Take time to catch up on what’s been happening in each other’s lives. Paul described discipleship in 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us” (NASB).
As we head into this last week of the IF:Equip Seek First study, take a few moments and think back over the last month and the specific lessons God has taught you. Share any ah-ha moments or timely reminders.
Ask: What do you think the goal is of the Christian life?
Look up and read together the following verses:
2 Peter 3:18
Ask: Which of these verses do you find most meaningful?
The Word of God shows us God’s greatest desire is that we know Him. This knowing isn’t reciting a list of attributes or facts about God, but knowing Him intimately through experience. Knowing God is the reason God created us. Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the way for us to be reconnected and restored to God.
In Matthew 22:37–40, Jesus sums up what life is all about:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Our spiritual growth takes place as we focus on knowing God through reading the Word, through prayer, and through living in community. As we connect deeply with others in the faith, we will be able to encourage each other and share and meet each other’s needs. Encourage the learner: If she hasn’t already, begin attending a local church.
As a natural outflow of our relationship with God, we influence those around us who don’t yet have a relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit gives us power to influence others for Christ, and God is always at work drawing people to Himself. Each of us is a link in the chain. Encourage the learner to start praying for her family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and to look for opportunities to engage with them about their spiritual journey. Pray also “that God may open up for you a door for the word, so that you may speak forth the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).
Keep in mind we are designed to have both input and output in order to stay healthy. If we only give out with no input, we eventually burn out. We can’t give out of what we don’t have. If we only receive input but keep it to ourselves, we become stagnant or arrogant and critical. Encourage the learner to evaluate on a regular basis her input/output level as she continues to learn and grow.