A Disciple's Journal 2017
By Steve Manskar
A Disciple’s Journal 2017: A Guide for Daily Prayer, Bible Reading and Discipleship is now available. It is a devotional resource designed for individual and small group use.
A Disciple’s Journal contains a daily lectionary developed by the Consultation on Common Texts. The daily Scripture lessons are based on the Revised Common Lectionary. Two lessons, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, are provided for Monday through Saturday. All four Scriptures are included for each Sunday.
In addition to the daily lectionary, we provide space to record your acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion. Under the daily lectionary for each week of the year you will see the Jerusalem cross at the center of four quadrants, one each for acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion.
On the facing page you will find excerpts from the works of John and Charles Wesley. All of the John Wesley excerpts for 2017 are from A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. The Charles Wesley hymn stanzas are selected to align with the Sunday Scriptures.
A Disciple’s Journal 2017 provides resources for morning and night prayer. Prayers for every day of the week come from the Book of Common Prayer, which was the prayer book of John and Charles Wesley and the early Methodist movement. You will also find prayers composed by members of the Consultation on Common Texts for each week based on the Scripture lessons read in Sunday worship.
To help broaden your prayers A Disciple’s Journal 2017 contains “A Cycle of Intercession.” It guides you to pray for various people, leaders, the Church, and the world throughout the year.
Covenant Discipleship Groups
A Disciple’s Journal 2017 is an excellent resource for Covenant Discipleship groups. Most groups have a covenant clause that commits members to daily prayer and Bible reading. The Daily Lectionary gives you Scriptures from the Old Testament and the New Testament for each day. It also supplies two Psalms for each week. Read one Thursday through Sunday and the other Monday through Wednesday. The Journal helps you to maintain balance and diversity in your daily Bible reading.
The General Rule of Discipleship appears each week below the daily lectionary and just above the Jerusalem cross. Record your acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion in the quadrants. This will help you to remember what you’ve done, and not done, during the weekly meeting.
You will also find space to record prayer concerns, questions, reflections, and insights for the week.
Small Group Curriculum
A Disciple’s Journal 2017 is an excellent small group curriculum resource. Here are some examples of how the Journal may be used to help form disciples of Jesus Christ in small groups:
- Advent, Lenten, and Easter study groups read the Scripture lessons for each day of the season and discuss the various themes, ideas, and images that emerge when they meet. Pray the prayer for each week along with the recommendations in the Cycle of Intercession.
- Groups may read and discuss the excerpts from A Plain Account of Christian Perfection for each week.
- Read, reflect, and discuss the hymns of Charles. His poetry is a rich resource for study, theological reflection, and prayer.
- Adopt the General Rule of Discipleship as your group’s rule of life. Use the Journal to record how you have witnessed to Jesus Christ in the world and followed his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The General Rule provides the agenda when the group meets. Begin with a prayer, read one of the Scripture lessons for the day, ask “What is God saying to us in this lesson today?” The leader then asks each person in turn, beginning with himself or herself, “How is it with your soul?” The General Rule of Discipleship guides each person as they respond to the question. The group prays for each person after they’ve shared their response. The meeting concludes with singing a hymn, sharing prayer concerns, and praying the prayer for the week from A Disciple’s Journal. Quarterly identify a specific area of the General Rule each person, or the group, wants to focus and grow; review the group’s prayer concerns and goals.
Copies of A Disciple’s Journal 2017 may be ordered online here. It comes in three editions: print, EPub, and Kindle. A nice feature of the EPub and Kindle editions is they include the full text of A Disciple’s Journal 2017 and the full text of all of the Scripture lessons. All the Scripture lesson citations are hyperlinked, enabling you to quickly jump between the Journal and the Scripture lessons.
I have used A Disciple’s Journal for my daily Bible reading and prayer for several years. It keeps my life and work grounded in Scripture and centered in Christ and his mission. I pray it will be a blessing to you and your small group. I’ll close with the following passage from Hebrews:
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:23-25).