Everyday Mystic: Abiding in Christ (09.09.18)
Opening Prayer & Silence
Have one person open the group in prayer, and then sit in 5 minutes of silence with God.
Read these verses about abiding in Christ and life in the Spirit (John 15:1-17; Galatians 5:13-26; Luke 6:43-45) and discuss:
- How does the nature imagery of vines and branches illuminate how we abide in Jesus and bear the fruit of the Spirit?
- How does Paul contrast the life of the flesh and life in the Spirit in the Galatians passage?
- In the Luke passage, Jesus explains how a good tree is known by its good fruit, just as the good of a person’s heart is known by the good they bring about around them. Can you describe a time when bearing the fruit of the Spirit served as evidence of the Spirit’s work in your life?
- Jesus and Paul highlight the importance of love in abiding in the true vine and bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Is your life in union with Christ guided by your love of God and others? If so, what has that looked like?
A Tree is Known by its Fruit
Take 10 minutes to prayerfully journal on your phone or in a notebook with these reflection prompts. The reflection will help you observe the fruit of the Spirit in your life and draw you into abiding in Jesus.
- When is a time you felt very close to Jesus? Write briefly about what you appreciated about Him.
- Examine this list of the fruits of the Spirit and their opposites in the flesh. How do you see these fruits most evident in your current life? How do you see them least evident?
- What words of grace might Jesus have for you about producing fruit in you as you abide in Him? Listen and write down what is impressed upon you.
Split into groups of 2-3 people, discuss, and pray:
- What did you learn about abiding in Jesus and bearing His good fruit in this reflection and prayer time?
- How was your practice of prayer in this last week? What are you learning from it?
- How would you like the people in this group to pray for you?
At next week’s group, we will have a chance to share about our time meditating, praying, and abiding in Jesus. So consider keeping notes or a journal to share.
Our city is named after St. Francis, and it’s our hope as a church to live into our spiritual heritage sovereignly laid out by God. Let’s close by praying the prayer of St. Francis aloud together:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life