myself by (confess the items checked above). Thank You for Your forgiveness. I commit myself to believe only Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

·       Ways to wrongly defend yourself:

·       Denial of reality conscious or unconscious

·       Fantasy (escaping reality by daydreaming, TV, movies, music, computer, or video games, drugs, alcohol)

·       Emotional insulation (withdrawing from people or keeping people at a distance to avoid rejection)

·       Regression (reverting back to less threatening times)

·       Displaced anger (taking out frustrations on innocent people)

·       Projection (attributing to another what you find unacceptable in yourself)

·       Rationalization (making excuses for my own poor behavior)

·       Lying (protecting self through falsehoods)

·       Blaming myself (when not responsible) and others

·       Hypocrisy (presenting a false image)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have wrongly defended myself by (confess the items checked above). Thank You for Your forgiveness. I trust You to defend and protect me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The wrong ways we have employed to shield ourselves from pain and rejection are often deeply engrained in our lives. You may need additional discipling or counseling to learn how to allow Christ to be your rock, fortress, deliverer, and refuge. The more you learn how loving, powerful, and protective God is, the more you will trust Him. The more you realize His complete acceptance of you in Christ, the more you’ll be released to be open, honest, and vulnerable (in a healthy way) before God and others.

The New Age movement has twisted the concept of faith by teaching that we make something true by believing it. That is false. We cannot create reality with our minds; only God can bring something out of nothing into existence. Our responsibility is to face reality and choose to believe what God says is true. True biblical faith, therefore, is choosing to believe and act upon what is true, because God has said it is true, and He is the Truth. Faith is something you decide to do, not something you feel like doing. Believing something doesn’t make it true; it’s already true, therefore we choose to believe it! Truth is not conditioned by whether we choose to believe it or not.

Everybody lives by faith. The only difference between Christian faith and non-Christian faith is the object of our faith. If the object of our faith is not trustworthy, then no amount of believing will change that. That’s why our faith must be grounded on the solid rock of God’s perfect, unchanging character and the truth of His word. For two thousand years Christians have known the importance of verbally and publicly declaring truth. Read aloud the following Statements of Truth, and carefully consider what you are professing. You may find it helpful to read the words aloud daily for several weeks, which will help renew your mind to the truth.

 ---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Mandela Effect? – The Truth of Work, Meaning, and Purpose - Purity 468


 The Mandela Effect? – The Truth of Work, Meaning, and Purpose

Purity 468 07/12/2021   Purity 468 Podcast

Good morning  

Today’s photo of this Ship Builder’s Memorial under a heavenly blue sky on the shores of the Long Island Sound comes to us from a friend’s recent visit to Port Jefferson NY on Independence Day.  I love the contrast of the statue against that blue sky. It gives the impression that these ship builders are seeking to make a vessel that will allow them to take a celestial voyage to heaven.      

It's Monday so I also share it to point to the paradox of having to live and work on the earth and hoping for life beyond this mortal coil. In our Christian walk of discipleship we teach the need for balance that comes from being in harmony with the Lord our God and by being at peace with ourselves and others here on earth. 

While man’s penchant is to choose one thing over another in most things, the word of God encourages us not only to love God but to also love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible also indicates that there are various functions to be performed by the members of the body of Christ, with the example of the Apostles having the task of studying and teaching God’s word, while other saints’ purpose was to essentially work in the kitchen to provide for the early church’s physical needs.  But the Apostle Paul also showed that while He was all about expanding the kingdom of God with His missionary and church building efforts, he provided for himself through working as a tent maker.  He famously said:

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (NKJV)
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
 

So we just can’t focus on our spiritual lives to the exclusion of our physical lives, nor can we just focus on our physical lives with no consideration of our spiritual lives.   In this world we must provide for the physical needs of ourselves and for our families, so for most of us that means we must work.  

When we become overly focused on the physical world, we can use our intelligence and ability to work to strive for all the best things this world has to offer. We can amass wealth and live in the lap of luxury.  However, no matter what empire we may build up around us, if we don’t have a relationship with God through Christ, our efforts to enter God’s kingdom are as hopeless as the ship builders in today’s photo’s chances of taking a voyage to the sky.  

If we overly focus on our spiritual lives in a selfish manner where we only seek to commune to God by ourselves, we may neglect our physical needs but more importantly we would actually become disobedient to God’s will for our lives to go out into all the world and to make disciples and to love our neighbors as ourselves.   

The state of the world demands that we provide for our physical needs, but ultimate reality demands that we acknowledge that our time on earth is limited and that we must seek to be reconciled with the One who created us, who defines meaning and truth, and who determines the course of existence and our entrance into eternity.  

Yesterday I watched a film, The Mandela Effect, that pondered the concepts of false memories, multiverse theories, the possibility that reality is some sort of simulation, and that things in our universe blink in and out of existence with or without the presence of an observer.  



In the film, a man has suffered a tragic loss and seeks the advice of a “Christian” liturgical minister who holds deist views apparently and doesn’t contradict the man’s belief that God made the universe but then just left mankind to do what they please without His interaction or presence.  The minister merely offers that God gave us some guidelines to live by in the Bible but states that we can never know the meaning of life, but he sought to encourage the man that he could know the purpose of his individual life. 

That was it. That was all the minister had to offer.  He basically stated that the meaning of life was an unknowable mystery, but we individually could know our purpose.

I guess knowing our purpose would entail what job you have, what personal relationships you have, and what hobbies you enjoy, which could describe the complete content of our lives on earth.     

But in this script, the “Christian” minister fails to address the spiritual realities that are revealed in the person of Jesus Christ or the big question of what happens when you die!  The man came to get answers or at least some comfort for his loss and the minister fails to provide either. 

So the man, a video game designer, seeks to build a program to upload to a supercomputer, to “crash the system” of existence in order “to reboot” it and reclaim his lost loved one because computers fix everything! The film was entertaining and interesting but the premises of all these super intellectual ponderings made the same mistake that the minster made.   

They either don’t know, don’t care, or forgot about God and His plan for humanity that is fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  

God is the ever-present observer over all things in time and space, so nothing is blinking out of existence when no one is there to observer it.  

If there are multiverses, God is present in al of them and the trinity demands that Christ would be Savior in all of them.  

The Mandela Effect which is the phenomenon of confusion over remembering things that didn’t actually take place or are not true is a combination of the product of a fallen world that is changing and falling apart moment to moment, influence from the evil forces of darkness that deal in confusion and deception, and the pride and infallibility of man.  Just because you and many others are wrong or misremember something doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy or that life isn’t real!

The idea that our reality is a simulation is a nihilistic lie from pit of hell because who else would try to convince you that out life isn’t real leading to the conclusion that the consequences of our actions don’t matter or that life is meaningless. Satan would.

These ponderings are the flip side of being too spiritual. These ponderings of philosophy and science are man’s desperate attempts to explain life without God.    

So if you are overly materialistic or have an intellectual view that dismisses God, you are out of balance.  

The truth is that life does have a meaning. The question of existence for anyone living in the last two thousand years is answered in the person of Jesus Christ.   All that we do or think about during our lives on earth will come to nothing if we fail to be reconciled with the God through faith in Jesus Christ. 

So as we walk in this world we must find Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior. 

After that we can enjoy the assurance of a life of meaning and purpose as we receive the Truth, the Way, and The Life that God wants us to experience.

So stand in your faith in Christ and enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that you are in harmony with God and that your faith gives you the capacity to know peace as you face the challenges of another day.             


This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV)
10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Today’s verse speaks about our future hope and the protection that we have in Christ.

Verses like 1 Thessalonians 1:10 are a great comfort to us because they assure us of our safety from the wrath of God and that the universe will not just run down like an old watch and fade to black.  

Our faith in Christ gives us forgiveness of our sins and exempts us from our rightful reception of God’s wrath.  God shows us mercy and grace because of our faith in His beloved Son.   

As this verse tells us, Christ not only died for us, but He was also raised to life.  The Jesus story isn’t over.  Christ is alive in the heavenly realms and will one day return for those who have faith in Him and then pour out the wrath of God on the unbelieving world.  

While the idea of God’s wrath and judgement could scare us, we should be motivated to speak the truth of the gospel to help others be reconciled with God through faith in Christ.    

For the Christian, our destiny of eternal life is sealed the moment we put our faith in Christ, and we need never fear death or God’s wrath.  Our salvation and the future hope of the return of Christ should carry us through our lives with peace, joy, and purpose.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 7, with the section on our emotions being God’s red flags of warning.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Anxiety Signals an Uncertain Goal

When you feel anxious in a task or a relationship, your anxiety may be signaling that achieving your goal may be uncertain. You are hoping something will happen, but you have no guarantee it will. You can control some of the factors but not all of them.

For example, a teenager may believe her happiness at school depends on her parents' allowing her to attend a school dance. Not knowing how they will respond, she is anxious. If they say no, she will be angry because her goal was blocked. If she knows all along that there was no possible chance of their saying yes, she will be depressed because her goal will not be achieved.

Depression Signals an Impossible Goal

When you base your future success on something that can never happen, you have an impossible, hopeless goal. Your depression is a signal that your goal, no matter how spiritual or noble, may never be reached. We can be depressed for biochemical reasons, but if there is no physical cause, then depression is often rooted in a sense of hopelessness or helplessness.

I was speaking at a church conference on depression when a woman who was attending invited my wife and me to her home for dinner with her family. The woman had been a Christian for 20 years, but her husband was not a Christian. After I arrived, I quickly realized that the real reason this woman had invited me to dinner was to win her husband to Christ.

I discovered later that the woman had been severely depressed for many years. Her psychiatrist insisted that her depression was endogenous and she staunchly agreed. I believe, however, her depression stemmed from an impossible goal. For 20 years she had based her success as a Christian on winning her husband and children to Christ. She had prayed for them, witnessed to them and invited guest preachers home for dinner. She had said everything she could say and done everything she could do, but to no avail. As the futility of her efforts loomed larger, her faith faltered, her hope dimmed and her depression grew.

We had a nice dinner and I had an enjoyable conversation with her husband. He was a decent man who adequately provided for the physical needs of his family. He simply didn't see any need for God in his life. I shared my testimony and tried to be a positive example of a Christian. The last time I saw the woman, she was holding on to slim threads of hope. Her depression affected her positive attitude in the home, and her witness to her husband only weakened, further obliterating her goal.

You should, of course, desire that your loved ones come to Christ, and pray and work to that end. When you base your sense of worth as a Christian friend, parent or child on the salvation of your loved ones, however, realize that this goal may be beyond your ability or right to control. Witnessing is sharing our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God. We can't save anyone. Depression often signals that you are desperately clinging to a goal you have little or no chance of achieving, which is not a healthy goal.

Sometimes depression reveals a faulty concept of God. David wrote: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?...How long will my enemy triumph over me?" (Psalm 13:1, 2, NIV). Had God really forgotten David? Was He actually hiding from David? Of course not. David had a wrong concept of God, feeling that He had abandoned him to the enemy. David's wrong concept led him to an impossible goal: victory over his enemies without God's help. No wonder he felt depressed!

The remarkable thing about David is that he didn't stay in the dumps. He evaluated his situation and realized, "Hey, I'm a child of God. I'm going to focus on what I know about Him, not on my negative feelings." From the pit of his depression he wrote: "I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation" (Psalm 13:5). Then he decided to make a positive expression of his will: "I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me" (Psalm 13:6). He willfully moved away from his wrong concept and its accompanying depression and returned to the source of his hope.

With God all things are possible. He is the God of all hope. Turn to God when you are feeling down, as David did. "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God" (Psalm 43:5).


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship