I find it such a privilege to preach the word of God at Grace. This past sermon was an absolute uphill struggle the whole week. At 3 AM on Saturday morning I found myself still wrestling with my manuscript and got the point of pretty much ditching it and starting from scratch. God used the preparation to point out some shortcomings in my own life and my own walk -so part of the struggle was just letting God do business in my heart.
Anyway - it was a message about the importance of the disciplines in our efforts to follow Christ. The word "discipline" comes from the word "disciple" so the two concepts are pretty intertwined. I challenged the church to practice their faith by committing themselves to become "deep of soul" when no one is looking. To commit to a training regiment so that when it comes time to live, and make decisions, and stand up for Christ, and do the right things in a relationship - that they will be prepared and free to do the right thing.
Midway through the sermon I threw out an offer (totally short notice and without even having a room reserved) to come back on Tuesday night for a 1 1/2 hour training session on how to study the Bible. 96 people came back on Tuesday! I was blown away! I offered a bunch of resources that night and talked through two study methods that really work with any passage of Scripture. One is called the inductive Bible study method and is geared more for a deeper study of the word - the other is called, well I'm not sure there is a name for it - but it is more of a devotional study method. I plan to offer the session again sometime. Shoot me a comment here if you want me to email you a packet of the stuff that I handed out that night.