Grow Deep - Faith Works Edition Vol 2
Faith Works Edition VOL 2
“Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV
As we begin this edition of Grow Deep, the calendar tells us that fall is here!! Fall has never been a favorite time of year for me, but there are some things I do love about this season. I love the changing color of leaves from their deep green to vibrant yellow, orange, red, and deep cranberry. I love the feel of the crisp, cool morning air when I walk. And when the trees finally surrender their dry, dead leaves, I love to feel and hear the “crunch” of those surrendered leaves under my feet. Fall is a season of change, preparation, and transformation. It is a time when Mother Nature lets go of what has been in seasons past to brace herself and prepare for what is to come.
In his letter, James tells us that now is a time for a change, prep work, and transformation in our spiritual lives as well. He says it is time to surrender what has been, to let go of faith that is “dead,” and to be transformed and changed by the Holy Spirit. He calls us to live a life of faith that is continually preparing for what is to come … one that is vibrantly colored with faith that works … through Christ-like attitudes, actions, and speech.
This five-week series of Grow Deep is the second volume of our Faith Works edition. Each week we will again focus on the letter written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. The format of Volume 2 will be very much like the format of the first volume. There will be a memory verse for each week, a devotion, and a daily section of Scripture to read, to think about, and apply to your lives. As with most other issues of Grow Deep, this edition begins each week with Scriptures used in the message in our weekend worship services. The readings for the remainder of the week will challenge you to delve more deeply into the Scriptures and reflect on how God is speaking directly to you in His Word. Small group leaders will again receive questions based on the Sunday text from James that are designed for group discussion. These thoughts and questions will come each week on Thursdays for use throughout the following week in small groups.
You will notice two things different about this issue, though. One, the celebration of Reformation falls in Week 4 of this issue. While the readings may not line up perfectly with what is used in the sermon that Sunday, the Scriptures for reflection that week are based on themes from the Reformation found in the Book of James. Hopefully, you will discover some new insights concerning the teaching of the Reformation experienced through the words of James.
The other difference is the addition of something new. Each week on Sunday, there will be a section included called “Taking Jesus to the Streets.” The thoughts in this section will help you focus on ways to engage with people -- either by meeting a physical need someone may have or by entering into spiritual conversation with them. It could be a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger. Take time each Sunday to read and pray about what is shared in this section. Then, as God provides opportunity throughout the week, engage with someone. Perhaps you could talk about what you have learned in your reading and reflecting or call someone who is struggling and pray together with him or her. There are opportunities for each of us to put our feet to the concrete and “take Jesus to the streets” all around us! Sometimes we need only to open our eyes.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to let God change, transform, and use you!
Grow Deep with Jesus!
The Adult Ministry Team
We thank the following writers for sharing their thoughts and insights: Week 1, Pastor Bill Geis; Week 3, Julie Bode; Week 4, Pastor Ron Nelson; Week 5, Billy Klug.