The GB Aim: Demonstrating

The aim of the Girls’ Brigade is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.

A canal boat trip can be very relaxing, especially in good weather.  This day, however, was far from dry or warm!  Most of the group were inside with only the helmsman out in the rain.  Looking at a field full of sheep grazing beside the water, she realised that one lone animal was completely entangled in a hawthorn bush.  The more it pulled and panicked, the tighter the wool became caught.  The sheep would undoubtedly die if it wasn’t set free.

The choice was obvious – ignore the situation or, despite the weather and effort required, do something about it!  With varying degrees of enthusiasm the dry occupants of the boat emerged to rescue the sheep!  A wet and slippery landing was negotiated in order to cut the animal free.  No one saw the damp rescuers in action and, of course, the sheep never even said thank you!

Stepping away from an entirely self-centred lifestyle is not always easy.  Jesus’ first followers were encouraged to recognise that demonstrating Jesus’ love was as much a responsibility of discipleship as teaching it!

Romans 14: 7-8 – “… for none of us lives to himself alone…”

Matthew 10: 7-8 – “…Freely you have received, freely give.”

Asking God’s Spirit to open our understanding of the depth of Jesus’ love for the world … us, our community and our environment … will deepen our desire to respond.  As disciples we are called to proclaim this love through speech, action and care.  We are accountable to him regarding the right use of our gifts and resources.

Am I demonstrating Jesus’ love?

  • Do I seek to be a practical expression of Jesus’ love within my church and community?
  • How seriously do I take my responsibility to regularly contribute money, time and prayer to God’s work?
  • Are any changes needed in my priorities – God, home, leisure, church, Brigade?
  • Am I committed to talking about Jesus’ love to people I meet?

When talking with the girls about the use of money and time, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, ethnic cleansing … would your personal testimony of response show Jesus’ love in action?

Do you encourage the girls to be aware of the needs of others, and to be willing to follow Jesus’ example in response?

Isaiah 61: 1-3 is a prophesy about Jesus’ ministry on earth.  As a disciple, are you demonstrating this same love?  (Mt 25: 31-40) Ask the Holy Spirit for a fresh touch of God’s compassion.

Lord Jesus open my heart to understand more of how you feel about your world, and the part I should play in expressing your love.  Help me to reach out responsibly and with your compassion.

The GB Aim: Worshipping

The aim of the Girls’ Brigade is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.

A particular man was always busy.  He had a demanding job, dealing with people, policy and welfare.  Like many, he didn’t work a normal nine to five hour day.  Yet within the pressure and time constraints he experienced, he also had relationships that really mattered to him, particularly with his father.

They were very close, and the man valued time with his father to talk, listen, receive encouragement and, of course, instruction!  Their relationship was important, and the son really loved and respected his father.  Spending time together was a definite priority – even if it meant making time for each other early in the morning!

The man of course is Jesus!  His earthly life was marked by a deep relationship of love and respect with God the Father.  Reading through the Gospels and beyond reveals how Jesus’ life, and the lives of his disciples, centred around the love and worship of God.

Acts 2: 42-43 – “They devoted themselves to teaching … fellowship … breaking bread … prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe.”

Colossians 3: 17 – “… whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

In choosing to follow Jesus we are acknowledging his worth as our leader and Lord.  Worship can be defined as:  to ‘esteem’, ‘honour’ and ‘perform acts of adoration’.  Jesus of course did not only adore the father in the times spent alone with him.  His worship spilt over into everything he did.  Our desire to respond to God in this way will only develop as an understanding and appreciation of all that he is and has done grows in us.  Worship is expressed through praise, prayer and fellowship but also through a lifestyle that honours the Lord above all else.

 Am I worshipping God fully?

  • Is regular worship through church attendance a priority in my life?
  • Am I committed to making specific time in my daily routine for reading God’s word, expressing thankfulness, listening and praying?
  • Does anything else I do, desire or possess count more to me than God?
  • Is my adoration of God expressed in the way I live – can others see that Jesus is special to me?

If a girl thinks that worship is just something you ‘do on a Sunday’, what would you say?  Would she see you as someone who ‘honours’ God?

Romans 12: 1-2

Phillipians 4: 8-9

What does it mean to worship?

Almighty God I worship you!  Thank you for creating me, loving me and allowing Jesus to die for my sin.  When I think of your faithfulness and forgiveness I want to express my love for you.  Help me Lord to honour you in all that I do, say and think.

The GB Aim: Growing

The aim of the Girls’ Brigade is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.

‘Lean down the mount!’

‘Don’t sit back, you will fall!’

‘Make yourself lean forwards, it’s the only way’!

A doubtful and unwilling ski student kept hearing these instructions being issued, and when faced with a downward view of snow and steep hill, she chose of course … to sit back.  The result?  A hard landing, and very wet clothes!

A pair of skis and poles, one body, and one slippery slope covered in snow do not necessarily combine well – not initially anyway!  However, with t he help of an instructor and a willingness to trust, listen and emulate, gradual progress may be made!  Self control doesn’t come naturally – especially when sitting back seems safer or easier!

The expression self control usually conjures up a very restrictive, even kill-joy image.  DON’T, CAN’T, SHOULDN’T … yet as followers of Jesus perhaps we should take a step away from the simple do’s and don’ts to look at the real issue – learning to please the Lord in the way that we live, allowing the Holy Spirit to really live in us.

Titus 2: 11 & 12 – “… the grace of God … teaches us to live self controlled, upright lives.”

Ephesians 5: 1 – “… Be imitators of Christ.”

As ‘learners of Christ’ (disciples) our lifestyle should be changing day by day, in response to Jesus’ teaching.  Part of the expression of our love for God is in allowing His Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus.

Am I becoming more like Jesus?

  • How have I changed for the better since beginning to follow Jesus?
  • Are my patterns of behaviour determined by today’s standards and peoples expectations – OR by what Jesus teaches?
  • Am I struggling to please the Lord in any specific area or relationship?
  • What aspects of my character do I need God’s Spirit to work on the most?

If a group of girls are negative about following Jesus because where seem to be too many ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ involved how would you help them look at the issue of pleasing God?

Could you share openly with them about how the Holy Spirit has been changing you, or how you deal with areas of difficulty in self control?

Galatians 5: 16-27

Read Gal 5: 16-27 and look beyond the ‘restrictions’, toward learning to please God through letting the Holy Spirit take control of your thoughts, attitudes and actions.

Lord Jesus, even when it is difficult to let go of my own desires, and follow your will only, please help me to be open to you.  Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit.  Thank you that as I allow His power to work in my life I can become more like you!

The GB Aim. Following

The aim of The Girls’ Brigade is to help girls to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.

The boat and the path

Two friends jumped off a small boat onto the beach of a holiday island.  The plan for the day was to do a circular walk, and then to catch the boat back to their holiday home.  Immediately a dilemma hit them, there were two paths away from the beach.  Both were, in fact, going in the same direction but went either side of a large sand dune.  One went one way, but of course the friend went the other!  When the path re-joined the inevitable argument ensued.  ‘We always go MY way, you chose the wrong path’.  (It wasn’t their first trip to this place.)  As you can imagine it took a while for the friends to relax their point of view enough to accept that the other had the right to an opinion too!

In that instance neither way ahead was particularly important.  At the end of the day it was an unimportant issue.  Yet is was hard at the time for either friend to allow the other to lead the way.

Colossians 2: 6-7 “… continue to live in Him.”

John 13: 35 “… By this all men will know that you are my disciples.”

Having begun to follow Jesus, the journey can only continue as we actively follow Him.  Responding to His initial call is the starting point.  Learning to hear and respond to Jesus is how we then become real followers or ‘disciples’.  This will develop as we commit ourselves to personal fellowship with God, and with other Christians.  It may mean facing challenging decisions about the way we live.  Being a disciple requires an acceptance that Jesus knows and decides the way ahead.

Am I following Jesus?

  • Am I willing to actively allow Jesus to lead the way I live my life?
  • Am I committed to relationships and involvement with other Christians which help me to grow as a disciple?
  • Is there anything in my life that is preventing me from following Christ – what action do I need to take to address this?

When a girl is unsure of how she should react or behave in a certain situation would she see you as someone obviously following Jesus’ leading through life?

Could you help her to hear and respond to Jesus?

Matthew 5: 1-14

In Mt 5: 1-14 Jesus teaches his disciples much about how to live as followers.  Read the passage through, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you forward as a real follower.  Are there changes to be made?

Dear Lord Jesus you are worth following!  Thank you that you want to lead my life, and will teach me to be a disciple.  Help me to respond to your voice and let go of any attitude or action that prevents me from following you.

The GB Aim: Becoming

The aim of The Girls’ Brigade is to help girls to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life. 

Every journey has a starting point!

Paint a picture in your mind.  Set out on a very hot day to wander across the hillside.  The sky is blue, the grass parched, you can see no shade AND there is no water around … well, if there is you don’t know where.  Yet you are not worried, you feel safe, you walk happily through the hills.  Why? Because you are a sheep!

The location is Israel and somewhere out in front of you the shepherd is in view.  HE knows the route and destination.  HE understands the climate and your need for water.  HE knows where to lead you for shade and drink!

This picture was painted by Jesus, at a point where he described himself as the ‘Good Shepherd’.  In the culture of the Middle East, shepherds lead from the front of the flock.  There is none of the ‘driving’ from behind that we may see. The sheep simply follow.

Their journey began at a set point.  They began to follow the shepherd.

Mark 1: 16-18 – “…Come follow me”, Jesus said.

Mark 12: 30 – “… Love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul … strength.”

Jesus called ordinary people to be his followers.  Jesus calls us to follow him!  In working with GB’ AIM we are acknowledging that this call is just as real today.  In fact we are encouraging girls to respond to Jesus, to follow him.

Have I responded to Jesus’ call?

  • Recall in your mind the time when you began to follow, when you received Jesus as your personal saviour, and spend time thanking God for the gift of Jesus – the Good Shepherd.
  • Am I a follower of Jesus?  (If you are unsure, re-read the Bible verses hear his call to you, and say YES!)
  • Am I holding back from continuing as a real follower, because I know that I may have to change?

If one of your girls asked you why it is good to follow Jesus how would you help her to think it through?

The sheep follow their shepherd because they know he will care for them.

John 10: 1-6, 11-16

Read Jn 10: 1-6 & 11-16 and think about the attributes of a shepherd.  Look at reasons why the sheep trust him.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, do you trust him to lead you?

Lord Jesus thank you that you accept me as I am, and have called me to follow you.  Thank you too that you are a loving shepherd, who knows how to lead me through life.  Help me to trust you and not hold back as I seek to follow you.