How to encounter God through His word.
Christians love the word of God. It doesn’t matter what passage you read. It is easy to fall in love with God’s Word; it never ceases to leave us in awe. We can never underestimate the life-changing impact the Bible has on us when we really interact with it.
Something To Talk About:
What does it mean to engage with God’s Word? The definition of engage is “to occupy, attract, or involve someone’s interest or attention.” So, when we engage with Scripture, it attracts our attention and occupies our interest. We find ourselves hungry for more time spent in its pages. Why does this happen? Because the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself for us and to us — when we spend time growing in knowledge and understanding of the Word, we are spending time growing in knowledge and understanding of God Himself. If we want an encounter with God, the Bible is a good place to start. Then:
- Admit we can do nothing without God: John 15:5 says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” With Jesus, everything is possible. Without Jesus, nothing is possible. Philippians 4:13 says this positively, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” All things. Through Christ. In Jesus, everything is possible. In John 15:5, “Apart” from Jesus nothing of value is possible. Authentic discipleship is a complete dependence on Christ in everything. Our lives should be Christ-sufficient and not self-sufficient acknowledging that apart from Him we can do nothing.
- Pray: we need to pray for God’s help: We live in a world that is full speed ahead all the time. It is so easy to get caught up in our daily lives doing what we do: going to work, shuttling kids and all the other responsibilities that encompass our daily lives. The constant pressures of life and society make it so easy to forget that we need God in our lives. Through prayer, God makes Himself available to us at all times. Whatever you’re going through, God wants to hear about and wants to help you with it. Just like how you talk to friends or tell your family what’s going on in your life, that’s a simple way to pray to God. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us we can pray boldly — that “we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.” Let us cling to Him, never stop trusting Him because there we will find grace to help us when we need it.
- Trust: We live in a world where trust must be earned and seems to be in short supply. But Solomon knew that trust is exactly where we must start: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) We’re meant to rest in God’s understanding. We may know in our minds that He possesses all wisdom:“ Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” (Romans 11:33) James communicated in the book of James that faith isn’t just an internal idea, but a concrete, visible state of mind that is evidenced by what we choose to do with our lives. When we put our faith in others, often they will disappoint us in one way or another. That is why learning to trust God is so important, so critical to our faith. Jesus is always there, faithful and trustworthy. God’s Word will keep your life on the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14) if you obey it.
- Act: 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” The verses surrounding verse 18 are so important to read too, as the verses preceding point out that Jesus laid down His life for you and you are to do the same for those around you. You do that by loving others by your actions and sharing in truth. It’s so easy to believe something, but it’s much different to actually do it, right? When it comes down to it, do your actions show love or are you just saying the words? According to this verse, the best way to love someone is by loving them through actions. Make no mistake – to love in deed and in truth is not something that we can do for ourselves, however hard we try. We cannot love in deed and in truth through a training program, mental exertion or concerted effort. To love in deed and in truth comes from God Himself.
- Do you think busyness is seen as a cultural “badge of honor?” If so, why do you think our culture is that way?
- Do you spend more time on urgent things or important things? What are some of the urgent things that hinder you? How does time spent with God help you discern the important things in life?
- Do you think God cares for those who don’t care? How do we break spiritual apathy?
- Do you believe pride is a spiritual force that needs our constant attention? Why or why not?
- When Jesus says “apart from me you can do nothing,” what is He talking about? What things are impossible to accomplish apart from Jesus? How does being connected to Jesus help you accomplish things that have eternal value?
- What to you is the most important thing about prayer? How can we be more constant in our prayer life? How can I find the balance between praying in faith and leaving a matter open to God’s will?
- What does Jeremiah 17:5-6 say about those who trust themselves and not the Lord? In verses 7 and 8, what does he say about those who trust Him explicitly?
- Why do you think it’s hard to let go of control and trust God and take action? How do we determine when to trust God and when to get off the couch and do something?
- In your opinion, what is an encounter with God? Is there something we need to do to facilitate encounters with God?
- What did you learn about God through the message? What questions do you still have concerning the message?
Take one thing home with you:
The Bible is something much more powerful than just another book, newspaper, or magazine. This is the written Word of God – God speaking to us. Immersing yourself, however, means experiencing the verse in such a way that it becomes a part of you.
So spend time with God and immersing yourself in His word. Whether it is chapters or one verse, doesn’t matter; the immersion matters. If you want to get closer to God and don’t know how just get in the Word.
Psalms 1:1-3 says: “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”