Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

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We Christians are told to make disciples. We are to train others to follow Christ by openly demonstrating biblical obedience and urging others to exercise their faith similarly. Christians not only teach and counsel one another, we also show one another how to live the faith. Through observation of the faith of other Christians, we can all learn and then try to duplicate more godly ways to respond to life.

To disciple means exhibiting strengths in handling people, situations, problems and events and explaining these actions in light of our relationship with the Lord so that others not only hear about but actually see what faith looks like.

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples . . . .”

A disciple is one who follows the example of another. Jesus had disciples and He expected them to follow His example. They went with Him daily and saw how He handled things in life. And they listened to His explanations of His thoughts behind His actions.

Likewise, we can make disciples of one another by going through life together and showing one another our faith in action – with explanations.

Discipleship is all about going beyond knowledge and talk and actually showing one another how Jesus is living in us. We grow in our willingness to be filled more and more with God by discipling one another, by showing each other what is possible with biblical faith.
There are two benefits for life in heaven, – one from discipling others – and another from seeking our own discipleship by watching other Christians.

Showing our faith openly for others to see and copy increases the privilege of doing so in heaven – proportionate to our earthly courage to openly show our faith before death.

Others close to us see us behaving in line with our Christian culture. But, what if we do not add words to the display of our behavior so that others near and dear to us do not clearly see our personal devotion to God? This will not be discipling others in our Christian Inner Circle. In heaven, where it is all about God and sin in no way hinders discipling, do we think we will be assigned service for the King that significantly guides other citizens of heaven to grow in their faith? Why would God assign such a task to someone so inexperienced in discipling others, someone without the heart for it, someone without the natural tendency to explain the faith in thought, emotion and action?

But, if we diligently, with conscious intent, make clear how we live our godly lives because of our personal relationship with Jesus and His Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will be preparing to walk the streets and paths of heaven as those who disciple others. We will be gaining the desire and ability to be most natural in bringing God into everything as visible as possible to others in our Christian Inner Circles. That will prepare us to later disciple citizens of heaven in God’s ways for heaven’s society.

We might be embarrassed to openly show and explain our faith and its actions because we think our family members and friends will think we are trying to be better than them. We just need to explain that we want them to be a little stronger in their faith. Then we must quickly add that we would like them to explain the faith behind their actions so that our own faith can become stronger.

We should enlighten those in our Christian Inner Circles that we need everyone to relate openly about things they do and how it came out of their relationship with God. This is easy to do. We just begin doing it ourselves and then tell others that we need to see where their relationship with God led to faithfulness so that we can follow their example. Christians should be willing to disciple others once they are invited to do so.

Watching the faith of others as they openly exhibit it to disciple us will motivate us to look for examples of superior faith and relationship with God now – and later in heaven.
Perhaps we want to believe that when we get to heaven, we will be as godly as we can be. Some want to think that we will all become just like Jesus the moment we die. If that were the case, so many passages of Scripture admonishing us to grow in our faith before death would be unnecessary.

It is far more probable that the development of our spirits will continue throughout all eternity. While we won’t be able to sin, we also won’t be able to do everything that is good. Yet, we will want to progress in being more and more like Jesus, not by overcoming sinfulness, but by accessing more of God’s character and ways of living. The stronger our yearning to see advanced righteousness in heaven in ourselves, the faster will our journey into God’s ways progress. We develop our spirits to pursue godliness now, before death, by discipling others and being discipled by them, by openly living and explaining our faith and by watching the faith of others and listening to their explanations.

A great part of the joy of heaven will be being able to continue becoming more like Jesus. Isn’t it a great joy to us now to grow to become a little more like Him? So, why not more so in heaven?

Discipling others now as well as allowing ourselves to be discipled will increase our Christlike nature for when we arrive in heaven. And, because this Together of discipling one another continues in heaven, we can have the joy of further attainment to the likeness of Jesus throughout all eternity.

Let’s prepare for heaven by discipling one another, showing others our strongest faith and observing their strongest faith. This will help us learn to walk more faithfully with God now and for all eternity.

When behavior contradicts what has been taught but not displayed, biblical truths usually do not stick. Biblical truth needs to be lived out in the open through faithful behavior coming from a loving relationship with God.

Let’s say that one of the things we all need growth in is forgiving. One Christian has only been taught forgiving others is important. A second Christian has been taught forgiveness is important plus been given counsel on how to do it with someone who has hurt him or her. The third Christian has been similarly taught and counseled with advice, but he or she has also seen a Christian forgive someone who was hurtful and a friendship recovered. Which Christian will later be most able to forgive when it is difficult to do so? It will be the third example, because that Christian was discipled.

There is something vital about actually being in a situation and watching someone handle it. It is more real and it is more impactful.

We can disciple one another really well in our friendships if we remember to live our best imitation of Christ and openly explain why we do the things the way we do them. It is quite common to tell one another our problems to get comfort and advice, as it should be. But, when we see how a friend handles things in a more godly way than we would, it can have discipling impact. Because we more easily see ourselves as peers with our friends, we perceive their Christlike behavior as an example we can follow.
In our friendships, we can defeat Satan by showing one another how our faith helps us deal with loss of careers or loved ones, hostility from those who dislike us, poverty or riches, and all the other challenges of life. Also, outsiders are watching. In our neighborhoods and at the places we work, nonbelievers are watching to see if our faith empowers us to deal with life better than their own spirituality. Satan wants them to think that their “spirituality” is comparable to that of Christians, and the dividing line is how our way of facing life actually comes from a personal relationship with God.

In our Christian marriages, we can be defensive or we can be openly transparent to each other’s strengths in being like Jesus. If the latter is the case, husband and wife can admit shortcomings and disciple each other for many years. Taking this instruction to show each other the faith rather than just talk about it, husband and wife can admit where one is better than the other at some obedient behavior and can grow more to be like each other in righteousness. A husband who is not as sensitive to the feelings of others can see that Jesus would be more like his wife and therefore try to copy her gentleness. A wife who has trouble forgiving can work at understanding forgiveness from her husband’s example and escape the trap of unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness.

Much discipleship must take place also in our Christian families. Parenting should be discipling. Children watch their parents and how they handle life. That is the way they learn most of their behavior. But, if those parents do not explain how their faith is behind their behaviors, the children can be taught – but not discipled – in the faith. Parents need to be living and explaining their faith. When children see more dedication to Jesus, especially as it relates to how they are treated, they will be discipled. Strong bonds of love will help children to be willing to be discipled and follow in their parents’ footsteps.

When we disciple one another, we accelerate our growth into Christlikeness dramatically. When we watch carefully how Jesus manifests Himself in each of us, we can learn more quickly how to become more like our Savior.

To be more like Jesus, we must without pride let our Christian friends, family members and a spouse see the righteous obedience we each have attained. The eternal futures of those in our Christian Inner Circles is somewhat in our hands – and ours in their’s. Therefore, discipling one another is much more important than we think. We must approach it with a sense of seriousness.

The goal in discipling one another is to exhibit Jesus in ourselves so that when others see our most faithful behavior in thought, speech, and action they can say they see Him. In this way we disciple those Christians closest to us. And, if they begin to think, speak, and behave similarly, they have been discipled. This process should go on and on indefinitely.

But, just as important as being transparent in our faith and explaining our actions as arising from our relationship with God is letting ourselves be discipled by others. The biblical instruction to disciple one another is reciprocal. We need to watch the behavior of other Christians and notice thoughts, speech and behavior that appear more godly than our own. Saying to ourselves, “I would not have done that.” is golden recognition. We want to see how we can be more like Jesus in our thinking, speaking and behavior. And, those we are close to can show us the way in areas we have not yet mastered. We can even ask them why they did what they did to more clearly see their faith.

While we seem to freely admit that we are all sinners, why is it that we at the same time want to believe that our thinking, speaking, and actions are good enough? Is it our pride that forces us to think we are so righteous in order to feel good about ourselves? Don’t we realize that we are valuable not because we are good enough but because we are loved by God and citizens of heaven?

Instead, we must realize that we have a long, long way to grow to be the Christians God wants us to be. The Holy Spirit is always working in each of us to conform us to some new area of righteousness, molding us to become a little more like Jesus, God’s Son. We can watch to see how others in our Christian Inner Circles have been changed by the Holy Spirit. Then, we can be discipled by them and our glorious future in heaven can be enhanced.

Disciple one another now so that you can become more like Jesus at a higher pace and, later in heaven, have a spirit that continues to grow in Christlikeness at that momentum. Disciple one another now so that you can significantly contribute to the growth of others in heaven.

Reflection & Group Tools

Intentionally demonstrate the faith, soliciting others to exercise their faith similarly.

Matt 28:18-20; Phil 4:9; Titus 2:3-8; 1 Peter 5:3

Prayer to Embrace this Together
Dear Holy God, we want to be like You as You desire. Therefore, I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits to want to live our faith openly so that the faith of other Christians can grow. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit for all of us to give You more glory in the way we openly demonstrate biblical obedience and urge those in our Christian Inner Circles to grow in their faith and loyalty to You.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and show others how to walk with You, God. Without pride, urge us to let our Christian friends, Christian family and Christian spouses see the righteous obedience we have each attained. Oh, to have been one of Jesus’ disciples and seen firsthand how He handled everything about life! Let us have a peek by viewing in one another a portion of Jesus we have not yet attained.
May our lives worship You more because we in my Christian Inner Circle watch carefully how Jesus manifests Himself in each one of us so that we can more quickly become like Jesus and glorify You. Reflecting back to You the image of Your Son in us is our hearts’ desire. That is the worship and honor we want to give You.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by showing one another what a dedicated relationship with You looks like so that we all can advance in our walk with You. Empower our interdependent discipleship to weave us together with such strength that all of Satan’s attempts to dislodge us from dedication to You and love for You are thwarted.
Help us all to prepare for heaven by growing in our ability to disciple one another now. Give us the courage to live open lives with one another and take great joy in showing how You live in each of us that the others might let You live a bit more in them. In heaven, we want to be able to show each other what we have just learned about You and Your ways as heaven makes more known to us.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Spirit is most easily transformed in community. The tools below can facilitate your growth as you gather together with those you are in close Christian relationship with.

These are some of the possible benefits in heaven we will be seeking today by opening our minds to the Holy Spirit regarding discipling one another.
We will become more natural in exhibiting our faith and bringing God into every observation and discussion. Then we will walk the streets of heaven in such a way to bring others further into the kingdom and relationship with God.

Our faith will grow dynamically now and in heaven because we watch the faith of others and let them disciple us into an advanced walk with God that changes us to be more like Jesus.

We will be qualified for assignments that significantly help citizens of heaven to grow in their faith.

Sanctification Booster #1:

List the things that can hinder Christians from exhibiting their faith clearly with explanatory commentary.

Sanctification Booster #2:

What keeps us from watching other Christians to see their areas of faith that are superior to ours so that we can be discipled by their example?

Sanctification Booster #3:

How might one family explain to another family how their faith guided their decision to go on a particular vacation and afterward how their faith made their vacation better?​