February 3, 2019
Life Application: Is the imagery of Jesus as the vine that we abide in helpful to me or foreign to me? How much time do I spend in a personal way connecting with God on a regular basis? Do I seek to develop my relationship with God as much as I do with loved ones in my life? Why or why not? When it comes to connecting with God, do I need to give God more time? Be more transparent? Or submit to God and God’s will?
Pray this week for God to give you the strength to take that next step of connection. Use worship this week to be a place to truly connect with God.
January 28, 2019
Life Application: Do I believe that Jesus loves me and values me as His treasure? Even with all my flaws? Do I know Jesus as the shepherd of my life in a deeply personal way? If not, am I willing to take an intentional step to help me experience Jesus in this way? What step can I take to know Jesus more personally? How can I help others know Jesus personally? Jesus does not just get to know us, and does not just die for us, but views us as His treasure. What impact does this realization have on me?
January 22, 2019
Life Application: First Church is primed to live a new type of church in our changing world to share the love of Jesus Christ with more people—a church that lives with Jesus as the Gate—simultaneously with the right tension of Gathered (IN) and Sent (OUT).
Strengths of the Gathered church: depth, stability, discipleship focus, resources, influence in the community, power, centralization
Strengths of the Sent church: nimbleness, evangelistic focus, artisan/specialized, able to get into crevices of society, decentralization
How can you support First Church living into this dual model of church for our changing world? Will you commit to prayer? What other steps can you take?
January 14, 2019
Life Application: What is my expectation in worship? To think about Jesus? To be entertained? To share in a religious routine? Or to engage Jesus with our entire being? How can worship be more than a time of reflection? How can I learn to feast upon Jesus as the Bread of Life? Am I more concerned with ideas about Jesus or interacting with Jesus Himself? What step can I take today to concretely feast upon Jesus as the Bread of Life? How can I be less religious and more real with Jesus? Where is my soul restless? How can I feast upon the bread of life?
January 7, 2019
Life Application: Is the light of Jesus shining in me right now? If not, what is causing me to miss the experience of the light of Christ? Am I willing to let the light of Christ shine through all of my life?
Action Point: Commit to living out three elements in 2019 that will help you shine and experience the light of Christ:
1) Pray daily at 5:17 AM/PM for more connections with new people.
2) Orient your life around worship.
3) Commit to taking your next step with Jesus, whatever that may be.
*Light a candle this week in a place where you want the light of Christ to shine through you and post on the First Church’s Community Group on Facebook.
December 24, 2018
Life Application: How can I open my heart to the real gift and presence of the Christ child in a way that will melt my heart? How can I embrace the light of Jesus in the midst of whatever darkness I may be going through? How can I share this gift with others? What joy does it bring my heart to know that the light of Christ is greater than any darkness? Who can I invite to join me at this year’s Christmas Eve services and experience the light of Jesus?
December 17, 2018
Life Application: In the model of the magi, am I intentionally seeking out Jesus to worship Him rather than just observe Him? What journey is Jesus calling me on? Am I willing to go? What would need to change in my heart to experience the full joy of Christ? How is God moving unexpectedly in my life right now? Am I living my life by the wisdom of the world or the wisdom of the Christ child? How can I share God’s love with others to help them experience God in unexpected ways?
December 10, 2018
Life Application: Pray this prayer every day this week:
Lord Jesus, make us expectant and eager to do your will even when it disrupts our world, just like Joseph. Lord, prepare us to have our lives changed and our world rocked by your advent among us, just like Joseph. Lord, give us the grace to silently, obediently live as you would have us live in whatever strange and inexplicable circumstances we find ourselves, just like Joseph. And Lord, make us ready to receive you to be born in our lives and ready to pick up and move to wherever you might lead, just like Joseph. Amen.