6 Ways to Help Prevent Drifting Away from Jesus’ Message

 

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Hebrews 2:1-4

 

  1. Read. You don’t fall into reading the Word, it takes work. Reading the Bible exposes you to the grandeur and goodness of God. George Guthrie says it well …

As we read on a daily basis, growing in our skill in Bible reading, the rhythm of a life lived deeply in God’s Word will become as nurturing as our daily meals, as spiritually strengthening as daily exercise, and as emotionally satisfying as a good-morning kiss from a spouse. It takes discipline, but Bible reading can come to be a discipline of delight if we open our hearts and lives to it (15). 

– Read the Bible For Life: Your Guide to Understanding & Living God’s Word

Make it your daily routine to read the Word. If you need a change of pace, make use of listening to the Bible via an app. I do this often when I am running or getting ready in the morning. It’s a great way to bolster my reading habits.

  1. Study. Saturate yourself with the Word. Don’t settle for skimming over the surface, but commit to delve the depths of God’s Word through study. Spend time studying a book, a theme, or find that area in your life that you want to grow in or a sin you need to slay and study everything the Bible says about that particular topic.
  2. Meditate. Consider the Word for more than 15 or 30 minutes a day. Think about the Word, come back to it, keep it before you as often as possible throughout your day. Maybe try writing the passage out multiple times or even summarize it in your own words. Use the Word as a prompt to pray specifically for the day ahead—the circumstances and people you will encounter. Allow God’s Word to enflame your love for Him and empower your investment in your neighbors. 
  1. Memorize. I find that this is a dying discipline for many. Whether it is due to the disease of busyness or the ease of the click and search Bible or something else, many do not take the time to consistently commit the Word to memory. Cultivate the ability to call the Word specifically to mind–key verses, whole chapters, and even books. It takes work, but knowing the Word allows the Spirit to minister to you and others no matter where you are or what you are facing. 
  2. Pray. The Word informs and inspires our prayers. The psalms are a wonderful help in this arena. Use them as your words to pray back to God. The psalms are honest, raw, and lofty. They speak to the emotional spectrum, and, at least for me, are often the seeds for extended prayer when I just don’t feel like it or know what to say. 
  3. Apply & Obey. Think of your own life and family first and not your next ministry appointment, small group, teaching time, or assignment. The Spirit wants to use the Word in YOUR life to grow you, mature you, and help you to pursue God with more expectation and passion. As He transforms you, He will use you in the lives of others.

What are other ways you have found to pay closer attention to the Word?

 

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Resources for Knowing Jesus Better

As we began our study the book of Hebrews this year, we were encouraged on Sunday to read a good book about Jesus this year. Below are some recommendations from some of our leaders. They run the gamut from devotional (e.g. The Jesus I Never Knew by Yancey) to doctrinal (e.g. The Cross of Christ by Stott). Pick one and get to know Jesus better!

NOTE:  We are offering a LifeChange class on the life of Christ in the Gospel of Mark. It begins on Feb. 19th,  Sunday mornings at 10:45 in Room 601! This would be an outstanding compliment to our study of Hebrews!

From Mark Liederbach

Super Basic Apologetic: More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell

Good Into.: Discovering the Biblical Jesus by Danny Akin

From Noah Joyner

Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves

The Cross of Christ by John Stott

From Rob Craig

Who Is This Man? by John Ortberg

Who Is This Jesus? by Michael Green

From Ben Merkle

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper

The Passion of Jesus Christ (Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die) by John Piper

From Mark Savage

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a’ Kempis

From Larry Trotter
These are 2 encouraging, thoughtful devotional reads:

The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey

Simply Jesus by Joseph Stowell

From Stephanie Jackson

Case for Christ for Kids brings Christ to life by addressing the existence, miracles, ministry and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a great resource for families to study together with their elementary aged children.

Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel

From Craig Morrisette

Cross of Christ by John Stott

Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

God is the Gospel by John Piper

Tips on Loving Our Neighbors

Dear North Wake Family,

All of you should be familiar with our church mission statement to “reach the lost and equip them to join with us in the process of becoming mature and ministering worshipers of God.” If you’re a member of this family you have agreed to join us in taking ownership of that mission. Most agree that loving our neighbors through evangelism and disciple making is important. But unfortunately few know where or how to begin. I want to commend to you several resources that have been shaped/created (many by former North Wakers!) to help ordinary church members practice extraordinary obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples.

Following is a brief description of each:

www.yourpartinthestory.com provides a multi-lingual video and pamphlet presentation of the gospel framed around four universal worldview questions: 1) How did it all begin? 2) What went wrong? 3) Is there any hope? and 4) What does the future hold?  You can download the app (look for SpreadTruth Ministries) to help you in directing conversations toward the Bible, which alone offers the true story of the whole world.

Try the 3 Circles Evangelism approach for a simple and reproducible way of sharing the gospel message. Find it modeled here: https://vimeo.com/97258323 and make sure to practice, practice, practice!

What do you do when a person responds to the gospel by saying, “No!,” “Not yet,” “I want to hear more,” or “YES!”? The document entitled “Follow Up — What to Do Next” will help you know what to say and do.

Know someone who is interested in learning more about Jesus, but not yet ready to make a decision to surrender and follow him? Check out the documents below entitled “Relationship Story” for simple Bible stories of how Jesus interacted with all kinds of different people. All of them were changed by their respective encounters. Your friend can be changed as well! Get them talking about Jesus and looking to the Gospel for hope.

Relationship Story 1

Relationship Story 2

Relationship Story 3

Relationship Story 4

Relationship Story 5

Relationship Story 6

Relationship Story 7

www.noplaceleftrdu.wordpress.com provides a hub of resources to mobilize you to make disciples that reproduce. Included on the resources page is a document called “NPLRDU Handbook with Story.” This guide was put together by our daughter church, Oaks Church Raleigh. Their members use it to start “Discovery Bible Studies” with people who are currently far from God but looking for hope. Make sure to sign up for the email updates on our page there as well so that you can get info on prayer, training and outreach gatherings from our network of churches in the RDU area.

Seem like a lot of info?  What would you say if I could boil it all down to a few simple lessons the size of a post card?  Well, we have. Check out the document entitled “L1-2 Training Card” to see how all of the info from the previous documents is scaled down to make a simple tool to both evangelize and make disciples that reproduce. Want to learn how to use the tool or need help understanding it? Talk to me, Rob Craig, Greg Mathias or Noah Joyner. We’d be happy to help equip and mobilize you. After all, that’s what North Wake is supposed to be about, right? So join with us in the process of becoming mature and ministering worshipers of God.

Blessed to be a blessing,

George Robinson

ADVENT: Looking Past, Present and Future

The season of Advent is a season of waiting designed to cultivate our awareness of God’s actions – past, present, and future. In Advent we hear the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming as addressed to the people of Israel and the rest of the earth. As we live in a very similar circumstance, our hearts are meant to empathize and even find comfort in their waiting for Christ’s second coming and the consummation of His Kingdom. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb and death will be swallowed up, and every tear will be wiped away. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God’s redemptive plan.

Advent is a season filled with traditions. So many of these have little to do with the purposes I’ve presented above. In an effort to help equip you with resources to lead your family in a true celebration of this season, our staff has compiled a list of activities and readings.
Blow the trumpet in Zion
Sound the alarm on my holy hill
Let all who live in the land tremble
For the day of the Lord is coming
It is close at hand

Come, let us worship our Judge and our Redeemer!


Family Advent Activity Ideas

Family Advent Resources