Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Proverbs 4:23; Galatians 4:19
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
Today we launch a new teaching series on Spiritual Formation. You might not be familiar with this term, Spiritual Formation, but if you have journeyed for long with Jesus, you have already experienced Spiritual Formation in some way. Scripture reading, prayer, gathering in a community of believers, walks in nature, all of these (and many more) play a part in forming our spiritual self.
Let’s be honest… our world can be quite chaotic. Wars, droughts, politics, the latest tik tok dance trend… it’s exhausting. And if we are not careful many other things will form the way we see the world and ourselves. So, we must look to the way of Jesus continually to form us in Christlikeness.
Jesus says in John 4:14, “Those who drink of the water I will give them will never again be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” Jesus offers us a way of being that is different in this world. A way of rest, of unburdening, a way of full life and love.
Because this way of Jesus is so often at odds with the natural state of the world around us, we must commit ourselves to continual renewal in Jesus. To learn how to “be” with God before we try to “do” for God.
This Sunday, Pastor Bo referenced the author Dallas Willard who wrote that Spiritual Formation happens when the character and way of Jesus is formed inside of us. When our whole being is oriented toward the love of God rather than toward self or public approval or success or a great work ethic, etc. Its when we orient around the love of God that everything in our life begins to become what He always intended it to become.
- When you hear the term “Spiritual Formation” what comes to mind? If you are unfamiliar with the term, take a moment and sit with it and then respond.
- What are some practices or routines that you use to stay connected to the love of God?
- What is the ultimate goal of following Jesus? How is this ultimate goal being accomplished in your everyday life?
In Luke 10, Jesus says that to inherit (notice it is not “earn”, but “inherit) the kingdom of God we must “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, all your Soul, with all your Strength, and all your Mind; and love you neighbor as yourself.” Think about those different aspects of our Self – Heart, Soul, Strength, Mind. What is unique about each of these aspects in our relationship to God and our neighbors?
Spend some time praying for one another. For those feeling disconnected from God’s love, pause for a few minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to be present to those people. Pray for encouragement and moments this week that will more deeply connect us all to Christlikeness.