1. Being Connected
People are called to live in community. Community is what Jesus was after, what the early Church was about, and what we should strive for. Why? The Church is founded on an idea- that Jesus is real and his message is true, as told through Holy Scripture. Churches, and communities are supposed to be a place for believers to receive encouragement and be rebuked, for people to love one another and walk through struggles together, and learn about Christ. Simply put, the call is to grow in Christ and grow together through him as disciples.
Get connected. To a Church. and THEN to a bible study and accountability partner. Hopefully Church will be a place where those secondary relationships will grow. Never make a college ministry your Church. It should be supplemental.
The following verse highlights the beauty of the Church body.
Verse: 1st Corinthians 12:12-13
Just as the body is one and has many members and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
2. Be held accountable
- Paul, Timothy, Barnabas
We should each strive to have a mentor, a person roughly on the same step as you spiritually, and someone you can help take their next step out in belief. Why? Because the bible has examples of these kinds of relationships. Paul and his protection and teaching of Timothy is an amazing example of a mentor relationship.
Having a set time you meet one on one is a beneficial to keep it consistent It is a great way to simultaneously get advice, grow a friendship, see God work,and invites intercessory prayer. This is the way we ‘do life together’.
verse: 1 Timothy 2:8
For we loved you so much that we shared not only the gospel with you, but our lives as well.
3. Independent study
Otherwise known as a quiet time, adventure time, Jesus time…whatever.
The main idea is this- spend consistent time with God alone. It should be focused, private, daily, and intentional. I think including the word and prayer is important to create balance.
The important thing is not to get down on yourself about missing a day to the point where you are scared to start again- it is better to make an imperfect effort than to forfeit And this habit takes time and dedication- but the benefits are ENORMOUS. and God deserves your undivided attention and praise. So be intentional, and find what works for you.
For me, I have been going through a study of Jesus (each week has a different important event of his life) and I am now taking a break from that to read the Old Testament- reading Genesis and Exodus as an adult is so different!
Reading the word is important because
-it keeps our faith grounded
-it reveals God to us
-Keeps our focus on him
- encourages and rebukes
-teaches you God’s will and his character
-gives you solid advice and creates a foundation and worldview that is UNFAILING
Verse: Psalm 111:2
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in him.
4. Prayer life
This falls under your quiet time but is even more constant.
Prayer should be consistent, constant, steadfast (regardless of what is happening around you), and honest. It should be a habit, a communication you can’t go without, a huge part of your walk. Prayer is where you talk, but also where God listens and responds. This is where the bulk of your communication happens- it is SUCH a blessing that God hears us when we call on Him.
-Intercessory Prayer: aka praying for others. It is super important. Why: it shifts focus, it changes your heart, it serves others, it grows love and selflessness. And most importantly, it blesses others through God’s awesomeness.
-Global prayer: praying for the Church, government, people who are starving, human trafficking, orphans, etc. World causes, events, leaders and the world overall needs prayer. Praying for the world will help you see how God is in all of these situations, and how he loves and hurts for our globe. It shifts your focus and makes your worldview expand to see hurting people who need redemption and service.
The amazing thing about prayer is that it helps you really seek God, and hear him. So many of my prayers have been answered- through events, through wise council, through a ‘word’… God reveals himself so much when you ask him to, and when you are patient and accepting of why/how he answers. It is amazing. I pray for so many things like the aforementioned, but I also pray for my heart more than my circumstances I want God to change me more than I want him to change my life, many times. Prayer is an act of faith, and you gotta trust that Jesus hears you.
2 Kings 4:33
So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing
Make no mistake about it, the best way you can serve a person is by serving Jesus. And that means, in part, the Great Commission.
Imagine you knew someone was in a burning building, and you knew a way to save them, but did nothing. That would be unacceptable. Likewise, it is unacceptable to not TRY to share the love of Christ with people. Surely, not each person is receptive to the same form of evangelism and not every person wants to have the bible taught to them- making your beliefs, your desire to be a resource, and your life an example of Christianity- that is incredibly important.
SIDE NOTE: If you want to learn more about evangelism or Jesus, let me know. I know some things about both! :D
Meeting physical needs is vital as well- Jesus did this frequently- he just remembered that this isn’t the end of living like Christ.
Loving selflessly means a lot of different things- apply what this means in your life for right now, ask for God to work on you and commit to seeking this out.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples, of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
6. Find identity in Christ
Jesus made us, and many of our qualities are intentional/ can be used for his glory. Your talents, gifts, and callings are designed by God! Spending time in the word and in deep prayer can reveal much of this to you. But much of what we are called to do is obvious- ’Seek first the kingdom of God’
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF ALL OF THIS?!?!
1. Seek first the kingdom of God. Through community, accountability, prayer, reading the word, serving others- you get to see Christ’s face and work.
2. You get to develop fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. Against such things there is no law.
3. Also develops faith, trust, and reliance on God