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HOW TO USE THE WHEEL CARD pages 1-4
The Wheel Card is an invaluable tool for both evangelism and discipleship. In evangelism, it aids in elucidating the 5th step of salvation and in ensuring that person's salvation through the parable of the sower. In discipleship, it presents the four essential areas of spiritual growth, the role of the church in a believer's life, and Satan's strategy with the way to combat him and how to gain renewed fellowship with God if the believer does yield to the enemy rather than yielding to God.
- The title on the wheel card introduces the analogy of a wheel as depicting the type of life that the new believer had before his salvation, the life he now has in Christ, the life that could be his if he does not keep Christ in the center of his life, and the life that will be his if he keeps Christ in the center of his life. The quote, "John 10:10" is particularly appropriate because it introduces the fact that Christ came to give us abundant life, not just life. Abundant means bountiful, full, teeming, rich, and plentiful. It is important for the new believer to see that God has a great interest in his life and wants him to live life to the fullest. The four wheels represent the four ways people live in relation to Christ: pre-conversion, newly converted, disobedient but believing, and Christ-centered and God-honoring.
Circle I - life without Christ.The first is a circle, hoop, or rim of a wheel with nothing in the center. Life is a veritable "NOTHING" - no hub, no stabilizing center around which to revolve. Boys play with tires without rims. They roll them down the street. The tire spins and rolls straight until it begins to wobble, then it veers off, wibble-wobbling and soon falls flat. This wheel connotes life without Christ. Just as a wheel without a center has no aim, no direction nor purpose, so, too, the soul who has not claimed Christ as Savior and Lord, is heading aimlessly through life without direction, without purpose, and without a stabilizing center around which to revolve.
Circle 2 - a life that has received Christ, but not made Him Lord.Life in a disobedient believer is represented by the second wheel where Christ has been pushed from His rightful position as Lord , therefore He is not in the center giving direction, aim, and purpose in life. On one hand this wheel is like a locomotive engine wheel, with the center off-set, creating an "up-down-up-down" motion like some believers, often called "elevator Christians." On another hand this wheel is like a car with a flat tire. The ride becomes bumpy. and the passengers are jolted. Likewise, if a believer pushes Christ from the center of his life, he will be going nowhere fast and he will not progress toward the abundant life which is rightly his in Christ.
Circle 3 - life with Christ.When a person first trusts Christ, his life is indicative of the third wheel. Christ is in the center of the life. But it is up to the believer to keep Him in the center. Though the new believer desires Christ to be in the center of his life, yet he does not have the ability on his own to insure that He will remain there. Christ does not stay there automatically. However God has provided a means for the believer to keep Him there. In order for a wheel to remain true with the hub in the center, it must have spokes with equal tension. We too, need stabilizing spokes to be sure Christ remains in the center of our lives.
Circle 4 - life that insures Christ remains in the center.In the fourth wheel, there are spokes or factors to stabilize the hub. In order to ensure that Christ remains in the center of our lives, God has given us four spokes or supporting factors to insure life revolves around Christ and that He remains in control of our lives. To aid remembrance, these supports have been labeled with the letters G, R, 0, and W. These four letters stand for the four essential elements for growth in the Christian life.
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"G" stands for "Go to God in Prayer."When a baby is born into the world, before the doctor counts all the fingers and toes he makes sure the baby is breathing. Air is essential to life. Without oxygen, the baby will suffocate and perish. Prayer is for the Christian what air is for the baby. The Christian's air is prayer. Prayer is essential in the Christian life. It is the first stabilizing factor in the Christian life and the first essential to growth in Christ. Without prayer the new life in Christ will seriously suffer. A believer must communicate with God.
"6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7.This passage implies that nothing should be allowed to worry us. As soon as anything comes into the believers life, he can and should commit it and yes, everything to the Lord in prayer. The city of Philippi was a colony of Rome surrounded by a wall on which a garrison of sentinels were placed around the top on watch duty both day and night, thus ensuring that the city would be protected from any outside force and kept in peace. At any time the people needed only to look up in any direction and check that the sentinels were still there. By doing so they would find assurance of their safety in the city and it would put their hearts to rest in peace. As long as the garrison could be seen there was no threat of war. Peace prevailed. If we are concerned for any reason, we have but to look to God. The very peace, which characterizes God continuously and surpasses all understanding, will garrison our hearts if we take everything to God in prayer. He will never fail us nor forsake us. I Peter 5:7 is a command based on the imperative of verse 6, "Humble yourselves!" "Cast all your care upon Him because He continually cares about you!"
Two Old Testament saints are excellent examples of going to God in prayer: David and Daniel. David wrote, "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice" (Psalm 55:17). The Psalms are the Old Testament saints' Hymnbook. Thus this was what they often sang. It is sin to sing lies unto The Lord. So David and others who sang this Psalm were promising God they would pray three times a day. A study of the life of David reveals that many times he found himself in difficult circumstances which he could not control. Prayer was his only answer and solution to manifold problems. But he did not wait for the problems to come before he prayed, but he developed the habit of praying three time daily. This greatly benefited him when the problems came. He called upon The God Who cares and answers prayer for those who are on praying ground by keeping short accounts with God and by confessing their sins shortly after sinning ( I John 1:9). You too, will benefit greatly by praying three times a day as you proceed through your new life with Christ at the helm and center of your life. This will assist you to reach the ability and practice, which Paul commanded in I Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing!" Be constantly in the attitude of prayer so you can instantly call upon God at any time, anywhere.
Daniel also prayed three times a day. His enemies used this known fact about him to cause him to be thrown to the lions in their den. His enemies in strategic positions in the kingdom of Media-Persia deceived the king who favored Daniel by appealing to his pride to establish a statute and seal it according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be altered, requiring that no one in the kingdom should pray to any God or human except the king for thirty days at the consequence of being cast into the den of lions. The king forgot about Daniel's faithfulness in prayer and signed the decree. Aware of the decree, Daniel went to God in prayer three times a day with his window open to Jerusalem as he always did. Then those wicked enemies accused him before the king and insisted the king enforce the statute. All day until sundown the king labored to find a way to deliver Daniel. At sundown those wicked enemies came back to remind the king that no statute which the king establishes may be changed. So Daniel was cast into the den of lions after the king told Daniel that The God Whom he serves continually will deliver him. After a sleepless night the king ran to the lions' den to find that God had delivered Daniel from the lions by shutting their mouths because He believed in his God and prayed three times a day. This world in which we live is a den of lions. Peter wrote, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). And the devil has many fallen angels working for him. Therefore we need to be prepared for our adversary and his emissaries by following Daniel's example and pray three times a day.
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"R" stands for "Read the Bible."The second stabilizing factor and essential to growth in the Christian life is daily reading the Bible. Not only must a new believer communicate to God, but he must allow God to communicate to him. This is done by reading the Bible. After the doctor attends to breathing of the newborn baby, he examines the tiny body and then he gives the baby to the mother for milk In the physical life, food is of the utmost importance if we are to grow in a natural and healthy manner. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus declared to Satan, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." This presents a vital spiritual truth to us that much more is needed than just physical food. The Word of God must feed our lives if we are to grow as a Christian. Just as the newborn baby needs milk, the newborn child of God needs milk too. Our spiritual milk is the Word of God. The Word of God is sincere, i.e. it is pure, unadulterated, and therefore nourishing and by it we can grow spiritually even as an infant. Therefore we are commanded to crave it (I Peter 2:2). "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby!" It is an act of the will to crave the milk of God's Word and form the habit of reading it daily. Otherwise we soon slip back to our old ways and starve our spiritual life in Christ.
The mother feeds her baby frequently in small doses. A new believer also must feed on the Word of God frequently, in small doses at first. Since we eat food at least three times a day to care for our bodies, we should read God's Word at least three times a day to care for our souls. The spiritual life must be fed on The Word of God. I encourage you to go through the Bible in your reading in the following order:
Mark- - records the works of Christ;
John - - records the words of Christ;
Acts - - deals with the church of Christ;
Romans - - explains the salvation in Christ; then read
Matthew - - Revelation: The New Testament; then read
The Whole Bible: Genesis - Revelation.Read ten to fifteen verses at a time three times a day and after each reading make sure to ask God to show you what you are to do as a result of this reading. Ask yourself, "What does God want me to do as a result of this reading?" Then put it into practice in your life!
"O" stands for "Obey."The third stabilizing factor to keep Christ in the center of life around which your new life in Christ revolves is obey. Just as air and food are essential for proper growth, so too is rest. After the baby breathes properly and mother feeds him, she puts him down to rest. We need to rest too. But we rest by obeying. Disobedience causes restlessness and uneasiness, but obedience produces rest, peace and assurance that the Lord is pleased. If you do not obey Christ then you will become restless and out of love, God must discipline you if you really are His child (Hebrews 12:5-8). Proverbs 3:5-6 commands us to trust God with ALL of your heart and thus obey Him totally. In addition, we must acknowledge Him in every way we take. To do this requires recognition of His Lordship in prayer and request for guidance. All our lives we are taught and encouraged to lean on our own understanding. In school as we learn, we are tested with more and more difficult problems. If our grades slip and we inquire what we need to do to bring them up, we are told to think. When we get a job, we cannot keep asking the boss what each step of procedure is. He will tell us to think. He is paying us to do a job. So we are expected to lean on our own understanding. Now we come to Christ and told to stop leaning on our own understanding but to acknowledge Christ and His lordship in all our ways. Every time you must make a choice, you are to stop, and look to Christ, acknowledge His lordship, and seek direction from Him. Then we must repeatedly each day yield our members to the Holy Spirit's control to be obedient servants of righteousness and no longer disobedient servants of sin (Romans 6:16,17).
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"W" stands for "Witness."The fourth essential to physical growth and the fourth stabilizing factor to keep Christ in the center of life is exercise. When a baby wakes up from resting, he naturally moves his arms and legs around. If this did not occur, he would never develop the muscles needed for crawling, and later walking and running. We must exercise spiritually as well. Spiritual exercise is witnessing or openly confessing your new (and on-going) relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 10:32,33 the Lord Jesus Christ emphasized the importance of confessing a relationship with Him before humans. Jesus was addressing His disciples in the context of warning against fear when he contrasted confessing Him before humans with denying Him. He said, "Therefore everyone whoever shall confess|to be |in Me before the face of the humans, I Myself also shall confess|to be |in him before the face of My Father Who|is |in Heavens. But whoever ever deny Me before the face of the humans, I Myself also shall deny him before the face of My Father Who|is |in Heavens." Confessing to be in Christ before humans determines whether or not The Lord Jesus Christ will confess that he has such a relationship with that one before His Father and the angels in Heaven. If you want The Lord Jesus Christ to confess that you are in Him before His Father and the angels in Heaven when you stand before God in Heaven, then you must confess to be in Him here and now before humans on Earth. For failure to openly confess Him is equal to denying Him. It also determines whether or not one loves The Lord Jesus Christ. This statement that Christ gave concerning confessing or denying Him in the context of warning against fear indicates that denial may be due to fear or being ashamed of Him. Paul also mentioned shame in relation to confessing Christ and indicated that it is due to a lack of committing trust.
This matter of witnessing to, or confessing that one has a relationship with Christ is not only the fourth essential to spiritual growth, but it is the fifth step which is essential to salvation (Romans 10:8-11). "This is the declaration of the faith which we proclaim as an herald: 9 If (and it may be) you confess Jesus, Lord with your mouth and you commit trust in your heart that God raised Him up out of dead ones, you shall be saved. 10For with heart He is continually being trusted unto righteousness and with mouth He is repeatedly being confessed in regard to salvation. 11For The Scripture is saying, Everyone who continually commits trust upon Him shall not be utterly ashamed." Confession is so vitally important to your faith in Christ and to your relationship to Him. Because if you do not confess your relationship to Him before humans. He will not confess your relationship to Him before God, His Father in Heaven. Thus failure to confess Christ not only indicates denial, but also it indicates that trust has not been committed to Him. While on Earth The Lord Jesus Christ said,
"25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying. Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say. We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" (Luke 13:25-28)."I never knew you" is an awesome statement to those who thought they knew Him. Don't let it be said to you! Confess that you are in Christ and belong to Him repeatedly before humans.
May you persistently grow in His Grace and in the Knowledge of Him.
Dr. Fred Wittman
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