I had the most incredible experience in my small group this week! There are just so many things that were great about this moment that I am not sure where to start…
First, our small group is going to apply an idea that was thrown out during the sermon… kinda. Last Sunday I encouraged everyone to think about the ways that God had done incredible things in their lives, share those stories with their small group, and then also share those ideas with their neighbors! (More on how to organize neighborhood cookouts next week.) While studying Colossians we came across a similar idea in the way that Paul starts his letter: God has been good to them, so Paul thanks God, and asks God to continue being good to them. (see the verses we were studying here if you would like) We decided to apply these verses to our community by sharing the ways that God has been good to us over dinner each week so that we could thank Him for what He has done. We said the person in charge of bringing the sides for the meal would also bring the story for the week.
I made a joke about how everyone should,
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…
1 Peter 3:15
And then someone in the group said, “ok, Dave, then why don’t you go right now… what has God been doing in your life?”
<this pause isn’t for effect>
<it’s because I am not ready to give an answer…>
What I came up with is not of much relevance for this post. What I want to zero in on in this post is the fact that I feel incredibly blessed to have someone who could call me out and who expected me to respect their asking me to do something.
Through the years I have had different people who held that kind of power in my life. As a child it is easy to think back and see adults who were in positions of authority who could ask me to do something and I would do it. After making it through my rebellious college years, I found some dear brothers who I trusted more than anyone I knew. They had seen me at my worst, and they still loved me and wanted me to be my very best so that I could honor God with all that I am. Chelsea became a part of that band as we became friends and eventually got married. Now those voices include Grafites, friends, siblings (I don’t know how they ever decided to take me back… grace of God and all of that I guess), mentors, and my wife. I don’t know how to stress it enough how lucky that I have found people like this in my life.
I know that they love Jesus and they love me and that they want to encourage me to continue to follow God with everything I have.
I feel luck to have found these folks because I know that there are many people who don’t have these trusted Gospel-Centered voices in their lives. Are you one of them? Do you have someone who can call you out in the middle of small group? Do you have someone who can floor you from a couple of states away over the phone? Do you have someone who can look at your life, point out your sin, point you to the One who has paid the penalty for it, and encourage you to repent and believe on Him?
If you do, take the time to praise God for the gift of sisters and brothers who can help us in this journey until death’s door or Christ’s return.
If you don’t, it takes time to develop these relationships, but it is more than worth it. Take the time to open up the secret areas of your life to your small group so that their eyes can aid you in following Jesus with your everything! Without voices who can encourage you in anything you can certainly survive this life, but Christ came not so that we could survive, but so that we could thrive!
“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Who is going to help you have life to the full?