Patterns of Grace

All of us enter into the Kingdom of God with patterns of living and responding to life we have learned from living in the world. These destructive patterns are the logical conclusions of life lived without Jesus. We experience rejection so we adopt patterns of self-protection to keep from suffering that pain

again. We are attacked so we develop patterns of self-defense to insure that we always feel safe. We are threatened so we retreat into patterns of self-preservation to make sure no one gets the upper hand over us. We are betrayed or undermined in some way so we adopt patterns of self-promotion to insure our personal success. All of these patterns are ultimately self-destructive because they form an armor that no one is allowed to penetrate. We hide inside this armor, distrustful, lonely, afraid, and feeling vulnerable. Miserable.

Those who are born again have experienced the infiltration of the Holy Spirit, Who manages to get inside our armor to the place where the “real me” hides. He comforts and confronts and coaxes us, using the powerful revelation of the Love that Jesus has for us, to come out and meet the Savior and to relinquish control of our lives to Him. As soon as we listen to the Holy Spirit and accept Jesus into our hearts and lives, He begins to replace those old negative patterns of our lives without Christ into the life- giving patterns of the Kingdom of God. We are set free to be ourselves as our focus of concern gradually shifts away from our own safety and promotion and onto a desire to  glorify God with our lives and to see other people blessed. This is transformation and it happens from the inside out.

Some transformations happen quickly and suddenly. I have a friend who was instantly delivered of a 15 year addiction to cigarettes when she was born again. Another friend stopped cursing and drinking alcohol instantly when she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. And yet there are others for whom freedom from these same bondages took years to attain. I don’t have easy or simple answers to these dissimilar methods of the Holy Spirit, but I have noticed that when a mature Christian takes an interest and spends time with a young one, the spiritual development of both is enhanced. When someone else thinks my life is worth her commitment to see me through to maturity, then hope is quickened in my own heart and I begin to value my life enough to persevere.

Jesus told His disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I commanded you … ” (Matthew 28:19-20Becoming a disciple and making disciples was commanded by Jesus as the life pattern of His  Kingdom. Making a disciple involves more than introducing someone to Jesus. Making disciples involves teaching and shepherding people, holding them accountable and modeling obedience for them  so that they, in turn, become makers of disciples themselves

My life is being consumed by this concept of discipleship, and here at Wellspring we are excited to teach and impart, with the help of the Holy Spirit, what we are learning to any who will listen. We are holding our second Wellspring Day Seminar on Saturday, June 23, 10 AM until 4 PM, at Living Way Church, 4433 Rehobeth Church Road, Greensboro, NC 27406. There will be teaching, fellowship, small group discussions, and time for questions and answers. I am hoping to see you there!

It would help us if you would RSVP by clicking on the link below. Complete details are on the registration page as well.

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2 thoughts on “Patterns of Grace

  1. Beth

    Good thoughts! I agree with what you are saying here. Just wish I could find an “older” Christian lady who was willing to disciple me and didn’t expect me to be instantly changed or instantly mature in Christ.

    1. Gloria Cotten

      Stay tuned, Beth, and I hope to write another blog about finding a discipler. In the meantime, I suggest you ask God to raise up a mature woman who will come alongside you to disciple you. I find it amazing how these relationships often spring up in what seems to be the “natural” course of life. But, of course, God is working in the circumstances of our lives to provide what we need. I suspect you may be surprised at what God will do because you ask. Thanks for the comment. I expect you voiced the frustration of many.


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