Your Faith Journey 21

Your Faith Journey  

Worship God – The apostle Paul wrote, “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1 NLT). Worshiping God is about your entire life, not how you spend one hour each week. Are you offering all that you are to God?
 
Connect & Grow in a Group – We have a new group at Avon UMC beginning this Thursday, April 11th at 7:00 pm. It is the Agape Support Group, a confidential support group of individuals with common experiences and concerns for LGBTQIA, family, and friends, to provide emotional, spiritual, and compassionate support. The group will be facilitated by Suzanne Conger in Conference Room 2 (near the Chapel). If you are unable to attend on April 11th, you’re welcome to join the group on April 25th at 7:00 pm.
 
 
Develop as a Disciple – Jesus said, “…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16 NLT). Pray for God to reveal opportunities for you to be His light in the lives of others each day this week. Look for ways to do good, then seize the chances you have each day to do something to bless, encourage, or help someone else. “You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:14 NLT).
 


Your Faith Journey 20

Your Faith Journey

Worship God – Jesus said, “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37 NLT). Worshiping God includes your attitude, thoughts, and how your life is lived in response to God’s love. He loves you. Do you love God?
 
Connect & Grow in a Group – Do you know the basic beliefs of Christianity? Consider joining Pastor Rob for a 6-session small group experience beginning the last Sunday of April to explore What Christians Believe and learn why. You can join the group on Sunday mornings (4/28-6/2) at 11:00 am in Room 200/201 across from the Gym/Multi-purpose Room.
 
Develop as a Disciple – What is the Holy Habit (spiritual discipline) that you need to begin in these final weeks leading to Easter? Fasting (Matthew 6:16-18)? Praying (Matthew 7:7-11)? Studying what Jesus said and did, and living according to what you learn (Matthew 7:24-27)? Jesus instructed the apostle John to, “write in a book everything you see” (Revelation 1:11). Perhaps you should start writing down the ways you experience God working in your life within a journal. Mark 4:38 reveals that Jesus was sleeping on a boat while he and the disciples sailed through a storm. Do you need some rest? Maybe you need to schedule a day of rest and recreation each week.  


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Your Faith Journey  
 
Worship God – Read John 12:1-11. Are you willing to humble yourself as a servant of our Savior and give extravagantly to the Son of God as an act of worshiping Jesus?      
 
Invest in the Disconnected – In John 4, we discover that Jesus crossed social and religious boundaries to interact with a Samaritan woman at a well. First century Jews despised Samaritans, yet Jesus intentionally went to her village and waited at a well to talk to her. Men didn’t speak to women without the presence of another man during Jesus’ day and time, yet Christ ignored the social norms to transform the woman’s life. By transforming one woman’s life, God changed the lives of others by connecting them to Christ. “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him (Jesus) because of the woman’s testimony.” – John 4:39 NIV
     
Develop as a Disciple – Jesus said, “This is how my Father shows who he is…when you mature as my disciples.” -John 15:8 MSG As you take steps to grow and mature as a disciple, others will see more and more of Jesus within you. With that in mind, what are you going to do this week to be more like Jesus?  


Your Faith Journey 18

Your Faith Journey
Worship God – After 40 days in the dessert, the devil tried to tempt Jesus. Satan invited Christ to worship him, but Jesus quickly replied, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4:8 NIV). What person or thing is drawing your focus away from worshiping God? What are you going to do about it?
Give – John 6:8-13 reveals that a young boy gave five loaves of bread and two fish to one of Jesus’ disciples. Christ took the food, “gave thanks to God,” and had the disciples give the food to a crowd of thousands of people. There was more than enough for everyone to eat. What are you willing to give to Jesus this week to meet the needs of others in a miraculous way?
Develop as a Disciple – Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT).
Are you walking in the light or stumbling in the darkness? Are you following Jesus?


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Your Faith Journey Worship God – A Samaritan woman asked Jesus, “Why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place to worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim?” (John 4:20 NLT) Have you ever assumed that weekend worship services at a church are the only place to worship God? Read John 4:21-24 to see Jesus’ reply to the Samaritan woman. 
 

Invest in the DisconnectedThere is a person in your circle of influence, a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor, who is disconnected from Christ. They need you to invest in them. They need you to be the flesh and blood presence of Jesus in their life. Will you spend the time, use the energy, and make an ongoing effort to be a bridge between the person in need within your circle of influence and their Savior?    

Develop as a Disciple – During the 40 days of Lent you’re encouraged to point your life towards Jesus and grow closer to Him. Lent is a season – 40 days, not including Sundays–of acknowledging our sins, seeking forgiveness, denying ourselves, renewing our commitment to Christ through spiritual disciplines (holy habits), and striving to become more like Jesus daily. You’re encouraged to choose a book, a devotional, or a gospel account from the Bible to read daily during Lent which begins on March 6th (Ash Wednesday). You can find a list of recommended resources in the March edition of the AUMC Flame newsletter or at the Welcome Desk.  
 


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Worship – Continue joining us for weekly worship services on Sunday mornings and watch online through the website at www.avonumc.com if you can’t be here. Click “Livestream” to watch the services live on Sunday morning, or select the “Worship Videos” tab to watch previous messages. Serve & Give – We are collecting stuffed animals throughout the month of January for children undergoing surgery and radiology at Hendricks Regional Hospital in Danville. Please place a NEW stuffed animal on the altar rail in the Chapel or Sanctuary by the end of the month to help comfort and ease the concerns of a child at HRH. Develop – When you’re unsure about which way to go and what to do during various stages of life and on your faith journey, Christ reminds us, “I am the way” (John 14:6), so “come, follow me.” Jesus invites each of us to continue following Him to progress towards maturity and fruitfulness as faithful followers. Follow Him mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Pray for Christ to reveal what you need to start doing this week, this month, or this year, to grow as His disciple and faithfully follow Him. Remember that believers are empowered by the Spirit of God to do what He calls us to do and become who He created us to be.  



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Worship – Attending worship services regularly helps you worship God instead of something or someone else.  Listening to faith-based music and attending Christian concerts helps during the days you are not attending worship services. Connect – The fourth annual Night Out, organized by Small Group Ministry, is an evening for groups of adults to enjoy time with others away from the church while children                  have a “Kids’ Night Out” at AUMC on Saturday, January 12th, from 5:00 – 8:30 pm. Register your kids or        grand kids for “Kids’ Night Out” via the church website www.avonumc.com or at the Welcome Desk. The final day for registration is January 6th. Develop – Consider setting aside a time and place to pray and read scripture each day during the New Year. If you don’t have a devotional, prayer guide, or Bible reading plan, you can use The Upper Room or Our Daily Bread daily devotional to help guide you. The devotionals are available online for FREE at UpperRoom.org and ODB.org. Printed copies can be found by the rear door of the Chapel on the back table in the Narthex for $1. YouVersion Bible App for your smartphone is another great FREE resource with reading plans and devotionals included in the app!  



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Your Faith Journey Worship – Luke 2:20 reveals that after visiting the newborn baby Messiah, “The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” What if you began to worship God at work, at home, in the car, and at church in response to what you’ve heard and seen Him do? Connect – If you would like to get to know others at Avon UMC and have a few brief discussions about Christmas, join Pastor Rob on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am in Conference Room 1 (by the church offices on the south end of the building facing 36) for the three sessions of “Who Needs Christmas?” (12/2 – 12/16). Develop – You’re encouraged to read one chapter per day of Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection in the New Testament of the Bible from December 1st through December 24th. As you read, pray for God to reveal a word, phrase, or verse that is a message specifically for you.  



Your Faith Journey 13

Your Faith Journey
Worship – We hope you’ll plan to continue joining us for weekly worship services on Sunday mornings and watch online through the website at www.avonumc.com if you can’t be here.  Click “LiveStream” to watch the services live on Sunday morning, or select the “Worship Videos” tab to watch previous messages.
Connect – If you are new or newer to Avon UMC, get to know others and enjoy a FREE lunch today (9/23) at 12:00 pm in the AUMC Fellowship Hall provided by the Newcomer Team. 
Develop – We encourage you to read Chapters 28 through the “Epilogue” from the LOVE DOES book this week. You’re also encouraged to read Jesus’ conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 7:24-27. After reading, ask yourself: “Am I choosing to live as a wise or foolish person?”


Your Faith Journey 12

Worship – Within the 10 Commandments we find God saying, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD…On it you shall not do any work.” (Deuteronomy 5:12). Time with God will restore you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, while time spent not working provides the rest your body and mind needs. Are you regularly setting aside time for rest and restoration? If not, Labor Day weekend is a great time to start!


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