Day 1 – Cardio Training

The following verses in Matthew are among my favorite.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus was being tested by a lawyer about what the most important commandment was.  His answer is simple, perfect and profound.  Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

If that is the most important thing then it just makes sense for us to make it a priority. I believe that loving God all in and loving others is what comes out of the heart of a disciple. So, developing a disciple’s heart is where our thirty day journey will take us.

Day 1 – Points to Ponder

1. Developing a Disciple’s Heart

What does that look like in a practical way? For me, it looks like this.

a. being thankful

I remember to love God by being thankful for at least five things every day.

b. encouraging others

Then, I try and encourage at least two people every day. This is how I love my neighbor. And as far as loving myself goes, I try to live each day by doing the next right thing.

c. doing the next right thing

These three things really help me to stay focused and experience the full and abundant life that Jesus wants for me. But life being what it is, it is very easy to get distracted and then get off course. Maybe you can relate to the disciples in point number 2.

2. The spirit is willing

Matthew 26:40-41
40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane, praying and crying out to God about the cross. He has brought all the disciples to the garden, but He has left most of them in one spot, and taken Peter, James and John to be with Him as He prays through this situation. He wanted His friends to be with Him. He separates Himself a little to wrestle through the anguish and sorrow He is feeling and then He comes back to His friends and they are asleep.

“What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?”

It is interesting that the question is directed to Peter. Just before they had come to Gethsemane, Peter had said that He would never forsake the Lord. I believe that expresses Peter’s heart for the Lord, he means it when he says it. Yet here in the time of Jesus greatest need, Peter couldn’t even pray and hang out with Him for an hour without falling asleep. Jesus encourages Peter and the disciples to watch and pray and He also acknowledges the weakness of the human flesh.

And that is the issue for all of us. My deepest desire is to be with Jesus. To be His disciple, to follow and serve Him. But sometimes, my flesh, my selfishness, my issues get in the way.

So, in developing a disciple’s heart there is a need to get even more practical. Being thankful, encouraging and doing the next right thing are what I am shooting at in being a disciple, but I need something to help me stay on track, to stay focused. So I started thinking about developing…

A method – already taken, thanks a lot Methodists

A plan – could become an end in itself

A structure – sounds too rigid, might become legalistic

A strategy – too heady

A strategery – too Saturday Night Live

A guide – too mappy

I was dwelling on this when I believe I had a flash of spiritual insight. The heart is like a pump, and in order to make a pump run properly you have to keep it primed, so what I should develop is a primer …the

3. Disciple’s Heart Primer

Sounded good, felt right. I wanted to check out exactly what a primer was, so I looked it up:

Primer – provides instruction in the rudiments or basic skills of a branch of knowledge

Primer – a fuse containing an explosive (I like this, because the word for the power of the Holy Spirit is dunamis where we get our word dynamite from – See Acts 1:8 and I could run down a serious bunny trail with this, and I might at another time, but I am thinking more about priming our disciple’s heart so we can live as Jesus disciples.)

There is a song by the Kingston Trio called “Desert Pete”. The song talks about a water pump in the middle of the desert. In order for the pump to work it had to be primed with water. Left under a rock nearby was a note from Desert Pete and enough water in a jar to prime the pump so that you could get all the water you needed. Even though you were thirsty, you would have to pour out the water you had into the pump to get more water. The chorus goes like this:

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”
“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”
“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”
“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

The song goes on to describe the actions of the thirsty desert traveler who has found the pump, the note, and the small jar of water:

 Well I found that jar and I tell ya nothin’ was ever prettier to my eye
And I was tempted strong to drink it, cuz that pump looked mighty dry
But the note went on “have faith my friend, there’s water down below”
“You got to give until you get-I’m the one who ought to know”
So I poured in the jar and I started pumpin’ and I heard a beautiful sound
Of water bubblin’ and splashin’ up outta that hole in the ground
I took off my shoes and I drunk my fill of that cool refreshing treat
I thank the Lord and thank the pump and I thank old Desert Pete

The Disciple’s Heart primer is broken into seven sections with each section having its own Bible verses. The seven sections are as follows:

 a. Get Focused – Hebrews 10:19-25

b. Get Thankful – Philippians 4:4-8

c. Get Connected – Matthew 6:9-13

d. Get Dressed – Ephesians 6:12-18

e. Get Encouraging – 1 Corinthians 13-4-8a

f. Git r done – Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 7:12

g. Git r done? (End of Day review) – Hebrews 12:1-3

I read and reflect on these passages of scripture every day. They are so helpful in staying connected to Jesus and doing the things that He did and allowing a disciples heart to grow and flourish within me. It keeps me focused on being thankful, encouraging, and living by trying to do the next right thing. Even when the flesh is weak, ….

 “You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”
“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”
“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”
“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

With all of that in mind the next order of business is to take a look at the actual structure of the Disciple’s Heart Morning Primer as it appears on the website and give some basic operating instructions.  The Primer was designed to work as an interactive journaling tool on the Jesus Moment website.  By logging into the Primer on the website you can have your journal entries from the Primer emailed directly and privately to you.  If you would rather journal with paper and pencil you can easily adapt the Disciple’s Heart Primer to work for you.

1. Get Focused – What’s going on today?

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV)
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

2. Get Thankful – List at least five things you are thankful for.

Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

3. Get Connected – Your prayer focus, requests, impressions, etc.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

4. Get Dressed – Your current spiritual / relational / emotional battles.

Ephesians 6:12-18 (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

5. Get Encouraging – The people you are going to encourage, bless, and pray for today.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

6. Git r Done – Live as a Disciple today by trying to do the Next Right Thing!

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

7. Git r Done? Throughout the day and at the end of the day reflect on how you did as a disciple for the day.

Think about your victories, failures, spiritual insights, Bible reading, opportunities to pray for people, Kingdom breakthroughs, etc.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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