|This is the start of a series of 15 small group studies.|
Our loving God wants us to live a fulfilled life. Although he does not guarantee us a trouble-free existence, he does give instructions that strengthen our bond with him. God’s purpose is to develop a loving relationship with each one of his children. One powerful way to know our Lord better is through the spiritual disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines can be described as behaviors that facilitate spiritual growth. The process of spiritual growth and development begins to take place when a person encounters God, and God begins to create a new level of consciousness or awareness. When we pursue each day as an exciting opportunity to develop a loving relationship with God, these disciplines will guide us to see our Father’s heart more clearly.
- Think of someone you have viewed as a mentor, or someone you have respected in the past. What characteristics caused you to think of this person?
- In what ways do you want to be like this person? Why?
- Some of us may have asked, “What are Christians expected to do on a day-to-day basis?” What would make us ask such a question?
Key Scripture: John 14:5-15
- In verse 7, we read, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” Why does Jesus respond to Thomas in this way?
- What implications does this response have for us as Christians today? (Galatians 2:20)
- What did Jesus mean when He said that those who believe Him will do even greater things? (verse 12)
- What might a nonbeliever see in a Christian that would help the nonbeliever to know Jesus or the Father?
- What are some of the activities in which Jesus regularly participated? (These activities Willard refers to as “disciplines.”)
- As a group, pray that God will lead the group in the coming discussions on the disciplines.
- Almost 2,000 years later, can we truly follow Jesus Christ’s life-model, or is it simply impossible in today’s hectic world?
Challenge for growth
Meditation and prayer:
- In the coming weeks, meditate on the importance of the spiritual disciplines in your life.
- How have spiritual disciplines changed your life? How would you like them to change your life? Petition God in prayer and thanksgiving to help you.
For further study
In your personal Bible study, take special notice of God’s instruction on the different disciplines.
— The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard
— Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
For all 15 studies in one PDF document, click here.
Author: Charles and Susi Albrecht