If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31)
"The Truth Will Set You Free"
A disciple is simply a follower of Jesus. The word does not refer to an elite group of Christians who have achieved a special status, and it’s not about being perfect. Otherwise, there would be no need for spiritual growth toward maturity.
Perhaps you remember when you first heard the good news of God’s grace and accepted it. That’s when you began the journey of following Jesus. Since that time you have grown in grace. It may have been through a Bible study or church or a friend, but you learned more about the Scriptures and felt the tug of the Spirit on your heart to keep following Jesus. It may have been big steps or baby steps or stumbling, but you’ve been a disciple—a follower of Jesus—and you’ve had some friends or mentors to help you along the way.
The words of Jesus in John 8:31 nudge us to stay on the path of learning his word, in order to follow him. That’s the way we know the truth. That’s the way we’re set free. Let the grace of Christ, revealed in Scripture, continue to set you free. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
All of this is “good news for the found.” The church exists to help people follow Jesus. This is how we fulfill the the mission that Jesus gave, to “go and make disciples… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
How to pray...
- Ask God to give us all a love for the Scriptures, and an appetite for spiritual growth.
- Our community groups will begin new studies this fall. Pray that God would use these studies to help people mature in Christ and follow him in practical ways.
- From time to time the church offers “learning cohorts” that provide opportunities for groups of people to focus on a topic such as marriage, finances, theology, or leadership. Pray for the expansion of these cohorts and for solid learning to result.
- Be praying for the Sunday morning class, coming in October, which will be studying the Sermon on the Mount.
- Pray that our growth in knowledge would always translate into love for God and for one another.
For the Family
As a family we live together and do life together, but sometime we don’t take the time or remember to share important milestones in our lives from years past. Kids love stories and sometimes my kids will ask me to tell them a story “from the old days” when I was a child! As a family, take some time to look back and share about your journey with your children.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What did you understand about God as a child?
- If you are a believer, share when God softened your heart to him.
- Share someone or something that has helped you grow in your faith over the years.
- Share some of your favorite bible verses and why they are so meaningful to you. Perhaps you can even choose a verse to memorize together as a family.
"The Truth Will Set You Free" - Mike Tilley
Mike Tilley is the senior pastor of Lake Baldwin Church, and has lived in Orlando since 1994. He and his wife, Molly, worked with a core group from the Baldwin Park community to plant Lake Baldwin Church in 2006. Mike loves teaching the Bible in a way that relates to real life. In his spare time, Mike enjoys good movies, long dinner with friends, snow skiing, hanging out with his kids and two granddaughters, and travel.
"For the Family" - Michelle Crouse
Michelle Crouse has served as the director of LBC's children's ministry—SPLASH Kids—since the end of 2011. She and her husband Joshua were married in 2002 and have 2 children. Michelle grew up outside of Boston and graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She loves being with kids and loves the opportunity to be a part of teaching children how much they are loved by God, and helping them grow in their understanding of what that means.