This last week we learned 4 truths that should shape our identity: (1) You Have Christ, (2) You Have a Role, (3) You Have New Life, (4) You Have the Body. We’ve been asking the question: “What does it mean to define myself as a member of the church?” Well, it means that you personally have Jesus Christ in your life. It means that you have a role to play in the church and in His kingdom that is unique to you. It means that you have new life, not that you abandon the gifts, talents, and passions that God has created you with, but that you filter those things and aim those things through the Gospel. Whatever you do, whatever you are good at, do it for the kingdom. And finally, it means that you have the support and backing of the church, the body of Christ.
We were challenged during the sermon this week to make sure that we are serving in our local church body and our community. I really like what I call the 2+1 model. There should be two hours a week where you are hearing the word of God, one in corporate worship…i.e. Big Church… and one in small group Bible study…i.e. Sunday School or some other small group. That’s the 2. The 1, is one hour of service in your local church. Each week you should spend 2 hours in Bible study and 1 hour in service. You can certainly do more, but following the 2+1 will help ensure that you are getting and giving what you need from the local body.
Pray: Spend a few minutes this week praying and asking God to show you how you might serve the church. If you already have a place where you are serving, ask God what you need to do to ensure that you are honoring Him in your service.
Read: I’m going to give you the full week’s reading now, I’ll have some new questions about it on Thursday, but I want you to read Acts 13-14 and the book of Galatians. I have a specific reason for this. Our sermon this last week was on Acts 9, next Sunday we will be looking at Acts 15. In between those two chapters Paul goes on his 1st missionary journey found in Acts 13-14 and he writes his first letter, Galatians. Reading this will help us better understand where Paul is coming from in Acts 15 when we get there on Sunday. If you can try to read the 8 chapters in 4 sittings, this will give you a cushion if you have to miss a day or two.
If you really want to push yourself, try reading the book of Galatians in a single sitting. It’s amazing what you’ll get out of it when you read it in one sitting. You’ll probably need to block off 20-30 minutes to get through the whole book in one sitting.
Start with Acts 13-14:
- Who is Paul traveling with?
- Where do they leave from?
- Where are some of the places they go? (You can google search “map of Paul’s 1st missionary journey” and find maps that will show you.)
- What did he do while on his missionary journey?
Do: talk to someone at the church about a place to serve if you don’t have one. Find a neighbor or coworker that you can encourage or invite to church.