Disciple Making 101
 

As Christ followers - those of us new in our walk and those of us well along in our years - we are in constant need of discipleship.  Discipleship is the ongoing submission of our wills and lives to Jesus Christ.  As such, this involves a number of disciplines that we need to follow that keep us from drifting slowly back to the shores of unbelief, pride, and open sin.  In the words of author Ken Collins:

"Original sin in the form of unbelief, rebellion, and the kingdom of self is ever willing and waiting once again to take control of human life." 

While temptations and trials will never leave us on this side of heaven, the good news is that we no longer have to face these troubles on our own or in our own strength.  The Holy Spirit is our power source from here on out.  So, how do we enable the Spirit to help us flourish in this life?  The so-called "spiritual disciplines" were designed by God to do just that.  They are a means of grace whereby God transforms us from the inside out. 

One of the best avenues for a life that matures and flourishes is found through regular participation in the personal disciplines. Reading the Scriptures, Prayer, Fasting and lastly, Devotional Reading are all examples of this.  It's this last one, focusing on tradition and the experiences of those who've gone before us, that we'll focus on here.  In short, they help us experience the rich spiritual tradition of the universal church.  They include the likes of Ignatius of Antioch in the second century to Thomas Merton in the twentieth.  Their great benefit is that they show us different and often helpful ways of applying the great truths of Scripture to living the Christian life day by day.  What follows are some of the best and most recognized of these devotional classics.  They've been read by millions, and for good reason.  Coupled with a reading of the Scriptures themselves, they can change your life!

 

Spiritual Reading - Take & Read
 

1.  St. Athanasius, The Life of Saint Anthony
2.  St. Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine
3.  Thomas a' Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
4.  Martin Luther, Galatians Commentary
5.  John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
6.  St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises
7.  St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul
8.  St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
9.  Jeremy Taylor, The Rules and Excercises of Holy Living
10.  Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
11.  William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
12.  John Wesley, The Fifty-Two Standard Sermons
13.  Phoebe Palmer, The Way of Holiness
14.  Soren Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing
15.  Jean Caussade, Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence
16.  Hannah W. Smith, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life
17.  St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul
18.  G.K. Chesterton, St. Francis of assisi
19.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
20.  Thomas Merton, The Seven Story Mountain
21.  Henri Nouwen, Invitation to Life in the Spirit
22.  Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline