An introduction to four Bible studies for new or re-committed Christians who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Your Relationship with God and Others: Study 2
In Study 1, you learned more about what it means to fully follow Jesus and your new identity in Christ. Reflect on the following review questions.
DEBRIEF & INTERPRET
If you tried a journaling exercise to record your questions, experiences or reflections, how was the journaling experience for you? What did you like, or not like, about the practice?
If you met with someone to help you in your faith journey, what did you learn?
Do you have any new questions or insights about what it means to be a new or fully-committed Christian? Write them in your journal.
HEAR THE WORD
Read Matthew 6:1 and 9-15.
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
What has been your experience of prayer? Let's look at each line of the prayer above:
- Jesus tells us to address God as “Father.” God wants to be as close to you as a loving parent! How do you feel about this type of intimacy with God? What is God like for you?
- The first request in this prayer asks for God’s kingdom to come so that his purposes are accomplished on earth as in heaven. He is making all things right through his justice, mercy and compassion. In what ways do you hope for God to make things right in the world?
- This is a communal prayer, with “us” and “our” repeated for emphasis. What implications does this communal aspect have for your relationships?
- Why does the prayer specify daily bread? How does Jesus regard our needs?
- In making things right with God, we ask for his forgiveness and we forgive others. How is receiving and extending forgiveness an aspect of God’s kingdom coming?
- As you grow spiritually, God will continue his healing and restoring work in you. Where are the places you are tempted? Ask God for his help and deliverance.
- Be honest with your Father in heaven about what you need today.
- Ask him to show you areas of sin in your life. Confess these broken places and ask for forgiveness.
- If you are holding a grudge against a group or a person who has hurt you, ask God to show you how to forgive them.
Jesus wants his followers to be spiritually healthy. Just as people eat, sleep and exercise regularly to nurture their boddies, Christians have daily and weekly rhythms to nurture faith.
Look at spiritual exercises in the worksheet, Plan for Spiritual Growth. Try some of these spiritual exercises for praying regularly, reading the Bible, serving others and connecting in community with other Christians.
Jesus talks a lot about forgiveness. Is there a tough conversation you need to have to reconcile with someone? Decide on a plan of action to restore the relationship.
As you follow Jesus, it is important to get involved in a campus fellowship and a church. Invite a few non-Christian friends to go with you this week.
The next study for growth in following Jesus will help you learn more about Your Journey to the Cross.