Walk It Out
One of the challenges of teaching a large group every Sunday is that there are very few checks and balances in place to encourage people to “walk out” the message. The reality is that often people walk in and walk out after the service, and choose not to apply the message. At Bethel we are talking about how to better encourage people to “walk out” the message. Some of our small groups discuss the message the following week, but we realize that this represents a very small percentage of our church.
This week’s edition of Touching Base is designed to help you walk out what has been taught. I want to encourage you to work through this exercise. Scripture is pretty clear that the objective of God’s word, the reason for God’s truth, is not just information but transformation!
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Walk It Out Exercise
Read the text below several times this week- keeping in mind the two images- Protégé (10,11) and Athlete(12-14). Reading the text in different versions can help you appreciate what Paul is saying.
Journal on these images as you reflect on the following.
- What insights do these two images provide in passionately following God?
- What questions do these images raise?
- How would you rate your desire for knowing Christ?
- What aspects of your walk of faith are not addressed in these images?
- As you go through your week, what other images come to mind that illustrate the walk of faith? (look around you)
- Pray these verses back to God each day of the week. Personalize them.
- As you pray, ask God to show you what He wants you to do, and/or believe.
- Who do you need to pray for regarding having a passionate heart for God?
- Who inspires you in your walk of faith? If you know of someone, how could you spend more time with that person? Why not thank them for how they have inspired you.
- Discuss your insights with at least one other person.
 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.