We were provided a manual for the conference. It contained the detailed conference schedule, group quiet time discussion questions and all the speakers’ presentation points. By the end of the three-day conference, my manual was full with notes — so full that even the back cover had scribbles on it.
Here are some take-aways I had from the conference:
It is still clear to me how I met you for the first time, how we had that first conversation about the gospel, and how we had our first Bible study date ever. Since then, God allowed many unforgettable moments in our relationship as friends but more importantly as family.
This excerpt is my major takeaway from the book because of two reasons. One, it is a slap in the face realization on how God cannot work in us if we calculatingly monopolize the goal to Christlikeness (i.e., righteousness by works instead of righteousness by faith). And two, I am going through a season where this realization is key for another breakthrough.
I know what it feels like.
You ask them how they are and you try to reach out to them in love, but they do not respond. You wrestle in prayer for them everyday, but they do not even ask how you are. You try to be there for them in good times and in bad, yet they ignore you when things are not going their way. And in your attempt to love them by letting the Word of God speak to them, they take it against you.
But out of Christ’s love, you still protect them, trust them, hope in them and persevere in them (1 Corinthians 13). And out of Christ’s truth, you continue to love them.
I am still in the process of really accepting how misunderstandings in discipleship groups are inevitable. But as Jesus continues to walk me through this journey, I have come to realize that misunderstandings are not always bad. It does not only build-up a friendship per se but also the characters of those involved.