Perhaps sometime today (or even as you read the title of this post) God’s Spirit brought someone to mind who would benefit from your encouragement to know and walk with Jesus. This can be intimidating. Where do you start in terms of helping your friend spiritually? Here are three practical starting points.

Since our house (and the houses of our neighbors) burned down in a wildfire five years ago, we have had the pleasure of closer friendships with neighbors and others in our community. One friend that I’ve gotten to know over these years is a guy named Jim. He and I were getting together every once in a while to catch up. A couple months ago, I wanted to check his interest in moving forward spiritually. I asked, “Jim, what would you think about reading the Bible together regularly?” 

Depending on where your friend is spiritually, here are three starting points in helping him or her grow toward Jesus.

     I think most of us are willing to disciple someone; we just need some basic steps to follow in helping other people grow. Here are some principles to remember as you start meeting with another person with the goal of helping him or her grow spiritually.

We can find a hint to the beginnings of disciplemaking if we look to the creation narrative. In whose image were we created, and why?

Do you want a life that won’t be shaken by every doubt, change, or hardship? Build your life on the hope that we have in the Gospel. The apostle Paul reveals an important truth about this in Colossians 1. Notice what he says about where the Colossians faith and love came from...

The past couple of years, my wife, Pam, and I have become quite acquainted with the importance of foundations. When our home burned to the ground in the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire, we had to figure out if our home’s foundation was even usable again.

Though many houses have been rebuilt, as Pam and I drive roads toward our neighborhood, we still see the starkness of the devastation of the Waldo Canyon Fire. A scar remains: matchstick blackened trees; rebuilding of homes; burned out, flood-vulnerable canyons. Our two year old grandson calls the foothills around our neighborhood the Pokey Mountains. I guess the trees look more like porcupine quills to a two year old! A similar picture could be taken of areas affected by the Black Forest Fire and other areas of the country affected by natural disasters.

Beginnings tell you a lot about any story. We recently watched an intriguing thriller in which the plot and key characters were laid out in the first five minutes of the show. Try missing the first 15 minutes of a good movie, and you’ll spend the rest of the time trying to catch up! The beginnings of our own lives tell us a lot about our journeys, too.

In my last post, I talked about trusting and resting in the God who hears and acts on our behalf. One of the ways He does this is by transforming the ruins of our lives into something beautiful.

This life, even for those who stay close to Jesus, is punctuated with painful events. Ever wonder why God must use difficulties – the ash experiences in our lives – to create beauty in and through us? I have on numerous occasions. And while Pam and I have experienced our share of ashes, we have friends who have had more painful experiences: physical illness, spousal unfaithfulness, prolonged unemployment, wounding from past trauma and illness or death of children.