Our Christward Relationship: The Word

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7, ESV)
The Wheel Illustration

Ensuring that Christ is the center of our lives is just the first element of a growing Christian life.  Once we have entered into this new life in Christ, what must we do to deepen our walk with Christ?  And if the goal of our Christian development is to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29), how do we get Him from the center of our being to shine through all our conversation and conduct?  Again, the Wheel Illustration was designed to answer those questions in a simple but meaningful way.

As with a wheel, the power and potential of the hub is transferred to the rim through the spokes.  Our Wheel Illustration has four spokes through which Christ becomes seen in us as we interact with others.  The vertical spokes (The Word and Prayer) in large measure define our relationship with God, while the horizontal spokes (Obedience and Witnessing) mainly inform our relationship with others.

The Word Our Foundation

The Word spoke is the foundational spoke of our illustration.  It is through the Word that we know anything about God, because the Bible is God's revelation of Himself to us.  Without the record of the Scriptures, we could not even be saved (Romans 10:14-17)!  Apart from the Scriptures, we can know nothing definite about God.  We may have plenty of opinions, feelings and ideas about God, but unless He has revealed truth to us in His recorded Word, we cannot know it for sure.

Who is Jesus Christ?  What is God like?  God has shown Himself and spoken to us through every page of Scripture!  What things does God want us to pray about?  How does He want us to pray?  He has told us in the Bible!  What does He call us to obey?  How are we to live as His children in this world?  It's all there in the Bible!  What is the Gospel that I am called to preach?  What does someone need to hear in order to make peace with God?  The fullness of the Good News of Jesus Christ stretches from the first pages of Genesis all the way through to the last verses of Revelation!  To grow as a true disciple of Jesus Christ, we must get to know every word of Scripture!

Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:1-5,14), so to get to know the Bible better is to get to know Jesus better (John 5:39).  The Holy Spirit was given to us to remind us of the things Jesus taught us (John 14:26)—but in order to be reminded, we need to have heard or read it first!  Indeed, He speaks nothing on His own, but only what Jesus gives Him to say—and all things have been handed over to Jesus by the Father (John 16:13-15)!  For a new or young Christian to try to depend on the voice of the Spirit to guide them, without having first learned well to recognize that voice through the revealed Word of God, is dangerous indeed!  There are many other spirits out there who want nothing more than to deceive us—and they know well how to disguise themselves as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)!

There are a number of ways we need to develop in order to get a strong handle on the Word of God, and we'll talk more about those later.  However, at this point in training a new Believer, we encourage him or her to begin reading one chapter of the Bible each day.  They do not need to work at understanding every single thing recorded in that chapter, but rather just seek one truth that they can meditate on and/or practice that day.

We try to schedule a special time separate from our regular discipleship time to "practice" with them reading a chapter of the Bible.  This is not a chance for us to teach what God means in that particular passage, but to help them get started in the habit of reading the Bible and to discover for themselves that with the help of the Holy Spirit they really are able to understand the words recorded there!  If they've never read the Bible before, we encourage them to begin with the Gospel of John.  If they have some experience in the Word and familiarity with the Gospels, they can begin in Acts or even all the way back at Genesis!

If you haven't developed the habit of daily Bible reading, give it a try!  If your "Timothy" hasn't started yet, now is a good time to invite him or her to sit down with you, read a chapter and share what each of you learns.  The Personal Reading Record, linked below, is one way to keep track of your progress through the Bible and a great visual encouragement of how much progress you've made!


  • Gospel of John Bible Studies - Four lessons on Salvation, Assurance, The Word, and Christian Living that can be used either as evangelistic Bible studies or as basic follow-up studies for new believers.
  • The Bridge Illustration - A clear and complete explanation of the only way man can be reconciled with God
  • Prayer Pages - A tool to help keep track of and manage prayer needs.
  • Personal Reading Record - A tool to help you keep track of where you've read and where to read next
  • Bible Reading Highlights Record - A tool to help you record your thoughts and applications when you read the Word
  • The Timothy Training Workbook - A printable (front & back) discipleship notebook written by veteran Navigator missionary and founder of Training Evangelistic Leadership, Roy Robertson

Courtesy of Roy Robertson and Training Evangelistic Leadership