For the next few weeks, the Church in Austin will be having fellowship concerning the vital groups. This is a great topic because all of us have a deep inward desire to be grouped. This is also the way our Lord Jesus carried out His ministry on the earth. He was with a group of 12 guys for three and a half years. He worked on this group, spent all His time with this group, and poured out everything He had on this group. Even after Jesus died, He still wasn’t done perfecting them. He had to come back to them for another 40 days to finish what He started. He’s still working
To have a vital group, we ourselves need to be vital. A few things that have helped me enormously are having a morning time with the Lord Jesus and reading the Bible throughout the day. Nothing has changed my life as drastically as these simple habits. These practices also intensify my desire to gather together with other believers. At first, it is difficult deciding who to get with. This problem is solved by a simple prayer, “Lord I need help. I need someone to get with. Please bring me someone, today.” Imagine what it would be like if everyone prayed in this way. Surprisingly, there are many who are, especially after this fellowship on vital groups. When two such seekers finally find each other, that’s a group. Two is the minimum number required to have a group. To become a vital group, however, takes time. What should we do when we come together? Matthew 18:20 says,
“For where there are two or three gathered together into My name, there am I in their midst.”
A good thing to do when we come together is to call on the Lord’s name. Jesus! Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus! We need to milk that name, chew that name, and really get into it. This sounds easy but it isn’t. This is a struggle we have to overcome daily. It is also interesting that the very next verse in Matthew hints at this difficulty. Matthew 18:21 says,
“Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?”
When we are around others, we get offended. Plain and simple. Offenses are good in a way in that they help us identify and deal with the self, as mentioned in Matthew 16:24,
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”
So how do we deny our self? I can testify that many times before I meet with someone, I want to flake out and make up an excuse. Here it is. Crunch time. This is a golden opportunity to deny myself. What a joy to deny myself. All I can say is I’ve never regretted it. Don Looper’s motto always encourages me, “Count the cost, pay the price, live a life of no regrets.” The more I live this way, the more I realize how normal it is. This is the way to live a normal Christian life.