Discipleship Tip From Lee

How the Holy Spirit Changes You

The Holy Spirit is like a refiner of gold, and He works continually to make you more like Jesus. His flame purifies you from sinful habits, pride, selfishness, bitterness and bad attitudes. The Spirit changes us daily, and the process is called “sanctification.” That’s a big theological word that refers to the process God uses to make us holy.

Paul wrote: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). You must believe this promise. Don’t get discouraged if you see weaknesses or sinful tendencies in your life. Pray about those weak areas, be quick to repent, and ask others to pray for you. But remember: You can’t change yourself. Only the Refiner’s fire can do that. Trust the Holy Spirit to turn up His heat, remove the impurities from your life, and change you from the inside out.

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Becoming a Spiritual Father or Mother

Paul told the Corinthians: “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father in the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15). There’s a difference between an instructor and a father. It is good to mentor people, and it’s good to preach sermons. But the best preachers don’t just speak behind pulpits; they also sacrificially invest their lives in people.

Do you want to become a spiritual father or mother? You cannot be a father if you have not been fathered. This process happens mainly by spending time with God and discovering His unconditional love for you. It also happens when a caring mentor invests in your life. Being loved, corrected, coached and encouraged by a true spiritual father or mother will help you do the same for many others!

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Challenge Your Disciples to Surpass You

Your job as a mentor is to invest in your disciples so they grow into mature disciple-makers themselves. Titus is a great example of this in the Bible. Paul led Titus to Christ and called him his “true child” (Titus 1:4). Paul then took Titus on trips and trained him to be a leader. Eventually Paul calls Titus his “partner and fellow worker” (2 Cor. 8:23).

Later we see that Paul appoints Titus to lead the church in Crete. And in Paul’s last letter he says Titus has gone to the uncharted mission field of Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4:10), which is modern Albania. Titus became a bold apostle just like Paul! This is your challenge—nurture your disciples until they grow into everything God called them to be. Don’t baby them; challenge them to full maturity. Don’t keep them “below” you; expect them to do far more than you ever could!

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Don’t Hold Your Disciples Back!

I started mentoring a guy named Paul Muzichuk in 2012. He was eager to be discipled in ministry, and since we began our friendship he has taken more than 12 trips with me. Today he serves as my ministry assistant, but he’s also a leader in his local church. He disciples several guys and he recently taught a course on discipleship at a Bible college.

It’s exciting to watch my disciples do what I taught them. But the goal is for them to surpass me! Moses trained Joshua, but then Joshua took the people into the Promised Land. David’s mighty men did greater feats in battle than he did. Elisha performed twice as many miracles as Elijah did. And Jesus told His disciples they would do “greater works” than He did (John 14:12). My goal is for those I mentor to go beyond me in anointing, impact and influence. Don’t hold your disciples back; expect them to surpass you!

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What’s The Secret To Overcoming Porn?

Lots of guys ask me what’s the secret to overcoming porn or other forms of sexual temptation. Of course you can enlist an accountability partner, get a filter on your computer or take a course in purity. But those things won’t help until you make a powerful choice. You must DECIDE to RESIST.

Titus 2:12 says God’s grace has come, “instructing us to DENY ungodliness and worldly desires.” “Deny” means to “reject, refuse or veto.” It is a powerful NO. And it takes a real backbone to say no. If you are constantly giving in to temptation, your backbone is weak and your spiritual muscles are flabby. You must begin intense resistance training. Don’t let porn or other temptations turn you into a mushy, jellyfish Christian. Grow a spine. Put your foot down. Veto the devil and refuse the cravings of your flesh.

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Relationships Were Paul’s Priority

Paul ends his letter to the Romans by greeting 27 people. Don’t ever skip over Romans 16, thinking it is just a boring list of names. It is inspired Scripture! This list reveals the apostle’s loving heart for people. Relationships were Paul’s priority. It should be the same for you.

He brags on them for their dedication and service. He gushes with encouragement. He urges them to greet each other with a “holy kiss” (v. 16) and then says: “I am rejoicing over you” (v. 19). You should have this same fervent love for those you are discipling. Don’t let ministry become cold, professional or self-centered. Ministry is about people. Hold them close in your heart, cherish them, brag on them, pray for them and let tears flow when you miss them!

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Should a Mentor Admit His Weaknesses?

Should a mentor admit his weaknesses to the person he’s discipling? Some people believe a leader should never be open about his faults, since this will cause people to “lose respect.” But the Bible requires us to be humble and transparent. The apostle Paul is our example. He told the Corinthians: “I will rather boast about my weaknesses” (2 Cor. 12:9). You don’t have to talk about your darkest secrets with your disciples. Some things are best shared with trusted peers or with your mentor.

But don’t pretend you are perfect. Be vulnerable and open. Your disciple will respect you more–and he will be willing to share his struggles with you—if you show him how you are overcoming your sinful habits, character flaws and life challenges. Your humility will produce humility. Your transparency will help your disciple find healing.

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Porn Is a Polluted River

The Yamuna River in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. It’s full of trash, dead animals, toxic waste and raw sewage. It has a horrible smell, yet many people bathe in it every year to “purify” themselves. Would you swim in that slimy water? No! Yet pornography is like a river of filth. Every time you look at porn you are swimming in a slimy swamp full of used condoms, bacteria, viruses, illegal drugs and even the blood of abortions. It’s gross!

Remember this when you are tempted to look at pornography. Guard your sexual purity and learn to hate the sins of the flesh. Proverbs 8:13 says: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” And Jude 23 warns us to hate “even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Romans 12: 9 says we should “abhor what is evil.” How can you resist the temptation to look at porn? Ask God to give you a hatred for the lust that has controlled you.

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