The aspect of discipleship is such an important part of who we are as the church. Though I can’t recall their name, I remember reading one author’s thoughts on discipleship and the church. It went something like this;
“The church is only as good as it’s disciples, which makes complete sense because that is what the church is, a group of disciples of Christ who come together to worship, evangelize, disciple others, fellowship, and do ministry together. It does not matter how good the praise, preaching, programs, or property are….If the disciples are not moving in the direction of radical obedience to the Word of God, the church will not be as good as it could and should be.”
What direction are you moving? Would others look at your life and consider you to be a radical follower of Jesus Christ? Jesus was clear on this point during His earthly ministry. Take a look at Luke 14:27; “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Discipleship is a mandate for followers of Christ.
There are often people who claim to follow Jesus who may or may not attend church regularly. They may or may not read God’s Word, obey God’s Word, pray to God, or serve God. They may or may not be true disciples of Christ!
But disciples of Christ are fully committed to obeying Jesus in every aspect of life. They are connected to God through His Word, through prayer, through serving Him. Do you see it? Jesus is not to be part of our life, He is our life….our whole life! For disciples of Christ, glorifying God is our highest purpose. This can’t be done outside of full submission and obedience to His Word.
Church, let’s be disciples!
This past Sunday morning, Bro. Mike mentioned the vital role of God’s Word in our spiritual growth. He concluded his sermon with – “Three things that will really help you grow in your knowledge of God.” Number 1 on the list was “Reading your Bible regularly – at least 4 times a week.” He then mentioned that the “4 times a week” benchmark came from a recent Secret Church simulcast we participated in that was hosted by IMB President, David Platt.
Although I’m not sure where the “4 times a week” benchmark originated from, I can agree that it is a good starting point. For those who already exceed this goal, Platt jokingly stated that if you’re reading the Bible 5, 6, or 7 days a week, not to cut back to 4 because of his statement. He then stated that if you are reading the Bible 7 days a week, strive for 8. Now, some of you may be scratching your heads wondering what he means by this, but the point was well received by me…..we can never get too much of God’s Word.
So how does this goal of regular Bible reading play out? Are we to set goals of how many chapters we read each day? Should we be on a 90-day plan, 6-month plan, or 1-year plan? Should we start in Genesis, Matthew, or somewhere else? Should I read in the morning or at night? Should I read with my family or alone?
Friend, this is where we have liberty. Choose a plan that works for you including how much to read each day, where to begin, when to read, etc. I’m all for systematic Bible study, it is necessary, but you have the ability to choose the plan. The more important question is this, “HOW should we read the Bible?” Here is part of the answer given during the simulcast:
Read the Bible prayerfully.
Read the Bible humbly.
Read the Bible carefully.
Read the Bible joyfully.
Read the Bible confidently.
Read the Bible diligently.
Read the Bible completely.
Read the Bible expectantly.
Read the Bible personally.
When we read the Bible in these ways, we will fall in love with the Author of the Book!
Here are some ways that I read through the Bible. They are not necessarily the “right” way (or the wrong way), but they are effective in helping me and my family stay connected with God through His Word.
I’m finishing my current Bible reading plan this week and plan to begin the reading plan that Bro. Mike presented next Monday (Click Here for reading plan). Join me and let’s fall deeper in love with our Great God as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him.
Christmas Eve is a special time. I love how society shuts down and people are abounding with anticipation for what is to come. With traditions of many kinds, some look forward to family gatherings, some eagerly await the giving of gifts, and others just enjoy a break from their often relentless and sometimes burdensome schedules.
Whatever you long for, know this;
There is a family for you to gather with – the church,
there is a gift worthy of our anticipation – eternal life,
and there is One who can give you true rest – Jesus Christ.
As for traditions, our family has come to love spending Christmas eve with our Church family. All of our kids love coming dressed in their PJs. We love being able to worship together, and it is always a blessing to get a new perspective of what people may have been thinking that night by listening to one of Bro. Mike's dramatic Monologues.
My Family's prayer is that your family could join us at St. Andrew Baptist Church as we celebrate the promise of God delivered through the birth of Jesus at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. It’s the perfect way to center your heart by remembering the miracle of our Savior’s birth through song, a biblical character monologue, and of course the glow of our candlelight tradition.
Mark your calendar for Christmas Eve from 5-6pm in the sanctuary. This event is for the whole family, the whole church, and the whole community. Come celebrate Christmas with us!
Sheep who Shepherd: