by Dottie Ryan
It is hard for me to believe that we are already coming to the close of our 6-Week journey together through this Fearless Discipleship Study. I am already missing each of you as your faces cross my mind’s-eye. You have reflected the image of your Lord so beautifully. Know that! And I have learned so much from you. Thank you for allowing me to join you in this part of your journey! I am blessed beyond measure.
I thought it might be sweet to just recap the titles of each chapter — then close with some of the words of encouragement and admonishing straight from the study which we have been reading over this past week. There is so much that can be said . . . so much that can be shared . . . but sometimes, less is more. I trust the Spirit of God to remind each of us how He spoke specifically to our hearts each week to faithfully and courageously walk Fearless — with eyes focused on Christ!
- The Wind and the Waves — challenged us to prayerfully consider what we really do believe and where we place our focus. Our Day of Reflection pointed us to Mark 12:28-35.
- Lord, Are You in the Storm? — Reminded us of the Sovereignty of God. Our Day of Reflection led us to read Isaiah 45:5-6.
- O Lord, I Am Weak — showed us that we have nothing to bring to the Lord . . . Poor in spirit . . . and guided us to Colossians 3 in our Day of Reflection.
- Going Up the Mountain — pointed us to the necessity of spending time alone with the Lord and had us reflect on the Love of God . . . Praying His Kingdom come, His will be done as our Day of Reflection had us consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:7-13.
- Fear God – urged us to consider what it means to be chosen by God for a purpose…and to walk courageously in that call on our lives. Our Day of Reflection led us through numerous passages in the Book of Isaiah to hear the Lord speak sweetly some special words to His people: “FEAR NOT,” because it is all about what HE will do.
- Fearlessly Living and Sharing the Gospel — remembering that we were created in His image, for His glory, for intimate relationship with our Creator. This final week showed us that, although God provided Adam and Eve with all they would ever need . . . they (we) sinned and that affected their and our relationship with Him; but: “You see, at just the right time,when we were still powerless,Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Since we have now been justified by his blood,how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:6-10, NIV).
Our final week was a reminder to us of what our part is in working out our salvation with fear and trembling in light of the finished work of Christ:
- We Must First Remember Who We Were (Genesis 1:26-31, Romans 5:12 and Colossians 1:21)
- We Need Eyes to See What Christ Has Done for Us (Ephesians 2:4-10)
- What Christ Accomplished on the Cross for Us (John 3:16, 1 Cor. 6:11, 2 Cor. 5:21, 1 John 4:10, 1 Peter 1:3-4, Romans 5:8,10)
that . . . since we have received such free GIFT OF GOD, let us think about the Lost — put aside all fear, relying wholly on God.
- In Light of God’s Great Salvation we must:
— Confess and Proclaim (Romans 10:9-10)
— Work Out Our Salvation (Philippians 2:12)
— Walk in a Manner Worthy (Colossians 1:10)
— Fulfill the Great Commission to “Go and Make Disciples!” (Matthew 28:19-20)
My prayer for each of us is that we will have learned much about our fear in these past few weeks and what has prevented us from moving forward. That though the fellowship, corporate and personal prayers, Bible Study, accountability, Taking the Truth to Heart, Laurie’s Lectures, and most importantly through the Word of God and the power of His Holy Spirit pointing us to our sin and then to repentance and the grace of God we will have begun to see and know Him in a way we never thought possible. That we will have begun to trust His sovereignty and His love for us (which casts out all fear). That we will boast in our weaknesses and know our total dependence on Him. May we all leave this Discipleship Study and our small groups with certainty in the depths of our being, that the only way we will make it this side of eternity is by keeping our eyes on Christ (not the wind and the waves).
May the friendship-and-sistership-bonds that have been formed continue. And through them, may we will continue to encourage, support, and exhort each other (in love) until Christ returns.