Jesus Reaches Up
Jesus teaches us how to reach out to the city, across to those in our church, down as servants, and into our homes. At every step of the way, Jesus reached up to his heavenly Father for guidance.
Jesus reaches out to us so that we can in turn reach up to him. He changes our hearts through Bible study, prayer, and discipleship. We turn to his word, and we learn from each other across the generations of our church.
Peter learns that a faithful disciple is someone who looks to Jesus, who listens to his voice, and follows him even through the storms of life. When we need rescue, Jesus comes and grabs us and brings us back into the boat of the church to work together with fellow disciples.
There are four ways we can reach up in the next five years.
- Invite your friends, neighbors, and enemies into a saving relationship with Jesus. As we share our faith, we grow in our faith.
- Practice the spiritual disciplines. We learned these “exercises” during “Think, Act, Be.” Now we continue to grow in each one of these practices of our faith.
- Deepen our understanding of biblical beliefs. We study doctrine and learn to grow in the knowledge of our faith.
- We demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We can study the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and learn to practice these as healthy habits for the future.
For example, Robert Schnase writes about a faithful disciple named Carol: “She attended worship and Sunday School and volunteered with projects. Carol’s turning point was an overseas mission trip. Afterward, she joined a small group Bible study like a Life Group and encountered truths and insights that she had been longing for. She found God calling her to new directions. Now she coordinates international ministries for her church. Carol says, ‘Bible study really messes with your life!’ It’s a humorous—but serious way of telling others about her faith journey. Learning in community helps people explore possibilities that God may have for them that they never would have considered on their own.”
Two of the projects that many of our Sunday Morning Bible Study (SMBS) classes participate in are serving the Shelter Meal or collecting items for the Florida Baptist Children’s Home. How have these projects grown out of your Bible study? What are some ways that you have shown faithful discipleship as a result of these ministries?