I collect quotes.  Some are from famous authors, theologians, and speakers.  Some are from my personal friends and mentors in the Christian life.  Some are from my own writings and messages.  These quotes below summarize much of what I think about the lifelong process of learning to live and love like Jesus known as discipleship:

discipleship003“Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the Truth.” –Colossians 2:7

“Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.” –Eugene Peterson

“The cost of discipleship is indeed great. But the cost of nondiscipleship is far greater. Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated through by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discourgaing of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, it costs exactly that abundance of life Jesus said He came to bring.” –Dallas Willard

“The correct perspective is to see following Christ not only as the necessity it is, but as the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities and as life on the highest plane.” –Dallas Willard

“Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence of it.” –Eugene Peterson

“Christian discipleship is not some enormous, monolithic task, but rather the sum total of lots of small decisions, thoughts, words, and actions.” –Will Faircloth

“Stop calling salvation ‘forgiveness’. Stop calling people into a moment of salvation known as forgiveness, but into the life of salvation known as discipleship.” –Steve Tsoukalas

“If you are having difficulty discovering the mysterious aspects of God’s will, continue to be faithful in performing the obvious aspects of it.” –Penelope Hilton-Barber

“I think a lot of us need to forget about ‘God’s will for my life’. God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than about what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we will make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions. It is easy to use the phrase ‘God’s will for my life’ as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It is much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him ‘someday’ instead of ‘this day’.” –Francis Chan

Regarding spiritual interest and Bible study: “It is good to be hungry, but it is better to eat.”

“You spend 1 day away from God’s Word, and you know it. You spend 2 days away from God’s Word, and you & I know it. You spend 3 days away from God’s Word, and everybody knows it! You want to know God’s will for your life? It’s simple. God’s will for your life is to abide in Him and let His Word abide in you. That’s God’s will for your life. You spend 1 day in God’s Word, and you know it. You spend 2 days in God’s Word, and you & I know it. You spend 3 days in God’s Word, and everybody knows it!” –Dee Dee Stephens

“Oh! the joys of those who delight in the word of the Lord, meditating on it day and night! They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season; their leaves never wither…” –Psalm 1:1-3

“It’s dwelling in the Word that makes us disciples, sets us free, and keeps us free.” –Anne Cairncross

“Preparation is everything. Jesus spent 30 years preparing for 3 years of ministry.” –Farnsworth Coleman

“Spiritual formation work is the means by which we exchange our old dead life of sin for the new life in Christ Jesus. We begin to feed our new nature in Christ and grow up into life abundant as a result, and we simultaneously starve our old nature, refusing to give place to the worry, doubt, fear, confusion, greed, anger, vengeance, and vanity that too often seethe within our souls.” –Edward Hindson

Discipleship002“What you feed lives; what you starve dies.” –Lee McBride

“If I win, I win. And if I lose, I win. Because my responsibility is to be obedient to God and trust Him with the consequences.” –Charles Stanley

“Do you want to stand up to temptation tomorrow? Deepen your relationship with Jesus today.” –Paul Tokunaga

“God’s aim is transformation, not information.” –Keith Cowart

“Moderate increases gradually result in massive increases over time.”

“Discipleship – the process of learning to walk every moment with (and for) Jesus – is not in the strategies and methods by themselves; it is in the life of faithful obedience to God that the most consistent fruit is borne.” –Nick Cash

“As disciples, our duty is faithfulness, not perfection.” Mike Erre

“The disciple’s spiritual life is not fragmented from ‘the rest’ of his life. Having a segmented ‘quiet time’ with God would be like spending just a special portion of your day with air to breathe.” –Jewish proverb

“The enemy has so many fooled to think that a whole day of hurried productivity would be better than a quiet day of communing with God.” –Kristin Roberts

“By practicing the spiritual disciplines, we prevent the world from filling our lives to such an extent that there is no place left to listen.” –Henri Nouwen

“Disciples must maintain that delicate balance between the inner and the outer life – contemplation and action. Meditation has no point unless it is firmly rooted in life.” –Thomas Merton

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and whose confidence is in God. They will be like trees planted by the living streams of water, which send down their roots beneath the stream. They will not fear when the heat comes, nor despair in the year of drought. Their leaves will always be green, and they will never fail to produce fruit in season.” –Jeremiah 17:7-8

“This is the most helpful distinction I have ever heard about the spiritual life: there is a difference between training to do something versus trying to do something. When we think about following Jesus, we think we need to try harder to be more like Jesus, as opposed to training to be more like Jesus.” –John Ortberg

“Conventional wisdom says, ‘When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ That’s wrong. When at first you don’t succeed, stop and figure out what went wrong. Then try again. The spiritual disciplines are not learned through brute effort, but through intelligent effort.” –Dallas Willard

John Ortberg: “If a person wants to grow spiritually, what would your advice be? Where should they start?” Dallas Willard: “Do the next right thing you knew you ought to do.”

“I can accept failure. But I cannot accept not trying.” –Michael Jordan

“We fall down, but we get up. Fall down 7 times, stand up 8 – that’s the requirement of a righteous man.” –Rev Run

“It’s okay to make mistakes – just make new ones.” –Tim Sanders’ Grandma Billie

“Greatness is not a function of circumstances. Greatness is mostly a function of conscious choice and discipline.” –Jim Collins

“You can’t microwave spiritual transformation.” –Pete Wilson

Discipleship001“The path does not produce the change; it places us where change can occur. A farmer is helpless to grow grain; but what he can do is provide the right conditions in which grain can grow. He cultivates the ground, plants the seed, waters the plants, and then the forces of nature take over and up comes the grain.” –Richard Foster

“Learning means changed behavior.” –Matt Freideman

“When one is simply obeying God, a little effort goes a long way. But when one is resisting Him, no amount of effort can produce a good result.” –Thomas Merton

“If you don’t want anybody to find out, don’t do it.” –Maggie Kelly

“The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.” –Sarah Bombell

“Better he should be bruised from head to feet by me, who loves him, than that he should come to harm by ignorance.” –Baloo, in The Jungle Book, on physically disciplining Mogli while teaching him

“If the decision I make does not make me healthier, holier, and more honest, then it is a bad decision.” –Dan Yeary

“My convictions are a home, not a prison.” –Mark Driscoll

“There is no spiritual discipline or exercise that you can only do once.” –Lee McBride

“I know you’re in love with God. But are you in hate with sin? Sin is your enemy, and it killed Jesus.” –Lee McBride

“Success is being obedient to God’s commands. Success is in the process, not in the results.” –Joe Phillips

“Having people sit and soak will not make them disciples.” –Darryl Riley

“A disciple is a life-long learner: not an academic acquiring information about God, but a craftsman acquiring skills in the faith.” –Eugene Peterson

“Living by faith and walking by faith is something that can be taught, learned, and grown into.” –Anne Cairncross

“Discipleship is a decision to live by what is true about God, not by what I feel about Him or myself or others.” –Eugene Peterson

“Obedience is not a stodgy plodding in the ruts of religion; it is a hopeful race toward God’s promises.” –Eugene Peterson

“Mature obedience combines an accurate memory of God’s ways with a lively hope in His promises.” –Eugene Peterson

“Discipleship is not about behavior modification; it is about heart transformation. The job of a dad, then, is to disciple his children’s hearts toward loving God and serving people.” –Patrick Morley

“Our discipleship to Jesus Christ costs us nothing less than everything.” –Richard Foster

“Perhaps the greatest malady in the Church today is converts to Christ who are not disciples of Christ – a clear contradiction in terms.” –Richard Foster

“The Great Commission of our Lord is to go and make disciples, not converts. The most important number in the Church today – the most critical statistic – is not the number of attendees attracted, or members enrolled, or even converts baptized.  The most vital barometer of the health, strength, and longevity of the Church is only this: the number of disciples made.” –Matt Friedeman

“To convert to Christianity is to willfully decide to dedicate the balance of your life to living and loving like Jesus. True conversion results in a life of discipleship.” –Nick Cash

“Salvation is not about getting you into heaven, but about getting heaven into you.” –Steve Blakemore

“If you want an apple orchard, the best time to plant was 20 years ago; the next best time is now.” –Matt Friedeman

“Following Jesus as He led will mean you are serving a higher purpose and being held accountable to a higher level in a way that will not be universally understood or applauded.” –Ken Blanchard

Agnes Biney, in raising her children: “I’m going to train you up in the way you should go, but it’s your choice if you go there. I am going to God, and I will show you the way; are you coming?”

“God is never more pleased with us than when we don’t want to obey, but we do so anyway.” –Gary Cockerill (and I would add, “or when we don’t understand why we need to obey, but we do so anyway.”)