My wife, Carla, and I lead a Life Group, a small group that meets weekly in our home. Three years ago this month we used the book “Radical” by David Platt as the material for our group study; as a matter of fact our whole church went through it. Now that it’s been three years, I asked members of our group what has changed in their lives since joining a small group and studying “Radical”. Here’s a summary of various responses:
“Changed jobs”, “down sized our home” and “I talk to God more”. “ I encourage our family to move back into our smaller home. At first it was to reduce our expenses and the up keep of such a large home, then it came down to taking care of my Dad. It was a 2 year journey of should we or should not move.” “The one statement that got to me the most was when a friend of mine came over with her kids and she said ‘This is how the rich live.’ It bothered me because I didn’t see myself as rich and what does that mean anyway. “ “It wasn’t easy going from 4500 square feet to 1500 but we did it and it feels like we never left the home.”
“Pray for the world”, “sacrificial giving” and “read the word.” “Pray for the world is one of the concepts I adapted ‘easily’”. “I fall far short of Sacrificial giving.” “I have used the reading plan that was part of the Radical series since it was presented. It’s easy to carry with me wherever I go, and easy to understand where I last read because I leave the page marked. If I miss days ( and I do) It’s easy to understand where to “begin” again to catch up.”
“Grace” and “Service”. “I am grateful for God’s grace and I am striving to live my life with grace, to love others unconditionally, to not judge people, and to forgive. Again, I’m striving to do these things, I’ve got a long way to go.” “I’ve had many blessings in my life and have been encouraged to help others and utilize my strengths. Over the past three years I’ve spent time helping and shaping struggling high school students to prepare them for their future.”
If I were to write my response for how things have changed for us, this blog post would get longer than most are interested in reading. Let’s just say that Carla and I give more, are more disciplined in our approach to studying God’s word, serve more and have many adventures, surprises and have met so many great people than I could have imagined three years ago.
You see from the testimonies above that God is working in each person’s life; not “worked” but “working”. I know the people behind each story. Life isn’t all roses. Struggles and disappointments continue to march alongside the victories.
I do wonder…if not for how intentional each person above was in the development of his/her faith in following Jesus, what would the story be?