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Outward: Consistently Doing What We Believe

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“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” -- James, the brother of Jesus

“Knowledge that is not put into practice is like food that is not digested.” -- Sathya Sai Baba

Experiencing the full life that Jesus came to bring isn’t just an intellectual exercise—it impacts what we do and how we interact with the world around us.

The outward everyday steps—simplicity, solitude, submission, and service—are four specific ways we can orient our behavior toward new life in Jesus. By consistently engaging in these practices, our hearts are changed and reshaped.

Simplicity refers to any action that shows that we are not ruled by our possessions. We are free to be generous with the resources God has given us.

The practice of solitude shows that we are not ruled by expectations of performance and production, but that the fuel for our lives comes from our connection with our Creator.

Submission is shown in any action which demonstrates that we are not ruled by the desire for power. When we give up our way, being considerate of others and placing their needs before our own, we take a step deeper into the life of Jesus.

Simplicity, solitude, and submission can all have a significant impact on our experience of the full life. We don’t have time to talk about each of those in-depth, but let’s spend a little more time on the fourth outward practice: service.

Service is one of the most powerful outward everyday steps. When we engage in service—using our abilities and our time to help others—we tap into the core of the full life of Jesus. We were not created to live for ourselves … we were created to serve those around us.

By engaging on a regular basis in acts of service—everything from random kindness to people we meet everyday to serving in a ministry of the church or community organization to focused times of service such as mission trips—we align our hearts with the heart of God.

God’s heart, His love, is directed toward everyone. Over and over in the life of Jesus, we see Him taking time to heal the sick, encourage the weak, and spend time with the marginalized and forgotten.

By serving, we align our hearts and our behaviors with the underlying flow of the life and love of God that is already active in the world. The consistent practice of serving has been a foundational part of the life of those who follow Jesus from the very beginning, thousands of years ago.

What are some ways you can take steps to serve, tapping into this aspect of the full life of God?

  • Go through your day with your eyes open, always looking for little opportunities to help the people around you. When you see a chance to serve … jump in and do it!
  • Find a place to serve at Eastern Hills. There are plenty of great opportunities for you to serve in our different ministries, including with our kids, students, hospitality and greeting teams, care teams, and more. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit the serve with us page here
  • Get connected with a community service organization. The Denver metro area has plenty of great organizations that are making a difference in people's lives. You could contact Debby Tepielow, Missions Pastor, at to find out more about the organizations that we partner with as a good place to start.
  • Consider a week-long service opportunity for this summer. Maybe you can serve in one of our kids or students summer camps. Maybe there’s a mission trip you could be a part of. How could you leverage some of your time this summer to serve people who are in need?

However you serve, just take a step. It doesn’t have to be a huge, life-altering step … just a next step. Pray and ask God to lead you in discovering the place for you to serve.

As you serve, remember that the action you’re taking comes from a desire to experience the life of God right here, right now. You may be surprised at how full your heart is after you’ve spent time giving.

Inward: Take Time to Think About What You Think About

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“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

-- The Apostle Paul (emphasis added)

“If you correct your mind, the rest of you will fall into place.” -- Lao Tzu

If we really want to change our lives and experience the fullness that God invites us into through Jesus, we have to change the way we think.

The inward everyday steps—meditation, prayer, fasting, and Bible study—are designed to retrain our minds around the truth of who God is. He is present. He is good. He is love. He is at work. These are just a few of the things of who God is that can reshape our thinking in powerful ways.

How do we engage with the inward everyday steps?

The first thing to know is that there is no right or wrong way to do these things. They will look slightly different for each of us based on personality type, life experience, and learning styles. Don’t be afraid to experiment, trying different things in order to find the methods that work best for you.

One thing that may help, though, is to learn from other followers of Jesus. We can gain insight from their experience which will usually help us along the path of crafting our own personal inward steps.

For hundreds of years, for example, followers of Jesus have engaged in a practice called Lectio Divina (which means “holy reading”). This practice incorporates Bible reading, meditation, and prayer. Here’s how it works.

  • Start by choosing a passage of the Bible (we’d suggest usually starting with something in the New Testament—from the book of John or the book of Ephesians), no more than 10-12 verses in length.
  • Read the passage out loud.
  • After you’ve read through the passage, close your eyes and think about what you just read, looking for a word or phrase from the passage that stood out to you or touched your heart in a unique way. Think about that word or phrase for a few moments in the context of what you just read. What does it mean?
  • Read through the passage again, keeping the word or phrase from the previous step at the forefront of your mind as you read the whole passage. How does it shape or change your understanding of the passage?
  • Pause again after the second reading, continuing to think about the word or phrase that stood out to you, turning it over in your mind. How does this idea shape your understanding of who God is? Of what He is like (or not like)?
  • Spend a few minutes in prayer, asking God, by His Holy Spirit, to reshape your heart and your thinking around this word or phrase. Is there something you feel God is asking you to do in response to what you’ve learned? Ask God to give you the strength to do it.

There are plenty of great online resources to help in this area, whether a simple Bible reading plan that gives you a passage to read each day or even online blogs that are based on a passage of scripture that give insight and direction for your prayer/meditation time.

Whatever tools you use, the most important thing is to be consistent. Spend a few minutes reading, praying, and thinking about scripture each day … expecting that God will use it to reshape your thinking, to renew your mind. When you are faithful to take those everyday steps, God will be faithful to meet you there.

Here are a few resources that may help.

Bible Reading Plans: Check out biblegateway.com or the YouVersion Bible app.

Devotional Blogs: shereadstruth.com and hereadstruth.com, specifically written for either women or men.

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