Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Back to Basics

Our small group has been going through a book taking us through some basics of living a life following after God. We have been reminded of the importance of the scriptures and prayer over the last few months and are about to embark on a 4 part tour of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are also beginning to develop and re-develop scripture memorization using Navpress' Topical Memory System. We just focused on Galatians 2:20 and are focusing on 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 12:1 over the next few weeks.

For me, all of this brings back some sweet memories of when I first became a Christian. Especially the memory verses as I memorized the same verses back then. Mostly I remember my new found relationship with Greg and Donna Herrick, who mentored and discipled my wife and I for 4 years. I wouldn't trade those 4 years for anything. Personally, I credit them with giving me a good foundation in following Christ. Had it not been for that foundation, I would have left the sometimes hard-to-understand-and-live Christian life behind (assuming God would have let me go - which I doubt!)

I can't begin to tell you the importance of finding someone to help you establish that foundation. Start with your church. If there is no help for you there, be intentional at observing those you consider mature in Christ and once you find someone who you think you can "click" with, ask them to mentor you. If it doesn't work out, persevere until it does. Though God speaks directly to our hearts in many ways, He most often uses others to speak to us. We all need someone to be Jesus with skin on in our lives.

Can you tell I am passionate about discipleship?

I now have the privilege of joining the other members of our group in re-learning these verse. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do with these verses as they memorize them and commit to apply them to their lives. They have brought me so much wisdom and understanding about who God is and how he works. Memorization, though it is a difficult discipline to undertake, is worth every effort we can invest in it. God's Word always pays multiple dividends in our lives.

Pray for our group. Ultimately, we want it to be a group that we can invite our unchurched friends to where they can see and learn what it looks like to follow after God - all the ups and downs and struggles and victories. My prayer is that these folks, whom I imagine thinking the church and Christ irrelevant, will find peace for their lives and a safe place to work out their issues with God. A place they can finally come to an understanding of who God is what His plan for their lives are. But first, we have to establish a spiritually healthy and thriving group - one that perseveres through the hardships our busy schedules sometimes put on our meeting schedules. And we have to be diligent in practicing the disciplines of reading our Bible, meditating on what we have read, applying it to our lives, prayer and memorization. That way we can pass that along to others and testify to the great things God has done through our commitment to Him and His ways.

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