Grow Deep: Summer DiscipleSHIP, Week 1

Week 1: June 3-9

Set Sail with Jesus in WorSHIP

“For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and
Him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10b

I had a dear friend in college who was very active in campus Christian groups. She also did intercollegiate mission trips, retreats, conferences and so much more. She even met her future husband through these activities. On the outside, I envied her. She seemed to have it all together.

Twenty-five years later, I was heartbroken for her when she told me that her husband had left the faith, her marriage had fallen apart, she had several serious health issues requiring multiple surgeries, and her teen children were having behavioral/emotional problems as a result of the chaos all around them. One Sunday in the midst of this deep pit, she went to worship services at church as was her habit. Before the prelude even finished that day, she got up out of the pew and left, telling her daughter, “I just can’t do this anymore.”

Thankfully, that was not the end of my friend’s story. On the contrary, she ended up in counseling with a Christian who taught her that faith, church and worship weren’t about what she could do, bring or be. She had a law-centric idea of the Christian life. Faith, church, and especially worship are solely about what God does, the gifts He brings to us and who He is. The Gospel is given in His Word, in His sacrament and in His body, the Church.

In our readings this week, we learn from Jesus that the people of His day missed the point of the Sabbath too. We all do. Man was not made to perform for the Sabbath; the Sabbath was given as a gift to man—to us—exactly because we don’t have it all together and we need our Father’s help. In the book of Revelation, we see a beautiful picture of the church in this age, Christ’s church in worship, where the Father gives us everything we need to overcome the chaos: the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony.

Sunday, June 3
Read: Mark 2:23-28
There is much to consider in these few short verses. Jesus is involved in a controversial discussion with the Pharisees about what is or is not lawful to do on the Sabbath. God made the Sabbath for man’s benefit, blessing and rest. And it is Jesus who gives Sabbath rest.

Reflect: Jesus says He is the Lord of the Sabbath. What did He mean and what was He trying to teach the Pharisees and His disciples by it? What are some ways that we—perhaps even unintentionally—turn the Sabbath into what Jesus says it is not?

For the Family: What does Jesus mean when He says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”? In Genesis, God rested on the seventh day of creation. Why do you think He wants us to rest in Him one day of the week?

Monday, June 4
Read: Psalm 100
This Psalm is a song of grateful praise. It was probably sung responsively as a call to worship. It is a call to shout joyfully, serve with gladness, come singing, know that He is God and that we are the sheep of His pasture. We are to enter with thanksgiving and are to bless His name. He deserves our worship and praise!

Reflect: In our home, praise is a powerful tool. How is praise a tool? How is praise a weapon? How is praise a gift? How can we incorporate more praise into our daily vocations?

For the Family: Can you think of a time when you were so happy and filled with joy that you shouted and sang? Sing a favorite song about Jesus now. Joyfully shout out, “I love You, Jesus!”

Tuesday, June 5
Read: Exodus 20:8-11
The fourth commandment tells us to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. It is one of the commandments that speaks to our worship of God and our relationship with Him.

Reflect: The last sentence of these verses reads, “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” How can/do post-modern people bless the Sabbath and make it holy? Why does this matter to God or to us?

For the Family: What happens to your bodies and minds if you don’t take time to sleep (rest)? Is there a connection between keeping the Sabbath holy and rest? If so, what is it?

Wednesday, June 6
Read: Romans 12:1-3
Chapter 12 of Romans is an “action” chapter. It transitions from Paul’s teaching about doctrine to teaching about how to live in response to what God has done. He appeals to those who have been saved by grace to worship Him with their entire lives as a sacrifice.

Reflect: These verses describe our “Living Sacrifice.” What is our proper worship? Verse 2 gives us a reason why we should worship in this manner. What is it? In verse 3, is there any “sober thinking” we need to do about ourselves today? If so, let’s ask God to transform and renew us so that we can discern His good will for us better.

For the Family: How much of you does God want to love and serve Him? None ? Some? All? God wants us to honor Him with our whole selves … mind, bodies and heart. That is called your spiritual _____ of _______. How can you worship God with your whole self today?

Thursday, June 7

Read: Psalm 27:4-5
David seeks just one thing … that he may dwell in the house of the Lord forever. His relationship with his heavenly Father was the most important priority in his life.

Reflect: Do you want to dwell in the house of the Lord as passionately and earnestly as David did? From what do you need the Lord’s sheltering right now? Where do you see the Lord’s beauty in this world and in your life? How can you fix your gaze on that beauty?

For the Family: What do these verses tell you about God … what He does and who He is? Think of some ways that God rescues and protects you. Worship God by singing together “God Is So Good.” Add a verse about God’s rescue (God rescues me, God rescues me, God rescues me, He’s so good to me!).

Friday, June 8

Read: Hebrews 12:28-29
The writer of Hebrews ends this chapter with an encouragement to remain unshakable in our faith because the kingdom of God is an unshakable one. Our response should be one that inspires worship with reverence and in awe of our God. 

Reflect: Sometimes we seem to forget that even in this chaotic world, we still have a reason to worship. This passage reminds us what we stand to gain through faith in Jesus. What is it? When the world threatens to consume us, what could happen if we asked God to consume us instead?

For the Family: Verse 28 says that God’s Kingdom cannot be shaken. How can we be sure that statement is true? How can you worship Jesus with awe and thanksgiving today? How should we pray for the workers and families who will come to our VBS?

Saturday, June 9

Read: John 4:19-26
John outlines the essence of worship … true worship is in spirit and truth. Since God is spirit, we must worship Him in spirit, a way that is consistent with who He is. Our worship must be based on the truth of God and the person of Jesus as He is revealed to us in Scripture.

Reflect: On what authority is Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman? Is worship specific to a certain, place, time or people? What are the new “requirements” of worship, according to Jesus? Is this kind of worship a burden or is it burden lifting? What does it really mean to worship the Father in spirit and in truth?

For the Family: Why must you worship God in spirit? In truth? Why is it important to worship Him in spirit AND truth?