If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
We have an incredible privilege to be brought into a relationship with God. When the Lord enters into our lives there are adjustments to be made. The Lord delights to be with us in life, and as we can cope with it, He will begin to share what is on His heart with us. There is a reorientation of what is valued in life. Instead of doing what we want, we are sharing our lives with someone - The King of the Universe!
This section deals with the issues raised by the first five of the ten commandments: Our love for God.
The following are tasters. They give an idea of the subject, but to understand more, there is a web page on each subject.
God calls on us to love Him as a father desires his children to love him. We are called into a relationship characterised by love. This can confuse us. We think of love in terms of an emotion, over which we have little control. The love the Bible talks of is about our choices, our hearts and our passions. The way we act demonstrates the object of our love.
The call to love God begins with the way we treat Him, and the way we give Him priority in our lives.
Matthew 22:36-40 36 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"
37 Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'*38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'*40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
Where we love, there is our passion. If we love God, we will be passionate about Him.
We live in a world with one key passion - Ourselves! Love for God demands this passion for ourselves to be supplanted by a passion for God. Passion does not come from following rules and regulations, it is reordering of our lives around a desire to love God.
Philippians 3:12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,* but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Jesus makes no bones about the cost of discipleship. It is our very lives.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. “
One cannot sacrifice oneself, the cross is a challenge that God brings into your life. Reflect on your walk with Jesus up till now. What has the Lord led you into that has required giving something up to follow?
Just as we need physical food each day, so we also need spiritual food each day. This time is often called a devotional time or quiet time. The length of time we spend and what we do can be governed by our circumstances. A doctor working 16 hour shifts might just have time to look at a verse while taking a five minute breather. A student on holiday might take two hours. A young believer might find 10 minutes a struggle. A more mature believer might find anything less than half an hour rushed.
Here is an example of Jesus from Mark 1:35-37 -
Mark 1:35-37 35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him.37 When they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you."
In worship we give God the honour He is due. As we come to know Him, our worship of Him becomes more informed. As we experience His intervention in our lives to save us, our worship of Him comes from the heart.
In an age when everything and everyone is brought down to the same level, we resent any call to worship anything or anybody. Indeed anything that is lifted up for worship becomes a target for criticism and ridicule - none less so than God himself. Yet the Lord, the creator of the Universe is worthy of worship.
Psalm 95 :6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
7 for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.
The Lord asks us to honour His name, to treat it as Holy. Our use of the names Jesus, Lord, God ... say much about our attitude towards God. From God’s perspective It is a painful experience to have your name abused and used as a swear word.
Romans 10:12 They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.13 For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."*
Love for God needs nurture to develop. Without feeding the fires of passion die and our attention moves on to other things. This relationship with God is worth nurturing because God brings a new dimension to our lives: A unique relationship. We cannot see Him for He is Spirit, and we relate through means that are often unclear, yet He knows us better than we know ourselves. There is the opportunity for intimacy beyond anything possible on earth, even the most intimate marriage.
Deuteronomy 6: 4 "Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.*5 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
ORIENT TO GOD