Growth Group week sixteen:
growing through morning devotions (part 2)

Week 16
Day 1: Galatians 1-2
Day 2: Galatians 3-4
Day 3: Galatians 5-6
Day 4: Ephesians 1-2
Day 5: Ephesians 3-4

Memory verse:
John 14:26 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Focal passages:  John 14:26; Hebrews 5:12–14; Romans 12:2; 1 Timothy 4:13
Last week we focused on the importance of prayer being the first part of our morning devotions. We now turn our attention to the place that God’s word plays in our morning devotions. This week we want to focus on the importance of consistently reading through the word of God

Reading through the word is one of the cornerstones of our morning devotional time. It is very important for us to read through the word on a consistent basis. I would suggest a one year reading plan. There are many great apps that you can get that will help you stay on track. From year to year I like switching it up. One year I will do a chronological reading, another year I will do a book by book reading etc. It also might be good to switch up translations from year to year that you might get a little different perspective. A lot of times we feel like, as we read through the word, that we're having a hard time retaining everything that we read. This is true. We don't retain everything. But you need to look at it more like taking your morning shower, which is something we do every day. As we walk out into this world we get dirty and we need to be washed by the word daily. As we go through the word of God, it goes through us, and begins to cleanse us. When Paul is speaking to the husbands in Ephesians 5 about how Christ sanctifies and cleanses His church he says in verse 26 “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.” And Jesus, when talking to His disciples in John 15, says in verse 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” There will be times in your reading that you will get a lot out of it, and there will be other times that you feel like you're not getting anything. The important thing is that you are faithful to just go through the word and let God do the rest. Faithfulness and consistency are the keys to reading through the Bible. Don't be discouraged if you feel like you're missing a lot and not retaining it. I’d like to point out that you're going to get more out of it than if you didn't read it at all. even if you walk away with one new thought. God blesses us as we go through His word and His word goes through us. In the long-term, this will transform your thinking. The word of God is what God uses to transform our minds. Look at what Paul declares in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” One of the biggest questions that Christians have today is “What is the will of God for my life”? It is through the word of God that we discover the will of God in order that we might live a life that is glorifying to the Lord (Hebrews 5:12-14).

You will be amazed, as you consistently read the word of God, how much you will actually retain. Jesus made us a promise in John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. As we simply commit our hearts to reading His word He will bring it to our memory when we need it. Many years ago the Lord spoke to me and said, “Trent, it is your job to get the word in you. It is my job to get it out of you”. I want my heart and my mind to be like a reservoir that is filled with His word that He can open whenever He wants and releases as He sees fit. Time and time again I have seen how God has brought to my memory things I didn't even think were in there. Get the word in you, God will do the rest. Let's get in God's word so that He might transform our lives for His glory.

Remember the early church did not have personal access to the written word. Of course the New Testament was in the process of being written in the 1st Century and the Old Testament was written down but not available to the common man. This is why Paul tells Timothy to make sure to read the word of God when they gather as a church. 1 Timothy 4:13 “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” For the early church, this would be the only time that they would have the privilege to hear the word of God. You and I have our own personal Bible and access to the word of God 24 hours a day. Let us take great advantage of this and not neglect the blessing and privilege of having access to the word of God. Throughout church history, many have given their lives to bring the word of God in our own languages to us. They did this because they believed that the word of God was the one thing that would transform the people of God. Let their sacrifice not be in vain. Let's get in the word and grow together.

  1. Share how you have done your devotions in the past. Give each other ideas on some things that blessed you in your devotional times.
  2. What are the things that get in the way of you consistently doing devotions? How can you combat those things in the future?
  3. Share how God’s word has been a powerful transforming tool in your life? How has it shaped you, challenged you, and built you?

Action steps:
They say that if you can do anything for 30 days, it becomes the habit of your life. Let’s commit to reading the word everyday for 30 days, even if it;’s just a few verses. Keep each other accountable to what you are reading. Pray for each other to be consistent and watch the fruit of the Spirit flow from your life. The discipline of reading is so good for our souls!