OUR HOPE FOR YOU
Today in Essentials 201, our hope is to help you learn and put into practice what we believe are four essential habits of ever follower of Jesus. It is through these habits that we develop a deep relationship with Christ.
UNDERSTANDING BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY
Acts 2:42-47 NIV
(42) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(43) Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
(44) All the believers were together and had everything in common.
(45) They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
(46) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
(47) praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Before followers of Jesus were called “Christians”, they were known as disciples. As disciples, we develop we develop a deep relationship with Christ through the following four habits:
- Bible study and prayer
- Fellowship with other believers
- Living a Spirit-led life
- Giving of ourselves
Habit One: Bible Study & Prayer
A vibrant relationship with God is sustained through Bible study and prayer.
HOW DO I GET MORE FROM MY BIBLE?
- I must accept its authority.
- I must absorb its truths.
- I must apply its principles.
James 1:22 NLT
(22) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
Talking with God (PRAYER)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
(16) Rejoice always,
(17) pray continually,
(18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Jesus exemplified a personal relationship with God through prayer that gave Him great strength. Every person who has ever been effective in service for God has developed this habit. The only way to be a healthy Christian is to spend time with God daily through prayer.
In my daily prayer time, I am:
- Giving devotion to God.
- Getting direction from God.
- Growing in my relationship with God.
Habit Two: Fellowship with Other Believers
Hebrews 10:25 NLT
(25) And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
God never intended for us to go through life alone. Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of being in community. In fact, authentic life-change happens in the context of relationships.
At Springhill Church, we believe our church must grow LARGER and SMALLER at the same time. How can our church grow larger yet maintain close relationships?
Every member needs to be a part of a Small Group (Dream Team).
WHY ARE SMALL GROUPS IMPORTANT?
Small groups provide three things:
- A place to connect (relationships)
- A place to protect (accountability)
- A place to grow (we help each other grow)
Habit Three: Living a Spirit-Led Life
2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV
(14) May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Having close relationships with other people is only part of God’s plan for our lives. He desires to be our most intimate friend.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT? He is the third person of the Godhead and is just as much a part of God as Jesus is.
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN OUR LIVES
- The Holy Spirit works in our lives to provide:
- God’s Comfort and Help.
- God’s Character.
- God’s Power.
- The Holy Spirit equips us with:
- Spiritual Gifts.
- Spiritual Direction.
Habit Four: Giving of ourselves
The Gospel is the ultimate demonstration of God’s generous nature towards mankind. The Bible consistently teaches that God blesses us so that we may bless others.
AREAS OF GIVING
- Give of our time.
Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
(15) Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,
(16) making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
- Give of our treasure.
Matthew 6:21 NLT
(21) Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
BENEFITS OF GIVING
- Giving draws us closer to God.
- Giving is the remedy to materialism.
- Giving strengthens our faith.
- Giving is an investment in eternity.
ESSENTIAL HABITS OF A HEALTHY BELIEVER
- Bible Study and Prayer
- Fellowship with Others
- Living a Spirit-led Life
- Giving of Ourselves