• Tony Birkhead

Week 2- #RelationshipGoals



We can serve Jesus better together!

INTRODUCTION

What are some crazy things you’ve done to get the perfect photo?


Describe your perfect day-long date.

KEY SCRIPTURE

Genesis 1:27-28

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:24 NLT

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Amos 3:3 NLT

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish...

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

How can you tell when a couple is unified in mission and “walking together”?


What are things you love? What are your passions? How could those become part of your mission?


What is something that has been divisive for you in your marriage? If you’re single, where have you been distracted?


If you’re in a relationship, how are you already mission-driven? How could you be more unified


If you’re single, how can you pursue the mission God has given you in the coming week?


MOVING FORWARD

  • Write down your mission in a sentence or two. If you’re married, or in a serious relationship, write it together. Then, decide how you want to live it out.

  • Praying daily is a great way to stay on mission.

PRAY TOGETHER

Father, thank You for the opportunities You’ve given us to be part of Your good work. Thank You for the people who encourage us and help us in this work. Please continue to direct us and unify us in Your mission. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

COMMENTARY



DAILY QUIET TIME GUIDE


HOW TO HAVE A DAILY QUIET TIME

The QT Guide is designed to help you MOVE with God through Bible Reading, reflection and prayer. It can be completed in about 9 minutes.

UPWARD: 1⁄2 Minute Preparing Your Heart:Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart. You might pray, “Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive. Surround me with Your presence during this time.

FORWARD: 4 Minutes Listening To God:Take the next four minutes to read the Bible. Your greatest need is to hear a word from God. Allow the Word to strike fire in your heart. Meet the Author!

INWARD: 2 1/2 Minutes Talking To God (Prayer):After God has spoken through His Book, then speak to Him in prayer.

OUTWARD: 2 Minutes Preparing your Action:Ask yourself this question: How can I take today’s Quiet Time and put it into action throughout my day?


DAY 1

Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16-18

The modern media’s portrayal of the “lone wolf” seems to be growing more and more popular. From movies where the hero is mowing down hundreds of bad guys by himself, to books about “maverick” politicians standing against the grain and defying the status quo, it would seem as if we love a stand alone hero. But how realistic a notion is this one man versus the world mentality? And have we tried to adopt this model into our spiritual walk?

Even a cursory examination of Jesus’ first interactions with his disciples should be sufficient for the realization that we were never intended to go it alone. In fact, if we take it way back, what was the first thing after creation that God said was “not good”? For man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)! We were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and our God actually exists in community. Three persons in one being, and we affectionately define that truth as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 John 5:7-8; John 1).

So, if we are his image bearers, is it a hard leap to think that maybe we were intended for community as well? Not at all. And surely Jesus’ calling of Simon and Andrew is a great example of that intention. He didn’t call Simon, and then later come back for Andrew, but rather called them together, in community with himself.

God has not called us to “go it alone”, and for us to aspire or attempt to do so is both foolish, and counter to the Gospel! We are one body, with many parts (1 Corinthians 12:20). Our spiritual community should invade our personal lives, our family, our relationships, and help us to be the person Jesus has called us to be.

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com


DAY 2

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Prior to leading the YouVersion team, my wife and I spent years in cross-cultural ministry overseas. While we faced some of our biggest challenges during those years, it was so natural for us to have a common mission together. Together, we learned new languages, sought out community, and tackled some of life’s most basic tasks, like buying food and learning how to get utilities up and running in a different country. Living our lives apart from one another simply wasn’t an option. Our circumstances forced us to depend on one another and help one another. We returned to the United States nearly a decade ago. Since then we’ve come to realize, while life and ministry might come more easily to us in our own culture, doing those things together is actually more difficult.

Still, the unity that comes with a common mission is just as crucial now as it was then. Without Maureen’s wise encouragement and shared passion to see people transformed by God’s Word, many of my challenges leading the Bible App would have been far more difficult to navigate. Likewise, I know that when I show interest and support in her moms' group and her work teaching our kids, I’m similarly encouraging to her.

So, in order to live mission-driven lives together, we have to be intentional in the things we do. This doesn’t happen automatically. Between homeschooling, mothering, and mentoring, Maureen has a full-time job, but she still takes the time to pray for each of our YouVersion team members and their spouses. This is her way of staying connected to the work God has tasked me with. Likewise, I’ve found that if I simply talk to Maureen about her moms' group, that interest on my part means so much to her. It turns her mission into our mission.

Life is busy, and it’s easy to drift apart if you’re not careful. But when you’re able to come together and find a common mission together, your relationship will be better for it.

Adapted From: http://bible.com


DAY 3

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:1-3

I have twins who just turned one. And let me tell you, they are eating machines! In today’s verse, Peter instructs, “like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk.” If we’re anything like my twins have been in the first year of their lives, it means we should be ravenous for the pure sustenance of the gospel. The “food” that has made us taste that the Lord is good. When babies are hungry, everyone around knows it! They will do everything they can to get what their bodies need.

This is the pattern Peter says we should follow. Now, what will happen when we do? Peter writes there are five things believers should “put away.”

HAVE YOU PUT IT AWAY? So let’s check ourselves today in each of these activities.

#1. Malice is “the intention or desire to do evil.” Do you desire to cause hurt or pain to someone else? Are you holding on to hatred or unforgiveness? Are you making plans to get revenge or attack another person?

#2. Deceit is “the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.” Do you have a habit of lying, secrecy, or hiding sinful behaviors? Do you lie at work, in your marriage, or in your small groups?

#3. Hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.” Is your public life the same as your private life? What moral standards do you really live by—rather merely profess?

#4. Envy is “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” Do you look at other peoples’ possessions, wishing deeply that they were yours? Are your thoughts marked by lust for someone else’s spouse? Do you burn with envy rather than shine with contentment?

#5. Slander is “making false and damaging statements about someone.” Do you lie about people to make yourself look good? Do you embellish stories about them behind their back? Are you wounding their reputation for personal gain?

If you’re engaged in any of these five actions, take this wonderful opportunity to put them a way today!

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.org


DAY 4

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:1-6

The church of Jesus Christ is truly unique: It is composed of people from countless backgrounds, who have a variety of opinions on many different topics—yet they are one in Christ. As believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we all belong to God’s family and have a special relationship with one another. We are spiritual brothers and sisters who are called by our heavenly Father to live in harmony.

Unity in the church occurs when God’s children live in submission to the Holy Spirit and let Him control their attitudes, emotions, words, and actions. When the Spirit rules each one, the goal becomes to please Him in our interactions with others instead of demanding our own way. This is necessary if we hope to “walk in a manner worthy of [our] calling” (Eph. 4:1).

Some Christians try to function independently because that’s easier than living in humility, gentleness, and patience with fellow believers. But we need each other. The fellowship of believers is an important part of God’s design for our spiritual growth.

Unity in the church requires a willingness to yield to each other for the sake of our spiritual family. This kind of self-sacrifice is fueled by genuine love, which unselfishly acts for the good of another (agape in Greek). It’s the glue that keeps the body of Christ together and enables us to live in harmony (Col. 3:14). When we hold tightly to God’s words and are knitted together in love, we honor Jesus Christ and have a strong defense against divisions and factions.

Adapted From: http://intouch.org


DAY 5

Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16

In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to awake from spiritual lethargy. I want to apply these verses specifically to marriage today. You can’t sleepwalk through marriage. Show me a marriage that is strong and vibrant and thriving, and I will show you a marriage that people are giving attention to.

It’s sort of like making a fire. You begin with some kindling and newspaper and twigs, and then add some logs to it. Once the fire is going, you put another log on it. And another. You continue to feed it over time. In the same way, if a marriage is strong, especially over a period of time, it is because the husband and wife keep putting logs on the fire. They cultivate their romance. They strengthen the marriage.

If you stop feeding the fire, it will start to weaken. You must constantly give it attention. You must be proactive, not merely reactive. When the husband neglects his role and the wife neglects hers, one problem turns into another, and soon it gets worse and worse. Eventually it reaches a state of crisis.

It’s best to engage in "preventative maintenance" and strengthen the marriage every day. Verses 15 and 16 tell us how: by "walking circumspectly" and "redeeming the time." To "walk circumspectly" conveys the idea of looking, examining, and investigating something with great care. It’s like the attention you would give to the words of a contract before signing it. "Redeeming the time" refers to making the most of every opportunity.

Are you examining your marriage carefully, paying attention to detail? Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to strengthen your marriage? Are you making sure you have done everything you can do? Don’t sleepwalk through marriage; tend the fires to keep it alive and strong.

Adapted From: http://harvest.org


MOVING FORWARD

One of the best ways to fight temptation and grow in your daily walk with Jesus is to memorize His Word. Begin to commit His words to your memory this week.

Memorizing may be as simple as repeating the passage aloud 10 times each day or writing it 5 times each day. It may be that you place a 3x5 card on your mirror to remind you each day. Whatever it takes you won’t be let down with His Word in your mind and heart. Consider this…


Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?

Amos 3:3

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