REAP

Am I Following Jesus?

following-jesus We define discipleship in our church as following Jesus together and we suggest two ways to evaluate discipleship on a personal level:

  1. Am I listening and responding to what God is telling me?
  2. Am I actively and intentionally helping other people listen and respond to God?

This is how we think about the biblical mandate to love God and love neighbor.

One of the things that we've observed in asking those two questions about ourselves is that principles need practices. This is why we focus our discipleship around two practices that we call REAP and BLESS.

  1. REAP helps me listen and respond to what God is telling me as I Read, Examine, Apply the Bible and respond in Prayer.
  2. BLESS allows me to help other people listen and respond to God by Beginning with prayer, Listening to them, Eating with them, Serving them, and Sharing God's story that we call the gospel.

You can read more about REAP here.

We're working on material to help you make BLESS a regular part of your everyday life.

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An Example of REAP

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Yesterday, we introduced a way to read the Bible called REAP. Here's an example of what REAP looks like, using our next sermon text in Luke 18:1-8:

READ

Jesus tells a story to help his closest followers keep praying while they wait for the coming of God's kingdom. 

EXAMINE

What will I do in the crises that I'm going to face today - will I ask God to save me or will I spend today trying to save myself? God is nothing like this judge - he listens and responds when I need his help. He blesses and blesses and blesses and he promises to come through with impeccable timing. How often is my failure to pray an indictment on my frustration with God's timing and my lack of belief in his willingness and ability to help?

APPLY

I've turned prayer into an infrequent, episodic, formalized event that puts my unwillingness to trust God in pious language. The way forward is not a plan to pray more in 2014; the way forward is throwing myself on the mercies of God in the hope that he might pry open my soul to the glories of 'Jesus, ready stands to save you, full of pity joined with pow'r'.

This doesn't mean that rhythms and patterns of prayer are unnecessary or unhelpful. My hope is that God will transform practices of prayer into something that transcends ritual.

PRAY

Father, save me. Give me the persistence of this widow to ask and keep asking for your help, as the Spirit reminds me how desperately I need you and how willing you are to help.

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REAP - How We'll Read The Bible In 2014

Image If we're going to read the Bible together, we need a way to read the Bible together. We'll be using the ESV Study Bible reading plan in 2014, but we think its important to match a principle to a practice.

So the principle for reading the Bible is 'listen and respond to God' and the corresponding practice for us is 'use the REAP method'.

REAP is a way to study the Bible that calls for you to:

  • Read the text
  • Examine the text
  • Apply the text
  • Pray the text

Here is an outline and explanation of each part of REAP; print a copy and put it in your Bible for easy reference.

REAP Method

You can get ready for next year by:

Saturday - We'll show you what it looks like to use REAP when you study the Bible

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