Time To Step Out Of The Crowd
Day 1:You are wanted. You are wanted by God! Can you believe that? In Matthew 23:37-39Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem longing to gather them to himself, but they wanted something else. Don’t be one over whom Jesus weeps because he wanted to draw you near, but you were unwilling! He is calling; respond! Read John 10:14-16, even if you believe you are familiar with the passage. Are you listening? Are you open to hear from Jesus? You are one of the sheep whom Jesus wants, searches for, and loves unconditionally. Is there something that keeps getting in the way of you listening to Jesus? An attitude, motivation, behavior or forgiveness you have not extended? Read Ephesians 2:1-9 and meditate on God’s love and desire for you.
Day 2:Jesus called his disciples because he loved them and wanted them with Him, but also to help them find a purpose. Jesus told some fishermen, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” (Mark 1:17). Jesus later told the same fishermen, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). What is the “fruit” God is calling you to grow? ReadEphesians 2:10, remembering yesterday’s reading. God has called you to be with him, are you with Him in your day to day life? In the decisions you make, in how you respond to people and situations? How are you responding?Are you going to step out of the crowd and follow the ways of the one who calls you?
Day 3:Crowds can hide us from personal responsibility and accountability, they can influence us and give us a false sense of reassurance. Can you think of a time your attitude or behavior was negatively influenced by a crowd? Who is influencing you? The crowd (your news outlet, political affiliation, the podcast you listen to), or Christ and His Kingdoms ways? What do you find running through your mind? What does this tell you about your focus and who or what you are following? As you step out of the crowd, what do you need to help keep your focus on Jesus and his Kingdom’s ways? Practically, what would it look like, what would it involve for you to focus on Jesus in your everyday life? (Philippians 37-14). Are there areas in my life where I am still in the crowd, but I am being called to a new way of thinking and living? What are some steps? What or who do you need to help you take a step? To dig deeper into what it means to personally step out, consider reading the book, Not A Fanby Kyle Idleman (There is a copy for purchase for you at the Next Steps Center in the church lobby).
Day 4: Jesus’ disciples are called to be with Him and learn from Him. His disciple saw what He did, heard what He said, and did what He was doing with his feedback. How can we do that? We can read what Jesus did and said in the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We also have other followers who have been his disciples to show us and coach us. Read I John 1:1-4 John heard and saw things from Jesus and now is passing them on to other believers so we all can have joy and fellowship together in Christ.Who are believers you know who are already doing what you want to experience? It is a process that God works with flawed people such as Jesus’ disciples and you and me. Read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and discover or rediscover who Jesus is. Get in a group or start a group where you can help one another and do the hard work of loving the other members. Check out a Followers Made group (go to the LSCC website (lscckc.org/groups) or Next Steps Center for info).
Day 5:After his disciples had been with Jesus, he sent them out. Ultimately, Jesus left His disciples to live out the Great Commandment and the great commission to make disciples. We are Christ’s body, His ambassadors, doing what Jesus would do, living as Jesus lived. Where in day-to-day life are you putting into play what you know and believe? Are you using your gifts for the building up of the body of Christ? Are you making disciples? If we have been in the church 1, 5, 10 years, how have we grown, matured, what fruit do you see? Get in a group, get with another person and get the help all of us need with this, or for the sake of another, help someone else discover growth and fruit in their life.