Grow Deep - Step 1 Edition - Week 1

Week 1: January 6-12

Step 1: It’s Not Your Step

Memory Verse: “… where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2

When our oldest son was in elementary school, he was one of the Wise Men in a production of the children’s musical, “Three Wee Kings.” In that musical, talking stars and animals were convinced Jesus would be one of them because He was called the Morning Star, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God in Scripture. It took three wee kings, who followed the light of a star, to discover the true King of Kings, Jesus. Cradled in the embrace of God’s love, they found the One who took Step 1 to come to them and to us.

Epiphany is the celebration of His Step 1 … it is a celebration of God’s love, incarnate in Jesus, coming to us through the Magi. The Magi followed a light in the heavens; God brought them face-to-face with the Light of the World, the Morning Star. They searched for a child; God showed them His child, the Savior of the World, the Lamb of God. They brought treasures for an earthly king; God ushered them to the feet of Jesus, the Lion of Judah and King of Kings. They worshipped Him and told others about Him.

God’s love cradles us in its embrace on a daily basis. We don’t have to “find” it. God has already revealed His love to us in the person of His Son, Jesus! Through Jesus, God steps into our lives and makes us His own child in the waters of baptism; He steps in with salvation through faith; He steps in when we are alone and vulnerable; He steps in with His blessings every day; He steps into our lives with forgiveness through His body and blood in Holy Communion.

It’s not about us! It’s about Jesus! Worship the One who has taken Step 1 for us; tell others about Him!

Taking Jesus to the Streets: Share with someone how God first revealed Himself to you. How did you respond? Learn how God first revealed Himself to a family member or friend. How did they respond?

Sunday, January 6
Read: Matthew 2:1-12
Reflect: Jesus was called the “King of the Jews” in these verses, but He came to be King and Savior to all people. How does the story of the Magi demonstrate that He came specifically as your King and Savior? How were the Magi searching? How were they following? How do your answers affirm God’s Step 1 in this story?

Monday, January 7
Read: Matthew 4:23-25
Reflect: King Jesus steps into the lives of vulnerable and helpless people. How has He stepped into your life when you were feeling helpless, weak, and/or vulnerable? What did that tell you about who He is?

Tuesday, January 8
Read: Matthew 5:1-12
Reflect: Jesus, our Savior and King, tells us who in His Kingdom will be blessed and how they will be blessed. How have you witnessed God stepping forward to bless you and your family? How have you responded to His blessings?

Wednesday, January 9
Read: Matthew 6:25-34
Reflect: Jesus tells us not to worry but to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness instead. How does worry affect your relationship with Jesus? What does it mean to seek His Kingdom? How does Jesus “step” into your life when you are actively seeking Him and His Kingdom?

Thursday, January 10
Read: Matthew 13:1-23
Reflect: Our Savior and King takes “Step 1” in the lives of His followers by teaching them in parables. A parable is an everyday story or object that demonstrates a spiritual principle. Why does Jesus teach in parables? In these verses He uses soil as His everyday object. How do you relate to the soil? How can you apply the spiritual principle in this parable to your life right now?

Friday, January 11
Read: Matthew 18:1-5
Reflect: Step 1: Assuming the status and posture of a child in the Kingdom. Why would Jesus suggest that we need to become like children to enter the Kingdom of heaven? What qualities of children does Jesus want us to have? What characteristics of children does He Himself show to us?

Saturday, January 12
Read: Matthew 21:1-11
Reflect: Jesus takes a step on our behalf as He enters Jerusalem as a King. The people honored Jesus as a King but did not acknowledge Him as their Savior. How do people honor Jesus as a King or prophet today without accepting Him as the Savior of the World? What are some changes you can make in this new year to keep Jesus as the top priority in your life?