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Nurturing Life – A Journey of Faith

Michael Cauley, Florida Conference President

Introduction

For the past few years, Florida Conference has taken a renewed look at defining the outcome of the Great Commission “to go and make disciples.” What does a disciple look like? Is it enough to be a member who fulfills the minimal requirements—attending Sabbath School and worship services, returning tithes and offerings, perhaps teaching a class, or calling for the offering?

These are all edifying and necessary aspects of church life, but perhaps Jesus meant much more than what we have come to typically think are expectations for active membership. I believe the Lord intended a disciple be a person who bears fruit and lives a life depicted by Jesus in John 14 and 15. It’s a person who has an intimate relationship with Jesus, is a mature follower who abides in Christ, and is one who bears fruit to God’s glory.

But what is the path to intimacy with Jesus and spiritual maturity? Men and women throughout Scripture, as well as pioneers of the Advent movement, had a fervent spiritual experience. They developed a devotional lifestyle that included practices which fostered spiritual maturity and helped them become more like Jesus. Notice this quotation from the pen of Ellen White:

We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it.
—Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, page 161.4

Nurturing Life: A Journey of Faith is a resource, authored by the Florida Conference leadership team, intended to help followers of Jesus grow into maturity in Christ. Please consider choosing one or two of the biblical devotional practices described here. Start incorporating these practices into your life on a regular basis. In these ways, you may make yourself more available to the Holy Spirit and abide more fully in Christ.

God’s design for you is to know a “life of abundance.” It is the prayer of Florida Conference leadership that you will know Jesus intimately and enjoy a life of fullness as a disciple.

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