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Curriculum for Christlikeness

Curriculum for Christlikeness

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Published by Daniel Thompson
First in a series on spiritual disciplines.
First in a series on spiritual disciplines.

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Published by: Daniel Thompson on Feb 17, 2013
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10/30/2013

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Spiritual Formation 1 Curriculum for Christlikeness
A Curriculum for Christlikeness
Matt. 7:24,25
 
“So those who hear me and do what I say are like those
intelligent people who build their homes on solid rock, where rain and floods and
winds cannot shake them.”
 Matt. 28:20
 
“Train them to do everything I have told you.”
 It is possible to do what Jesus said. It is possible to train His apprentices insuch a way that they routinely do everything He said was best.We are in a consumer oriented Christianity. We do not know what it means tobe fully engaged with anything. If we were to be people who were fully engagedin the apprenticeship of Jesus, we would fear being looked on by others as
“overdoing it a bit”.
We need to change that. We need to get back to the realization of being
Jesus’ apprentices
.
Jesus calls us to build life on a rock. Wouldn’t you like to be one of thoseintelligent people who know how to live a rich and unshakable life? Isn’t there
something to a life free from loneliness, fear and anxiety that might attract you?Of cours
e, you hear that and go, “No way!”
 But THAT is what Jesus is talking about. A life filled with peace and joy. A life where you would love your neighbor,
even your roommate! Wouldn’t you like a life free of anger, envy, lust, andcovetousness? Wouldn’t
it be nice to be free from the need to have others praise
us? Wouldn’t a life spent in creative goodness be wonderful?
 
Don’t get too excited here!
 What would have to take place for that to happen? TOO MUCH! NOTWORTH IT! SEE YA!Our entire inner reality of thought and feeling would have to be transformed tobring us to such a place.We like the SOUND of abundant life, BUT, if we actually have to DO
something… well…
 There is abundant life, but then there is that OBEDIENCE part! We cringe atobedi
ence. Couldn’t we just have the abundance?
 
Spiritual Formation 2 Curriculum for Christlikeness
Obedience makes us cringe. We’d have to give up our lives. It spoils our fun.
It could ruin our lives!Here is the truth, though: Kingdom obedience is Kingdom abundance. Theyare not two separate things. When
we decide to obey, abundance flows. The “oldoptions” don’t even come on our radar any more.
We think of obedience and we think of trudging along. Get over that!When there is obedience, there is
abundance
.What we need is guidance to understand that abundance. We need guidanceto learn this path Jesus put out there for us.
We need a Master’s Curriculum!
 
We know we need specific training to “hear and do”. Here is the challenge:
this is something that will always be a part of your life.You may think coming into this series that you can pick up some tools thatwould get you on the road and you would have instant spirituality. Sorry.The training is only just beginning. You will always be in the School of theMaster.We need to pay attention to those who are a bit farther down the path. Wecan be continual learners that way.What we need is an expectation of ongoing training. We are trying to put thatexpectation in our congregation. It takes time. When you have a consumer mentality t
hat says, “Come to this seminar and you’ll get your answers,” it’s tough
to turn the ship.You need this ingrained in your life now. Take it with you. Demand it in your life! Always expect to be in the School of the Master. Expect it of your church. If you are going into ministry, DEMAND IT OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS.You will always be learners.We need a sense of expectation. We need to genuinely put out there this
idea: “If you enter into this training, when you are done, we will GUARANTEE
you will not want to return to that old lifestyle if you will implement what we teach
you.”
 
 
Spiritual Formation 3 Curriculum for Christlikeness
Suppose a seminar announced to us “How to live without purposely indulgingin lust or covetousness.” We’d do a double
-take.
“How to be free of anger. Guaranteed. If you wi
ll put into practice theprinciples of this seminar, you will come out blessing those who hate you. Money
back guarantee.”
 We need expectations!When we teach our kids to ride a bike or swim, we expect them to actually
ride bikes or swim. We don’t just
teach them they
ought 
to ride a bike, or that it is
good 
to ride a bike.Well, when we teach others to bless instead of curse, they should blessinstead of curse!We need to have apprentices of the Master who WANT to be in His schooland expect to learn! As a church, we must EXPECT apprentices!Teaching at the college level, I want to have in mind I want to do MORE than just dispense information. Too many times, students will take some class andquite frankly it just seems like the professor just
doesn’t give a rip whether 
students get it or not.
“No big deal. It’s YOUR money.”
 Well, in this school of the Master, it IS a big deal. The curriculum is designed
for change
.
Imagine driving by a church and seeing a sign out front that doesn’t say
,
“ALPHA IS HERE.” Instead it says, “We Teach All Who Seriously CommitThemselves to Jesus How to Do Everything He Said to Do.”
 
You might think, “Is this REAL?”
 
We are lacking a serious and expectant intention to bring Jesus’ people into
obedience and abundance through training.We need to reestablish the thought out intention that we are to walk in thefullness of Christ. Beyond behavior modification, like a 12 Step program. Weneed the intentionality back where we will go the root of inner character and workto change it. We hear the call to apprenticeship and we heed it.

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