What’s a friend to do? – Day 8.1

There’s a mistake in the Bible reference for today’s Bible reading on page 170.  The verse quoted is John 14:15-17 (NIV):

15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you an-other Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

The reference quoted is John 15:15-17 (NIV) – also the words of Jesus:

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”

I didn’t discover this until after I had started working with the text.  I get the idea that Jesus did not leave us alone and helpless; but has given His followers the Holy Spirit to renew their minds and transform or form them to be like Him (Jesus).  But the John 15 passage also indicates a change in status. Those of us who follow Jesus and enabled by the Holy Spirit to see things as He does are no longer servants, we’re friends.

What does it mean to be a friend, associate, or partner with Jesus?  He given us the family secrets and access to the family power that we might “bear fruit” or be productive in the family business.  It means that we are more than consumers of God’s grace – we have a distribution franchise… but we’ve got to be connected to the power source and remember it’s the family business … Kingdom business.

Brandon doesn’t blog for Day 8.1; but I was reminder of a great Phillips, Craig, and Dean song that someone put picture to on Youtube: “I am a Friend of God”:

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Re-Create – Day 7.7

Why do I do what I do when I serve someone? That’s a great question because there can be a lot of answers:

  • to make myself feel better
  • to gain favor with or power over someone
  • out of obligation, duty, or guilt
  • to become more like Jesus

Perhaps it’s not one of these reasons, but a mixture that is difficult if not almost impossible to separate. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you sort things out.  By the way, Philippians 2 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible and speaks to me how God wants to form me.

Here’s the links to Brandon’s blog for Day 7.7 …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/rest-week-7-day-7/

 

Discipleship through Serving – Day 7.6

Are we really convinced that we become more like Jesus through serving others?  That’s a serious question … probably a Kingdom question … because most of us would rather be served than serve. And most of us have probably come into the Kingdom as one of God’s servants served us in some way – physically (provided for some physical need), emotionally (listened or counseled us through a time of crisis), or spiritually (helped us understand the Gospel).

How do you respond to Hatmaker’s statement on page 163: “… if we are to be true disciples of Christ, our value of mission must increase?”

He has more comments on his blog …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/therefore-week-7-day-6/

Talk It Over – Day 7.5

This is the day for your community or small group meeting, and it is time to talk over how your service project went.  Evaluate how things went by using the questions on page 160.

Then move on to completing the list of opportunities to engage need at the next level. Take into consideration the gifting, abilities, and experience of your group; and remember that even a tiny step forward is better than no step at all.

You may find that your way of helping is helping someone else do what God called them to do by providing from the resources that God has given to you.  I’m not necessarily talking about finances; but it could be things like letter writing, contacting volunteers, praying for some specific need, contacting someone you know who could provide that need, etc. Physical presence is important; but there are ways that God can work through you and your influence that do not require physical presence.

In your group time, be sure to look about the questions on page 161. Discuss about the transition from being served into the Kingdom (being a consumer of service) to learning to serve others for Jesus’ sake.

Brandon doesn’t have a post for Day 7.5

 

Learning from our experiences – Day 7.4

What did we learn from our research (exposure) and experience in the past few weeks?  What we learned will help us engage need in serious ways.  Please prayerfully consider what God is telling you through your Barefoot Journey so far.  Consider what and where  you feel that you can join God in His mission in the world.

Ask Him for discernment, help, and resources.

Brandon has no blog for Day 7.4

 

Shifting Paradigms – Day 7.3

Are pastors supposed to equip disciples or serve the members of the congregation?   My answer typically would be: “Yes.”  Generally, I like to serve others; but I, also like to see them equipped.  However, this attitude could contribute to a congregation of consumers that feel that they have hired someone to minister to them and for them.  I’m not saying that is what generally happens at FBC; but I know there are times I could have been a better equipper.

In order to accomplish the Great Commission and help as many people into the Kingdom as possible, we need to mobilize all believers in showing the love of Jesus to those in our circle of influence.  Everyone needs to realize that they have connections with people that no one else has, and God wants to share His love to them through us.

I look forward to individuals and groups taking the initiative to make serving others a way of life.  I will endeavor to find better ways to equip members of the body for what God has called you to do.  However, for my own growth, I will continue to serve others as God provides opportunities.

Brandon has some good things to say in his blog for Day 7.3 …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/what-were-made-for-week-7-day-3/

Learning to Trust – Day 7.2

Today is Resurrection Sunday – Easter!  It is the day we celebrate the defeat of sin and death by Jesus! It is a day that asks us to commit ourselves fully to Him – because those who follow Him will live, too!

But is that life just after we die and go to be with Him in the place that He’s prepared for us?  I think that lifeabundant and eternal life begins the moment that we confess our sins, accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and declare that He is the risen Lord (leader) of our life.  We are born again!  As new born spiritual infants we begin to grow and mature. Our maturity is not bounded by time but is proportional to our willingness to take in spiritual nourishment: time in the written Word (Bible), time with the living Word (Jesus) in prayer, and our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to heal us of our wounds and transform us into the image of Jesus.

In Romans 8:11 Paul says:
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. NIV

Do you understand the power contained in this verse?  Do you understand who you are in Christ? He has placed His church here for a reason, and He has not left us powerless.  It is now time to decide whether we trust Him enough to use that power to engage the enemy and to do our part as the Body of Christ at this point in time to help release a host of captives to the power of sin and death.

In that great 14th chapter of John, where Jesus is preparing His first followers for His death, he says …
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  (John 14:12-14 – NIV)

Do we trust His words enough to rely on the power that is within us?

Brandon does not have a blog for Day 7.2