Why Being Part Of A Life Group Is Important For Believers

Why Being Part Of A Life Group/Small Group Is Important For Christians

Jesus not only calls us to go out and make disciples, He calls us to gather together as believers to refuel.

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I've grown up in a Christian home.

Since birth, my parents and family have taught me about the never-ending love of God and instilled the Bible's teachings and values in my life.

Around the time I started high school, my faith really became my own. I was getting ready to be able to drive myself to church on my own, I changed churches because of where I felt God calling me to go, and I attended church because I wanted to, not because it was where my parents went every Sunday.

I'll admit, when your faith becomes your own, it opens you up to an even bigger spiritual warfare because you're essentially declaring your relationship with the Lord is your own and not a byproduct of how you grew up. It's basically raising a spiritual hand to Satan and telling him, "Talk to the hand."

And that can be dangerous. But it's always worth it.

It feels good to take your life and your faith into your own hands. In my case, I reached an age where I truly understood what God had done for me earlier than the age where I could drive or stay out past a certain time. In my mind, making my faith my own was really my first step into "adulthood," or at least what we think that looks like now.

So, what's the next step after making your faith your own?

Well, that's a bit of a tricky question because different people will give you different answers depending on their opinion. Some will say a good church, some will say changing your Facebook profile to say "Christian," and others will say something else.

While I think there are a lot of wonderful, biblically-truthful answers to this question, most believers would give you a list of things that you'd look to when thinking about next steps. Don't worry, it's not daunting at all.

The first step would obviously be to purchase a Bible if you don't already have one. While church is certainly important, the Bible is God's own word and the closest thing we have to His physical presence. It's basically a love letter to those who believe in Him, so why not start with the best part of all?!

The second would be to research churches if you don't already attend one. Find someplace that definitely preaches the Bible as God intended it to be preached. Also, find somewhere that you enjoy going! Just because it's new to you doesn't mean it can't be fun. God actually intended going to church and your relationship with Him to be something you love, I promise.

And the third step is my personal favorite.

Consider joining a life group! This can also be called a small group or bible study. Essentially it's a smaller group of people within your church who gather together at least one day a week to study the Bible in a more intimate setting.

I know intimate settings can sound intimidating, especially if you've never been part of a bible study before and even more so if you're a new Christian. However, let me ease some of that nervousness.

The majority of these people will also go to the church the small group is affiliated with. That gives you a chance to meet people at your church and engage in fellowship with them throughout the week as opposed to just on Sundays.

Also, they are there to do exactly what you're doing - learn more about God and His word for us. There should be no judgment there, and if there is, know that's not how God means it to be and seek out another bible study. I can guarantee not all of them will be the exact same.

Thirdly, God's Word calls us to be in fellowship with one another because it makes our walk with God stronger and it's also easier when we have other believers in our corner.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together,". We are not called to stir one another up in anger or anxiety or anything that would harm another believer, but to stir hearts to show love and live in such a way that God's love saturates everything we do, say, and even think. This verse is a lot like 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which says, "Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another,".

We are called, as Christians, to be a light to a pretty dark world. But we are also called to be a light to each other and to commune with one another so that we can be refueled in the midst of how much we are called to pour out.

Lastly, I recommend being a part of a smaller group of believers studying the Bible because it enables you to glimpse even more of God throughout your week and to commune with God himself.

Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be among them." I don't know about y'all, but this verse particularly brings peace to my heart. There are times when, as a believer, you'll question whether God is really there or not, and this verse is an unshakeable promise and fact that He is indeed there through it all.

I joined a life group at my home church when I was in high school because I wanted to know more about God's Word and gather with my friends at the church as God tells us to. I was a young teen who sought to fit in, while never wanting to give up my faith in order to do that. Eventually, my love for God won out over the desire to fit in and I am so glad for that because being a part of a bible study helped in that!

I am also a part of one campus ministry at my college. It's so important, as a young believer, to stay connected to your relationship with God at college because that's such a time of change and new experiences. Being a part of a Christian ministry there has helped me stay grounded and stick to my roots. The small group I attend there continues to help me stay connected to my faith and has also introduced me to some amazing friends.

If you're not a Christian, I invite you to explore your place in the heart of a God who does not discriminate, forgives all, remains present, and wants so badly to have a conversation with you.

If you're a believer, I am so happy to share this relationship with you and our Savior. It's a difficult road, as the Bible tells us, but one that's worth being traveled down and is such a blessing in the end. Whether you have all three (Bible, church, and life group) or only one of those listed above, I encourage you to dwell in Christ and dig as deep as you can into this wonderful love we get to witness and receive from God.

If you're in between and don't really know what you are, I encourage you to keep searching for truth, love, and righteousness. I encourage you to accept God's love for you while I also understand that it's a serious decision to make and that Satan can make it a very hard thing to give your heart and worries over to God.

Regardless of where you stand, you deserve to know that you have so many believers who love you and who root for you, including me!


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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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This Bethel Album Will Lead You Into Worship

This album certainly does lead you into worshipful posture of praising the Father intentionally, holding nothing back.

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Psalm 98:4 reads, "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!" The new Bethel album, "Victory" declares a joyful noise towards God's name. I have found myself repeatedly coming back to this album, and specific songs since its release. I hope my recommendations entice you to enjoy it as much as I do!

1. Raise A Hallelujah 

What a joyful declaration to begin the album with! I was already a fan of this song, and I am over the moon because it brings such praise to our Father. "I'm gonna sing in the middle of the storm, louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar". This song reminds we are not alone in the storm, nor should we feel defeated. I had someone once share with me, "whatever is over our head is already under Jesus' feet", and that is the reason to rejoice in the hardest and darkest moments!

2. Goodness Of God

He is so good, isn't he? Why not sing about it! "Goodness of God" is one of my favorites off the album, one of the ones I listen to each morning as prepare for the day.

3. Ain't No Grave

Molly Skaggs, daughter of country star Ricky Skaggs, declares deliverance from the grave, and reminds that "there ain't no grave gonna hold my body down", because of Jesus' sacrifice for all! Her voice is perfect for this song, tuned along with the melody of the Bethel performers.

4. Stand In Your Love

"My fear doesn't stand a chance when I stand in your love". AMEN! This is such a catchy song, and that's not a bad thing! It's such a good reminder that we don't need to live in unhealthy fear. Such an uplifting song, and definitely worth a listen!

5. Victory Is Yours

Our God is all powerful, and is deserving of our daily praise. His very breath is breathed into our lungs, each time we inhale and exhale. How marvelous is that?

6. There Is A Name

I feel this song is a truth, in that, in our daily lives, Jesus should be at our core. Busyness seems to prioritize our days when He should be who we revolve around. In college, I find it can be difficult to be vocal with my faith, and I imagine in a corporate job environment, it can be the same. But with Him at our center, it should be easier to get out of our comfort zones and obey what He asks of us. Like in the song, "His power can't be questioned or contained".

7. Promises Never Fail

"I am standing on every promise that You make, I will see it come to pass in Your name, Oh Jesus, I will trust every word I hear You say I will see it come to pass in Your name." Such a good reminder that God's promises will never fail. Whatever he promises will come to pass.

8. Praise Is The Highway

Praise can be shown many different ways, but one of the most common is through song. Praise leads us to comfort of lifting our voices to Jesus, in the calm and in the storm. Praise unifies us with others, as we sing to the Lord in our congregations. I really feel tuned in when I listen to this song, with my heart resting in worship.

9. Drenched In Love

Probably one of the best from this album. I just can't stop listening to this song! It leads you into joyful worship. You can't help but smile and sing along!

10. Every Crown

This is one of my absolute favorites off this album. I find myself singing it to myself while working because it stays in my head. Every time I hear it, I feel drawn to my knees. I envision nations carrying crowns they've all made or acquired, climbing a seemingly endless staircase, to then place at the very feet of Jesus in an exalting posture. It's such a beautiful picture, and I can't wait to one day do just that!

11. How Great A King

"Yours is the victory" – Amen! How great He is! All I can do is quote this one, because it speaks for itself.. "For all you are, and all you've done, we lift you up". This is another one that leads you straight into worship and adoration of the King's sacrifice for us. "Oh, what a price You paid, trading the highest place, laid down Your crown for me, how great a King".

12. Christ Is Risen

Leading you with a worship-filled spirit, this piece builds the anticipation, through the instrument beats, of our returning King. I can't help but revisit lyrics, "oh death, where is your sting?" How exciting!

13. Living Hope

I first heard this song performed by Phil Wickham, and fell in love with it. Everything about this song is worshipful. Such a lovely melody and perfect lyrics. Can I just declare, "Jesus Christ, my living hope"! Yes and Amen!!

14. Endless Alleluia

Such a great reminder that every thought and action should be filled with an "endless alleluia". So often we carry our lives and go about our own business, not allowing God to move in the daily part, when it should be quite the contrary. Our lives should be living out an "endless alleluia".

This album certainly does lead you into a worshipful posture of praising the Father intentionally, holding nothing back. Every time I hear some of these songs, I can't help but "raise a Hallelujah". I'm thankful for the freedom I have to worship Him openly. The gift of worship, in any form, is such a gift, that we should not neglect.

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