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Summary: It’s alarming to think of the numbers of people who don’t crack the cover of their Bibles from Sunday to Sunday. Some don’t even generate enough energy to pick it out of the pew and follow the reading, because the sense of its contents holds no interest a

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THE W5 OF LIFE GROUPS

“Boot Camp”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

INTRODUCTION

We began a series called “The W5 of Life Groups” and we evaluated WHY the approach to small groups which we call Life Groups. In that we saw the need and value of community connection through these intentional forums.

Today we consider the place of the Word (Bible) as a foundational component of Life Groups at KCC.

Today’s theme is called Boot Camp. Boot Camp carries a wide variety of implications, ranging from aggressive military training that completely reprograms a person to adopt the value system of military life, to weight boot camps that get aggressive with eating disorders. There are many other ranges of boot camps but all are designed to create a different YOU to the YOU that arrived. Usually the aim is to develop abilities, values and traits that result in a person excelling maybe beyond the potential thought possible.

We need a type of boot camp experience in the life of KCC and likely The Salvation Army nationwide. The evidences of sloppy disciplines and gross negligence in matters of spiritual deportment and practices are far too obvious in the body of Christ, of which we are a part. Most people cannot quote ten verses of the Bible and have even less aptitude when it comes to applying the Word to life.

Futurist and author, Leonard Sweet, in his book Aqua Church, symbolizes the Bible as a compass to help us find the North Star, that being Jesus! I find his analogies very powerful and soul-stirring because they speak so well of reality – raw, in-your-face reality. He tells a story to make the point of how basic and fundamental the Bible is to the Christian Church. Let me share the story. “Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers head coach, was a fanatic for fundamentals. After a game in which the Packers lost to an ill-deserving team, Lombardi called his team together and roared: “OK, we go back to the basics.” Then, holding a football high enough for all to see, he continued to yell: “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

“For the church, it’s now back to blocking and tackling basics. To a world that thinks its quoting Shakespeare when it quotes the Bible; to a world in which the Bible has become an unknown book; to a world that picks up the Bible when it goes spoiling for a fight; to a church that gives restaurant menus and TV Guides closer readings than it does Scripture: to this world and to this church it’s time to hold up the Bible and say:

People, this is a Bible.

People, this is a compass.

People, this is what helps you find the North Star.

Off course? Lost your bearings? Drifting in the dark sea? People, this is how you find life’s bearings.”

It’s alarming to think of the numbers of people who don’t crack the cover of their Bibles from Sunday to Sunday. Some don’t even generate enough energy to pick it out of the pew and follow the reading, because the sense of its contents holds no interest and we’ve become lazy, spoon-fed, spiritual babies. We open our mouths like birds and expect someone else to feed us.

Sweet asks a simple question, “Why is it that when we open God’s Word we expect to be bored? It is theologically incorrect to talk of making the word “come alive”. It already is. We’re the ones who have tried to kill it…“Breathe on me breath of God” is a song that the soul should sing every time it opens the Scriptures. To study and learn the Scriptures is to inhale the energies of the Spirit. We inhale the breath of God; we exhale the breath of life: biblical stories.”

I have a disturbing wake-up-call message for us. If the only Bible we get is Sunday morning church, that’s not enough Word in your diet. If you came to our house for dinner my wife would serve a hot meal fit for the queen. She can cook up an amazing pasta bake, homemade meatballs and rice or – you got it – jigs dinner! That’s only three of her multiple amazing dishes! Her glazed carrots are to die for – mixed with brown sugar, spice, cinnamon and butter - yum! Now, as good as that meal would be, is it enough to sustain you until next Sunday when Beth has you over for dinner?!  I thought not. Now you make the application to getting Bible only at Sunday morning church.

Have you ever stopped to consider that the church and the Bible is always one generation away from extinction? These facts and the ever-present reality of Godless people in the world should alarm us. When I say Godless I don’t mean evil or wicked. There are many wonderful, delightful and moral people who are without God – Godless. There are many so-called Godly who are just as Godless. These are just blind to reality and Judgement Day is going to be an eye-opener. We’ll look into this in a few moments.

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