1] In my opinion, small groups are like family; they’re not about enforcing rules, and everybody being disciplined; they’re about letting God’s love flow through you into other people. You may not believe this, but I’m convinced that almost every single person is acutely aware of their short-comings, and what they really need, on a regular basis, is encouragement and moral support. (I find a lot of support for this attitude throughout the Bible; call it grace and mercy) Small groups are, and should be, about sharing and expressing the fruits of the Spirit; and while self-control is one of the fruits and is therefore important to God and should be important to us; it is the very last thing on the list. Wonder why that is? (I don’t even know if there IS a hierarchy of the fruits, but I hear a lot more about love in the Bible than I do about self-control.)
2] One of the central, indispensible ingredients of a small group is trust. Continue reading
Yesterday, I talked about how most mornings I read a few devotionals and Bible verses; I write the pertinent points in my journal; and then I get down and have a conversation with the Lord; and when I listen, He tells me how the passages fit together. So . . . today—
MAX (Lucado) says: Psalm 37:23-24 reminds us the steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand. It’s essential you understand this— God’s grace is greater than your failures!
OSWALD (Chambers) says: We are saved by what Jesus did on the cross. Not by what we do. Not because we are sorry for our sins or because we repent, but because of God’s grace, we are justified. Because we recognize that it applies to us. [and accept the gift of Christ’s atonement.]
CHARLES (Stanley) says: Paul’s life demonstrates what it means to give Jesus first place. Because the apostle made Christ the Lord of his life (Gal. 2:20), he knew joy amid trials and received the strength to face turmoil and difficulty. These blessings will also be ours when we give highest priority to our relationship with Jesus. Continue reading