Over the next few weeks in this 50-day spiritual journey, we are going to explore the primary purposes, values, and goals of a disciple-making small group and how connecting to one of them will help you in your spiritual growth to look more like Jesus.
Remember our identity: We are chosen, loved, accepted, purchased, forgiven, righteous, indwelt, empowered, and sanctified as a child of God.
With this being our identity, God has also made us a disciple when we trusted Christ for salvation and now we are missionaries sent out into the world to serve and share (hands/mouth) , baptized into a family (heart), and a learner of the truth (head).
We desire to have an integration of head, heart, hands, and mouth as a faithful follower of Jesus. We saw that the best context to live this out is in a disciple-making small group.
The four functions of a disciple-making small group are linked to the four components of what a disciple does:
- Knows and obeys the Word of God
- Shares life together by practicing the “one another’s”
- Tells the Gospel by living as a missionary
- Reproduces other disciples
So if these four Biblical values are important in our growth into the image of Christ, then a disciple-making small group needs to have an intentional strategy to make sure that this is happening.
The first component in our spiritual growth is that we know and obey the Word of God.
Notice that the focus is on both knowledge and obedience. It is not just information, but also transformation.
So as believers in Jesus, we need to be taught the Word of God so that we do three things:
- Live a lifestyle of practical obedience to Jesus
- Grasp the foundational doctrines of the faith
- Grow in our intimacy with Christ
For the next few days, let us see how knowing and obeying God’s word helps us live a lifestyle of practical obedience to Jesus.
Read the following Scriptures:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Word of God is powerful, God-breathed, and active and as disciples of Jesus we are called to SATURATE ourselves in the Scripture. Over the next few days, we will be diving into what it means to saturate ourselves with the Scripture. If a disciple must KNOW and OBEY the Bible, we need to saturate ourselves with it every day.
What is Scripture saturation? It involves 5 key activities.
- Reading the Scripture
- Studying the Scripture
- Memorizing the Scripture
- Meditating on the Scripture
- Obeying the Scripture
1. Reading the Scripture
Before we even read the Scripture, we need to be praying that the Holy Spirit will open our hearts and minds to the truth.
Read Psalm 119:18
Read John 16:13-14
The role of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to turn the light bulb on in our hearts and minds so that we can clearly see and understand what we are reading in Scripture. The big theological term for this is “illumination”. The Spirit illuminates or lights up the Bible to help it make sense to us.
In order to saturate ourselves in the Scripture, we need to do more than just read it. We need to study it. We need to dive into what the text means. There are two things we do in this process.
- Observation—what is going on in the text? What is the context? What is being said to the original hearers/readers
- Interpretation—what does it mean?
- Word studies
- Bible dictionaries
Maybe this is all very new to you. Maybe you haven’t been reading your Bible every day or maybe you are faithfully reading your Bible. Are you praying for understanding? Are you taking the next step and actually studying it?
One of the best ways to actually study the Bible is to connect yourself to a disciple-making small group where a trained teacher can help you learn. Remember, we are not called to grow by ourselves. We need others. We need teachers who may know more than we do. Being in a disciple-making small group will give us the tools to help us study the Bible.
Thank you for your Word that is active and sharp and powerful. I want to study it. I want to know it. I want to saturate myself in the Scriptures so that not only do I receive information but also that it leads to transformation. Holy Spirit please open my eyes to the wonderful things God has for me in His Word.
For Your Glory!