Grow Deep - Christian Community Edition - Week 3

Week 3: September 22-28

Discipleship: Helping Each Other Follow Jesus

Memory verse: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

We live in a world of communities—communities where we share life together with other people. Neighborhoods. Civic groups and charitable organizations. Workplaces. Political parties. In these communities, we largely share the same beliefs, the same values, the same activities, and the same goals as the other members.

Sometimes these communities have only a few members. Sometimes they have thousands. It’s not the number of people that hold a community together, however. It is the shared way of living and the shared philosophy of life. Wherever you live and work and volunteer and whatever your political party, you believe and live the values of those communities and support them through your involvement.

As Christians, we also live in a specific community, a community of people that share our belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Jesus commissioned this community of believers—His church—before His ascension into heaven. His Holy Spirit chose each of us to be active members of this community. Jesus commanded us as members of His community—His church—to dedicate our lives to our fellow believers. Through the Holy Spirit, we daily serve, daily love, daily care, and daily grow this community of believers in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 22
Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-14
Disciples learn to discern Biblical truth from worldly thinking. Paul writes with thanksgiving for the faith of Timothy, encouraging him to be strong in the faith and share what He has learned with the community of believers.
Reflect: Who were and are some of the people in your life you’ve “entrusted”? Who taught you about Jesus? Teachers, parents, relatives, friends? How did they help grow your faith?

Monday, September 23
Read: Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends His disciples out to share the Gospel and build communities of faith. Jesus is always at the center of making disciples and living together as brothers and sisters in the faith.
Reflect: Jesus gave us two commands at His ascension: teach and obey—to learn about His life and teachings and then to live them out daily. As Christians, what is the significance of this? How does it affect the people you meet each day?

Tuesday, September 24
Read: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Discipleship is passed on and embedded in the lives of Christian families and communities who walk together in faith.
Reflect: How, during the course of your busy day, can you take time to think about, pray to, and live for God? What is the importance and the value of sharing your faith and growing in your faith by participating in a small group or Sunday morning Bible class?

Wednesday, September 25
Read: Luke 9:23-26
Following Jesus in communities has a cost but is filled with His grace and promise.
Reflect: What in your life needs to change for you to fully follow Jesus? Very often the morals of society and the values of Christianity are in conflict. How do you deal with these challenges to your faith? How do you publicly stand up for your values, even though you may be criticized for them?

Thursday, September 26

Read: Jeremiah 31:31-34
The prophet Jeremiah shares the Lord’s vision for a new community of disciples.
Reflect: What does it mean to you that God wants a relationship with you, to be in your heart no matter who you are? What power do you receive from the forgiveness of God? How does this power change the way you live?

Friday, September 27

Read: Ephesians 4:11-16
God is the giver of spiritual gifts…given for the purpose of “making disciples” together in community.
Reflect: Why does every Christian need to serve God’s church and help it grow? Why does the church need your help? How do you help grow the church and help serve its members? How can we, together, make the church stronger and more unified to meet the challenges it faces?

Saturday, September 28
Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
Community in God’s Word prepares believers for threats and challenges to the faith and equips believers to do every good work.
Reflect: How does a morning devotion, being with God through His Word and prayer, equip you spiritually for the day ahead? Kids often dread memory work—and sometime adults do, too. But what is the value of memorizing God’s Word? What special Bible verses could you memorize to both encourage you and encourage others?