An Open Letter to all BOGLS in the Brand New Retreat

The most memorable moment for me during the Brand New retreat was the volunteer’s huddle during the first night. I know everyone was shocked and surprise. I was also. I was trying to keep it in and compose myself. But I was overwhelmed with the passion and love for the people God has entrusted to me. I wasn’t able to look directly in the eyes of everyone until I was able to compose myself from crying.

This is just the longing that is in my heart – I long to share Jesus to everyone but I know that shouldn’t stop there. Discipleship needs to happen. I know (and I’m full of joy) that everyone gave their time, effort and love to facilitate the discussion and consider the interest of your group rather than yours. I know everyone gave their love for the people entrusted to them and shared Jesus along the way. I am grateful for all of you.

The reason that I was brought to tears during the huddle was not only because I long for everyone to have a relationship with Jesus but to also see them grow by being discipled. That’s why the work doesn’t end in the retreat. It is only starting. I have seen, in the many years that I have been in a dgroup and have been a dgroup leader, how powerful discipleship is. I pray that we will all be passionate about this as well.

The world will not go easy on us and them, that’s why discipleship is crucial. It helps us move forward in our walk. It helps us refocus and realign ourselves to God. It helps us grow in our relationship with God. It produces growth, change and maturity. This is a command and common strategy that we have always followed in our church. I believe in it and I believe in you as well.

I do not want to make this long anymore. All I desire is for you to be faithful with your group. Faithfully meet them and faithfully communicate with them. Do not feel discourage if they don’t reply. I’ve experienced that. Just remain faithful because I have seen how the Lord has rewarded faithfulness. The Lord will be the one who will do the work, we are just called to be faithful.

Be faithful as well in having regular dgroup meetings. If it’s hard to find a common time and day where everyone is available during weekdays just make Connect your dgroup meeting. But if you can, meet them during the week and meet them at least once a week. We spend most of our time in our work and a day within a week will make a big difference in helping us remain strong in our walk in the Lord.

You may think that doing all of these things will help the people under your care grow. But let me also share with you because of discipleship I know it will also produce fruit in you. If you are faithful to the great commission, this will help push you to study God’s word and be accountable with your every word and action. There were numerous moments in my life that I was always what will happen to my group if I do this and that. That has kept me in check and has helped me grow in my walk with God.

This will be an awesome journey for you. It was been for me. I have always looked back in the time I started leading a group and have never come to a point I regretted my decision. It brought me joy and it brought me closer to Jesus as well. I pray you find that as well. Just let me know if you need anything from me. If you need training or materials for your group, just let me know. I am here to serve you and help you in this journey you are taking. I am excited for you. I am excited to see the Lord work in your life and see the movement happen in your group. Thank you for volunteering to be a breakout group leader. May the Lord richly bless you.

What is easier to say?

 

Jesus Heals the ParalyticWhat is easier to say “Your Sins are Forgiven” or “Get up and Walk?” For someone who has been paralyzed it’s easier to say “your sins are forgiven.” But to say is different than to do. Both statements are hard to do because both statements can only be done by the Lord.

It’s such a joy for me to be able to study Matthew 9:1-8 where Jesus heals the paralytic. When I read verse 5, I immediately said to myself: “well, it’s easier to say your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:5 – Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?

 

It’s easy to say this because there is no visible output that we are expecting to see unlike the other statement which means that once you declare that, you need to see the person standup and walk again.

When Jesus first said, “your sins are forgiven” in verse 2, some of the scribes immediately thought this is outrageous.

Matthew 9:2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”

 

They knew only God can forgive sin. The sad part of about this is, they never acknowledge Jesus was God. So Jesus asked them what is easier to say “Your Sins are Forgiven” or “Get up and Walk?” He knew in their hearts that they did not believe He was God. So in order to show who He was, he said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up you bed and go home.” And so he did. Now, if Jesus was able to heal a man who wasn’t able to walk since his birth, wouldn’t he be able to forgive sin? Again, only God can forgive sin. But only God can also heal a paralytic.

Paralytic Getting Up

The result is in verse 8.

8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

 

They were awestruck. He has the authority to forgive sin. He has the authority over diseases and physical infirmities. They knew they were in the presence of God, and who wouldn’t be?

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