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MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations

Discipleship Step One: Communion with God

The personal and corporate communion with God through the Word, prayer and worship is the sure and fruitful foundation of discipleship. If the power of God's Word and prayer were properly understood and appreciated, then we would make every effort to make its principles and teachings the centerpiece of all our personal lives and meeting together. Below are some important dimensions of how communion with God through the Word, prayer and worship can influence the lives of disciples today.

The New Testament Church

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 6:6-7 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Word, prayer and worship were at the very center and heartbeat of the New Testament church. It seems that everytime the church came together, communion with God was the hallmark of their community.

Before the Holy Spirit dramatically fell on the day of Pentecost to fulfill Christ's commission to go and make disciples of all nations, the Spirit was actively at work with the community of disciples. The promises of the Savior, the spirit of intercession and the fruit of the Spirit was manifested among the believers for the salvation of souls.

Acts of the Apostles, 38 "These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised."

The daily priviledge of communion with God and the subsequent blessing of the Spirit became one of the hallmarks of the New Testament Church. The apostles were able to reproduce their devotion to the Lord to the new believers and the spirit of intercession empowered the Word of God to boldly and rapidly increase in Jerusalem and beyond.

The Power of the Word

Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

Christ Object Lessons, 38 So there is life in God's word. Christ says, "The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life." John 6:63. "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life." John 5:24.

In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God.

In the Seventh-day Adventist church and other groups who have a broad doctrinal system, there is a subtle misconception to think that it is the exposure of individuals to to the unique teachings of the church that changes and coverts them.

While it is most important to teach individuals about the unique doctrines of the church, it must not be forgotten that the Word of God holds the true power to convert the soul.

The Word of God, properly studied and understood, is the most powerful discipling agent on the planet. Without the Word, there can be no true conversion and no true growth. It should be the aim of every person who has the privilege to mentor the spiritual life of others, to emphasize the critical importance of daily meditating of the Bread of Life.

The Word of God is what produces the faith which grows the fruit which wins the world. It should be the aim of every true disciple of Christ to daily feast of the Word and encourage others to partake of the Divine meal as well.

The Growing Place

Exodus 25:8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

Hebrews 9:1-4 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.

2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.

3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.

In the 1970s there was a renaissance of the devotional life within the Seventh-day Adventist church. Led primarily by Morris Venden a pastor in California, emphasized the forming of a relationship with Jesus, through the daily study of God's Word, prayer and sharing.

This emphasis was in reality a rediscovering of the lessons of the Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary which was patterned after the heavenly.

In the Holy Place there were three articles of furniture within which the priests would minister on a daily basis on behalf of the congregation.  As the priest would enter the Holy Place, the table of showbread was on the right, the table of incense was in front and the seven-branched candlestick was on the left.

Each of these articles of divinely-inspired furniture illustrated the threefold dynamic of the daily devotional life. The showbread illustrated the daily partaking of the Word of God, the burning of incense represented prayer (cf. Revelation 8:1-4) and the seven branched candlestick showed how believers are to let their light shine before others (cf. Matthew 5:14-16).

Thus the Holy Place brilliantly illustrated the importance and the dynamic of daily communion with God in the life of the disciples of all ages.