Grow Deep - The Family That Has Everything - Week 3
Week 3: September 1-7
The Family that Has Community Has Purpose
Memory Verse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
Close to where I live, a Mennonite family of six were on their way to pick blueberries recently when their buggy was struck, killing one boy and injuring four more. That evening a community prayer vigil for the Mennonite family was held in the local park. Also, that same night, the Mennonite community went to the home of the young man who struck the buggy and told him they forgave him of the unfortunate incident. To me this is a living picture of what Paul is declaring us to do in Colossians 4:2-6: Devote yourselves to prayer, let your conversation be full of grace, and proclaim Christ clearly.
Have you seen the movie “Breakthrough”? It is a true story of a young man who falls through the ice on Lake Saint Louis. His mother faithfully devotes herself to praying for his recovery, along with many folks in the community. Against all odds, her son John is found and recovers after being submerged for 15 minutes in the icy water. This is yet another example of a community coming together for the purpose of prayer and then proclaiming Christ’s miracle.
Many of us turn to prayer in a crisis; however, do we pray only then …. when things go wrong? Paul tells us we must be about our “Father’s business” every moment. We need to be alert and watchful to the needs of our family, our church family and those around us. Is there a driving goal or purpose that your family, church group or neighborhood has been striving to reach—maybe serving others, praying for others and graciously giving testimony to Christ? Heed the opportunities that present themselves and allow God’s message to be seen/heard through your actions and conversation.
Sunday, September 1
Read: Colossians 4:2-6
Paul begins this portion of his letter with a command to be devoted to prayer and also to stay alert in prayer with thanksgiving so that we can always be prepared to witness and share our faith.
Reflect: Look back over the verbs in today’s passage. Do any of them describe your prayer life or witness of Christ? Consider taking steps to be bold like Paul and commit and practice the actions in these verses with God’s help.
Monday, September 2
Read: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Peter encourages that his audience be alert and steadfast in prayer but more than that, to be fervent in love for one another, to offer hospitality to others and use the gifts that God has given them with their families and with those in the family of God.
Reflect: Insert your name in place of the first few words of each of the verses in today’s reading. As a believer, what are you being exhorted to do? How will the people in your family, neighborhood, workplace, small group or Bible study group be impacted when you do what God is calling you to do?
Tuesday, September 3
Read: 1 Chronicles 25:7-8
Families in the Old Testament were trained and groomed to serve God together. Today's families have many opportunities to serve others together.
Reflect: How does your family unit function? Are you scattered, separate entities, or are you driven together with a common purpose? Choose God’s purpose for you: serve one another inside and outside of your family unit.
Wednesday, September 4
Read: Hebrews 10:23-25
We work together to disciple those who are in our families and within our church family, encouraging and praying with and for one another.
Reflect: Are you a member of a club or group? Does your group encourage you to love others and do good deeds? If you want to be in a group that does, reach out and let someone know. Sign up to be part of a Bible study group or a small group.
Thursday, September 5
Read: Zechariah 7:9-10
We are to love and serve our Christian brothers and also strangers.
Reflect: Are you missing opportunities to serve those around you? Are your spiritual ears in tune with God’s command, or has outward routine blocked God’s inward spiritual leading? What can you do to be more attentive to the opportunities God gives you to serve Him and others?
Friday, September 6
Read: 1 Samuel 12:20-25
Paul instructs us to humble ourselves before others, placing value on them above the value we place on ourselves.
Reflect: Reread the above verses and make a list of what God has done for you. Reread the verses again. What is God asking you to do for Him? Will you respond to Him, turning His requests into your actions?
Saturday, September 7
Read: Matthew 5:43-45
We are to pray for everyone … family, friends, and enemies.
Reflect: When was the last time you prayed for someone you felt had betrayed, hurt, embarrassed, or caused you upset or pain? Challenge yourself to pray for them and anticipate an after-effect from this change of mindset for you and for those around you.