Grow Deep - The Brand New Edition week 1

Week 1: January 5 - 11

A Brand New People

Memory Verse: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18

“I’m third” is a popular saying which suggests that we believe God is first, others are second, and finally, we are third. But how well do we live up to this belief? How often do we tell others about Jesus? If others are truly second, we should want what is best for them: eternal life in Jesus.

Although we profess to be Christians, we often have a “Me first” attitude: “I’m not going to tell others about Jesus because that is uncomfortable for me.” We need Jesus to make us brand new and become uncomfortable for Him.

This series of Grow Deep encourages us to be radically transformed in Christ through faith. Our transformation encourages us to spread our faith to others. In our readings this week we learn that an essential part of being made new is bringing the Good News of Jesus to all people. This is uncomfortable, but the purpose of Christianity is not to be comfortable—it’s to bring people to Christ.

Jesus became uncomfortable for us through His suffering and dying on the cross. His desire that everyone be made new is so important that before He ascended into heaven, His final words were a command to spread the Good News to the very ends of the earth. We cannot restrict or reserve God’s Word only for those within the church. Jesus ministered beyond practicing Jews to Gentiles, tax collectors, and prostitutes, and we are called to minister outside of the walls of Webster Gardens to people who are different from us, too.

Jesus called on us to reject our old comfortable lives and live uncomfortably for Him. We are made brand new, and we want to share this gift with the rest of the world. Then God is first, others are second, and I’m third.

Sunday, January 5
Read: Matthew 2:1-12
The words are startling. For the Jew, most of the cultural practices in Chapter 1 of Matthew’s Gospel would have been understood. But not Chapter 2 …. Magi? … in a story about the Messiah, the Son of David?! God is doing something new. He brings His best to everyone, to all people (and not just to church-going Christians).
Reflect: When the Magi visited Jesus, God showed us that His Son was not just for the Jews; He came for all people. How can we in the modern church reach people outside the church?

Monday, January 6

Read: Genesis 26:1-5
The brand new thing was always God’s plan. His promise to Abraham and Isaac was that the covenant would be a blessing.
Reflect: God promised all people would be blessed through Abraham and Isaac. How has Jesus, His ultimate blessing, changed your life?

Tuesday, January 7

Read: Isaiah 25:6-9
God promised to bring salvation to all nations.
Reflect: How have you seen that promise come true in our world today? How are you anticipating His return?

Wednesday, January 8

Read: Isaiah 49:1-7
God said saving just the tribes of Jacob would be “too small” a thing for Him to do. Salvation is free for all people and nations.
Reflect: We are called to minister outside of Webster Gardens. What ministries can you be a part of to bring more people to Christ?

Thursday, January 9

Read: Luke 2:22-35
When he saw the infant Jesus, Simeon recognized that Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to be a light to the world. Simeon found fulfillment in Him.
Reflect: In what do you find fulfillment? How do worldly things distract you from the fulfillment of Christ?

Friday, January 10

Read: Acts 1:6-11
Jesus’ last words before His ascension encouraged His disciples and us to tell other people about Him … not just those who have been waiting for the Messiah, but to go to the very ends of the earth to tell all people.
Reflect: Who has mentored you in matters of faith? How can you be a Christian mentor to others?

Saturday, January 11

Read: Revelation 21:1-7
In a vision of Christ’s return, John sees all things made new and all peoples, regardless of their nation or tribe, united under God.
Reflect: In our divided world, how do we bring Jesus’ unity to people who are different from us?