As Christians, we regularly hear encouragement from God’s Word to continue to hear and read and study God’s Word. We are commanded to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16) and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). But how?
A good place to start is with your fellow Christians every Sunday morning. Come and be fed with God’s Word not only in worship but in our weekly Bible study, in which we dig deeper into God’s Word together. We learn from each other and grow together. If you aren’t regularly attending our Sunday morning Bible study, please join us next Sunday at 9:15.
But what about when you aren’t at church? If you’ve wondered where to begin with personal bible study or family devotions, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too. That’s why I’m sharing these resources with you.
I’m calling it “Together in the Word” because I hope this is something we can all do together. Every week, I’ll share with you a simple order of service to use for your personal or family devotions. It will include Scripture readings, prayer suggestions, a hymn of the week, portions of Scripture and the Catechism to commit to memory, and readings from the Lutheran Confessions. They’ll both tie into the church year (including readings and a hymn from the coming Sunday) and help us walk through the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions together.
To fully use “Together in the Word,” you’ll need three tools: (1) a Bible, (2) a Christian Worship hymnal, and (3) a copy of the Book of Concord (my recommended translation would be Concordia: the Lutheran Confessions).
As you use “Together in the Word,” it is designed to be flexible. I understand that not every individual or family will be able to use everything that is included. That’s okay. Please don’t let that prevent you from using any of it. If you are currently spending 5 minutes/day or less in personal or family devotions, the whole thing may seem overwhelming. Maybe start out just using a few of the pieces of “Together in the Word,” slowly expanding or adjusting as you see what works for you. (Also, if you already have a system or set of tools through which you are daily growing in faith as you dig into God’s Word and respond in prayer before your Father’s throne, you don’t have to give that up. If something in “Together in the Word” can help you further, great!)
I plan to make “Together in the Word” available on this blog every week for you to download for your own use. In addition, I will make printed copies available at Riverview Lutheran Church.
This is something new for Riverview. The timing is intentional. We are beginning a church year. Let’s begin right now to grow together. Let’s learn together. Let’s pray together. Let’s commit God’s Word to memory together. Let’s encourage one another. And as we do, we’ll not only be engaged in an important part of the mission of our congregation. I am confident that we will also be blessed tremendously both individually and as a congregation, because God promises that his Word never returns to him empty (Isaiah 55:11).
Please contact me if you have any questions about “Together in the Word.” I also welcome your feedback: What do you find most helpful about it? How are you or your family using it? What would be more helpful?
God bless you, as you hear and read his Word and grow in faith!
Your Brother in Christ,