Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.18.12.
WEDNESDAY — Serving: Connecting to God’s Family
Big Point: It is essential to connect with others outside of the weekend service in order to grow, encourage, and serve!
The Response Questions for Serving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.
A home is a place for two groups of people: family or friends and guests. How you interact with and “love others” is based on your understanding of what it means to be a healthy family or friend. In other words, it is based on your definition and expectation of community.
We’ve seen in the previous study that God gave us His Word, the Bible, prayer, and His Holy Spirit to live in us and help us grow. These are valuable tools but they aren’t all He’s given us. He also gave us each other!
When we sit with members of our Group Ministry or Ministry Team, someone can powerfully remind us of what we may be unable to see—that God is working in us, that we’re going to make it, that the affection of God is not just for “the world,” it‘s for me.
It is easy to come to large group gatherings and get a false sense of your spiritual or personal condition. Furthermore, large meetings where anonymity is honored give us no opportunity to enter into someone else’s needs and be God’s agent of help to them. The value of connecting to God‘s family is that somewhere, on a regular basis, with a few other believers, all missional members have face-to-face meetings that help shape them—places they give and receive care.
We believe that a CedarCreek Group Ministry—either through a Life Group, Life Support, MOMentum, Vertical, or a close Ministry Team is an optimal place for that to happen. But we realize that some individuals may be committed to the value of significant relationships without, for various reasons, being in a formal group at a particular time. So we give a lot of latitude as to what kind of group this might be. At a minimum, it must be with other believers where you get to know them and they get to know you, and Christ is central to the group. We would also consider groups not formally connected with CedarCreek, but there are some disadvantages to those, and groups here at CedarCreek will most clearly mirror our values. The key, however, is to get in a LifeGroup or Ministry Team and grow to become a more mature disciple of Jesus Christ.
READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
The Community of Believers
1. The early believers in Christ did not want to live the new life they‘d found alone. What do you learn about their relationships with each other from the following verses?
Acts 2:44-47 (New Living Translation)
And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. 45They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. 46They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord‘s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Acts 4:32-35 (New Living Translation)
All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had. 33And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God‘s great favor was upon them all. 34There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them 35and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.
2. In Hebrews 10:24-25, the writer of Hebrews actually gave a command about community life. How would you rephrase this passage in modern terms?
Hebrews 10:24-25 (New Living Translation)
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but en-courage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
The Few in the Midst of Many
3. In addition to large groups, where else did Christians get together according to Acts 2:46? (See also 1 Corinthians 16:19 and Colossians 4:15)
Acts 2:46 (New Living Translation)
They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.
4. What do you suppose they got out of these smaller, house-sized group meetings that they didn‘t get out of bigger gatherings? Mark 6:30-32 reveals that Jesus often withdrew from the larger crowds to be alone with His few disciples. What are some benefits of being in a smaller group?
Mark 6:30-32 (New Living Translation)
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and what they had taught. 31Then Jesus said, “Let‘s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.” There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn‘t have time to eat. 32They left by boat for a quieter spot.
To join a small group—like Life Groups, MOMentum, Life Support or Vertical,
go to www.cedarcreek.tv under the
“get connected” tab!
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do? Ask God to help you join a small group, if you have not done so already.