Raise The Sails: Focus on God’s Word
Focusing on God’s Word requires us to develop a regular pattern of reading, obeying, and sharing God’s Story and His words to us recorded in Scripture.
Something To Talk About:
The Holy Spirit is the winds in the sails of the Christian journey. Never substitute knowledge about God for an obedient relationship with God. Focusing on God’s word involves a regular pattern of:
- Reading: Reading the Bible on a regular and consistent basis has several benefits. The Bible shows us God’s character and provides us God’s revelation of Himself to His people. In each section of the Bible, we see God’s holy, unchanging, faithful, gracious and loving character. Second, 2 Timothy 3:16–17 when discussing the topic of Scripture says that it is “useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” The next verse goes on to say that this leads to the completeness and equipping “people to do every good work.” It is absolutely essential, after coming to faith in Christ, to be radically, deeply, experientially devoted to reading and meditating on and understanding and memorizing and enjoying the Scriptures on a regular basis.
- Obeying: Anyone who wants to know God—to walk closely with Him—must obey Him. The bottom line is that obedience to God proves that we love Him and demonstrates our trust. A lot of people think obedience is about fearing God, but God wants us to see obedience to Him as a relationship of love. But that is the way to have a close relationship with the Lord. Obedience to God is not only a way to worship Him, but a way to get closer to Him, prepare for whatever He leads you to and grow as a person. Obeying God should not be a burden but rather a joy, a way of worshipping Him and growing in your faith. We serve a big, magnificent, awe-inspiring God worthy of our obedience.
- Sharing: The Gospel is the greatest story ever told. When we care about others, we share great things that happen to us that might also help them. Jesus loves them just as Jesus loves us. Sharing this great story with others also is an important part of our life as disciples. We are called to share our feelings and our love for Jesus, as well. Romans 10:14 says, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” This passage goes on in verse 17, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” We know that discipleship does not occur apart from the Word. God could have found many conduits to deliver His message, but He chooses to allow us to join Him in the work. It is an honor to be able to share the story of God’s grace and mercy that has been revealed to us in the Bible. May we love God’s Word so much that we cannot keep the good news to ourselves.
- What could it mean practically for you to raise your sails in reading, obeying and sharing God’s Word for the sake of others?
- How often do you read the Bible?
- What does it mean to meditate on scripture? How do you practically meditate?
- Simply reading and meditating on God’s Word is not enough. Agree or disagree and why?
- Why is it important to know scripture to share scripture?
- What is the Holy Spirit’s role in evangelism and conversion? What is our role?
- What’s the difference between merely presenting the gospel and aiming to persuade people to repent and believe? What’s the difference between manipulating and persuading?
- What is one thought or idea from this week’s sermon that especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, helped, or surprised you?
- What will you do? How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned this week?
Take one thing home with you:
It was 23 years since we have experienced some exciting adventure at Northstar with God at the helm as our captain. Ships are safest in the harbor, but that’s not what they’re made for. Ships are meant to sail for an adventure, for a mission. Churches are built for a mission. We sense the Lord calling us out of the harbor to embark on a journey, a journey that makes God our top priority. Our primary goal is for every person in our church to be part of it and to have a life-changing encounter with God. It is my prayer that as we go through this journey together, we will see God move in ways that would exceed our expectations and greatly boost our faith in Him. The Holy Spirit is the winds in our sails. “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2), It’s time to catch the wind. Together. It’s time to raise the sails.