Gainesville Seventh-day Adventist Church

Gainesville | FL
Connect with God
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Connect with God

Discipleship is the process whereby we connect in relationship with God (The Master) and we
learn how to be Like Him.

While we are saved by grace through faith alone, it is by exercise that we grow strong in the Lord.
As the natural body would whither and decay without use, so it is in the spiritual life.  By learning
and doing we grow up into the fullness of Jesus Christ.  It is very possible to be strong in the Lord
(Spiritually Fit) and later, through neglect, temptation, and backsliding to become spiritually dead.

In order to connect with God, we need to form a relationship with Him.  Just as in human relationships
we learn information about the person we are getting to know, there is a certain amount of information
that we need to learn about God.  In human relationships we learn what people like, what they don't like
what makes them happy, if we can trust them, if we like to be around them, what they believe about reality.
It is similar with God.  We learn certain doctrines (teachings) that tell us information ABOUT God.  But you 
can know alot ABOUT someone and still not know someone personally, right?  This is where we must
connect with God by talking with Him (prayer), listening to Him (Scripture and discernment) and exercising
faith in Him through conscience choice.  We also get to know Him as we learn to work with Him by exercising
our spiritual gifts and by being with other believers who are also in relationship with Him.

Like anything else in life, the more intentional we are about doing it, the better it gets.  That doesn't mean God
doesn't surprise us, or guide us in ways we haven't planned.  But what it does mean is that we take time to 
be with God personally (Spiritual Exercises or Disciplines) and connect with Him in vibrant and meaningful ways.

First we start out through Faith and Docrines 101, as we come to trust Him it naturally leads to connecting
with the Body of Christ, His Church through baptism.  Next we develop our personal spiritual growth plan.  
Elements in this plan are practicing various spiritual disciplines, spiritual community, and spiritual gifts.  
These work simultaneously and synergistically to help us grow and develop our relationship with God.

These relationships can be illustred by what we call the Discipleship Cross.

By practicing spiritual community with your own family (or close circle of influence) you may grow in your
connection with God.  Another relationship is your connection with the Church family or those you get
to know closely from Church.  And finally, the relationships built with those who don't know God,
who are in need of your help, these relationships help you grow us.  It is by giving that we receive, it is
through service that we are most blessed.  The law of unselfishlove is the law of vitality in the Christian walk.

What is your plan to connect with God and grow spiritually?

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