This week we begin a month-long effort to wrap up our year-long study of the classic spiritual disciplines. We will be reviewing and reflecting on the practices discussed throughout the year with the aim of evaluating how helpful they have been to us. For the most part, their helpfulness in making us more like Jesus will be determined by our commitment to them and the regularity in which we practice them in our own lives.
How have you grown spiritually this year? How have these Christian practices helped you to grow closer to the Lord and more like Jesus?
10-1 Inward Disciplines
Last week we talked about the principle of being ‘separate’ and distinct from the world fro the sake of Christ. Indeed, God calls us out from the world to be different from it- the concept of holiness which we’ve talked a lot about this year.
This week we want to look at the other side of that practice, the practice of Engagement with the world. While, yes, we are to be different, we are also to actively engage the world for the sake of Christ. He calls us to be “salt & light” in a dismal and dark world. That requires we become active participants in our world with the goal of making it better and brighter. This week, look to the example of Jesus how he constantly and intentionally engaged the world and the people of it so that he might bring about a change in their lives. And let us follow His example!
Have a great group.
This week our spiritual discipline is Separate, as in the verb… ‘separate yourselves from the world.’ It has long been the struggle of God’s people to be ‘in the world but not of the world.’ God has placed us in his fallen world and called us to engage it in the name of Christ, but He has also most certainly called us OUT from it. Even the derivation of the word from which we get the word CHURCH means “those called out”. What are we “called out” from? The world.
We are a chosen people called out from the world for a purpose.
Next week we will look at our call to engage the world, but first we must consider if we are truly different, distinct, a ‘peculiar’ people. Then, and only then, are we ready to go out into the world for the sake of Christ to be agents of salt & light.
More next week!
This week we will be discussing the practice of Guidance. “How do we let God lead?” This is a hard question to answer because often we just think that going it alone is the only option. If we do not believe this, most live it out in practice in our culture. We do it by ourselves for ourselves.
Christians know that we must submit our will to God. But what does that really look like in modern culture? What does that look like in our church? These are the questions we will be answering in our group this week.
One of the greatest disciplines for spiritual growth is also one of the most feared among even folks who’ve been a Christian for years… the practice of sharing one’s faith. Maybe it is because it is such a personal thing, often we are reluctant to open ourselves to sharing Jesus with others. Yet, this is precisely what our Lord has commanded us to do. Disciples make disciples.
This week we want to explore the discipline of evangelism and while our groups might get into particular methods, the focus is really on encouraging each one to overcome whatever obstacles may be in place and become a disciple who shares his or her faith with those we come into contact with.
May God bless you in your group time this week!