Intentional Discipleship

Intentional Discipleship

Intentional Discipleship
 
Several weeks ago I was talking with Kim Meyerhoffer before church and I asked how her daughter Olivia was doing. She said, “She’s doing great. In fact, she wants to talk with you about how the Lord has been working in her life.” Olivia and I connected by phone a few days later and she was excited to share what the Lord has been doing in her life. I’d like to share part of her story with you. These are Olivia’s words: Tyler and I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in December of last year. The decision to move away from our families in Virginia and venture to a new city was tough and unexpected. At the time I had many uncertainties and fears but looking back I know that God was intervening at a pivotal point in my life.
 
Olivia and TylerSoon after moving to Raleigh, we got connected to a bible study group in our apartment complex by talking with friends at the local dog park. This bible study became the beginning of my discipleship journey. People our age gathered on Thursdays to meet and discuss the book of James. At first, I was apprehensive about sharing my thoughts with the group because I had so many questions about the gospel that my fellow peers seemed to have the answers to. I quickly learned that the people I was with were not only open to my questions but
were excited to hear them.
 
I began learning more about the life of Jesus and started to feel a sense of peace. Members of the bible study suggested a local church that may help me strengthen my connection to God. Tyler and I began attending weekly services at this church, and in July I joined a class
called “Exploring Christianity”. This seemed to be exactly the kind of deeper understanding I needed to become closer to Jesus. In the reading of the book of Mark I discovered salvation. A particular parable stood out to me, Mark 4:30-32 “Again he said, “What shall
we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all
seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants.” My faith was planted within me at a
young age, I strayed away from my faith as I got older, and in this moment, I felt like my eyes were open and suddenly I saw that my faith had sprouted tall and strong.
 
On July 15th I rededicated my life to Jesus. I accepted him as my savior and recognized that my eternal sins had been forgiven when God sacrificed his only son on the cross for me. On September 12th I was baptized at the church we are attending in front of friends, family, and loved ones. I feel like a new person. I am following Christ’s will and see the Holy Spirit working within my professional, personal, emotional, and spiritual being. I will go wherever he sends me, and I agree to do whatever he tells me to do because Jesus has done everything necessary for me and my salvation. I am living my life for Him.
 
I was so encouraged by Olivia’s testimony. There was such joy in her voice when we talked. I want us to notice something that I believe to be crucial to her walk of faith. Olivia was intentional about discipleship. She invested time and effort in learning more about Christ. Not only that, but she attended those Bible studies with humility and a real desire to learn. God honored her commitment and desire and powerfully spoke to her. I’d like to suggest that if you’re not in a Sunday school class or small group, please consider becoming a part of a class. Or perhaps consider starting a small group yourself. I believe God honors and blesses the time we spend learning about Him. The peace that Olivia speaks of is available to us all if we diligently seek the Lord. We will hear more of Olivia’s testimony in person when she visits us on Sunday, October 10th. Until then, may God bless Olivia and Tyler and may God bless our Bethel Church Family. 

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