This week Jeff continued his series (introduced here) of taking our words “Off the Wall” and bringing them to life. This week’s sermon was about what it means to Learn continually. It was all about how we are transformed by the scriptures, the Holy Spirit and each other. Disciple means “Learner”. What better example to turn to than the disciples in the early church for how to learn to follow Jesus. Acts 2:42 says of them:
“and they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer“.
Apostles’ Teaching: We have such an advantage today with the amazing access we have to the scriptures. We don’t have to travel great distances on foot to a temple or rely on a priest to read them to us from a scroll, but we have them all compiled in the Bible for us and can access them with the touch of an App on our mobile phones. If any generation had the ability to learn continually from the scriptures, its ours. Lately I have been studying the scriptures that align with “love”. This week I will focus on the scriptures that align with “Learn”. Here are a few of them I plan to study this week in case you want to want to learn more as well:
Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:42-47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:16-18
Fellowship: This community of interest; friendly relationship is something that is so desperately missing from our anti-social social sphere. We need real life conversations with others who share our interests. We were not created to live lives of isolation. Hearing how God has worked in the lives of our friends encourages us in our own struggles and helps us give glory to God. Fellowship is why we still gather together in a church building once a week and why we gather together in homes midweek for mini church (our small group meetings). Romans 15:14 states “You yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to admonish one another”. Let’s do more of that!
Breaking of Bread: This element of building relationship is no more mastered than in the business world where dinners and lunches are pinnacle relationship building opportunities. Eating with others brings everything down to a basic human level and this is so important for spiritual growth and humility. When we spend time sharing a meal with friends it does something that opens us up to deeper relationship where we can learn more from each other. Yesterday we had lunch with a couple from our church who happen to lead one of our mini churches and it was so fun to hear some of their stories. We were able to see people through their lens, which is a lens of compassion and mercy. I love it when God uses other people in our lives to give us new lenses from time to time.
Prayer: If your goal is to learn what it means to follow Jesus, you won’t get very far without asking for help from the Spirit of Jesus. As we pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see the truth, open our ears to hear what he might speak to us and then we open the Bible and begin to read, we see things new and fresh and applicable to our very lives. Ephesians 3:14-17 says “for this reason, I bow my knees before the Father…that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” My prayer so often is “Change me Lord” mold me into the image of your son. There is no more effective way to change than to involve the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, to seek Him and ask Him to change us from the inside out.