“Put on your oxygen mask first…”

We’ve all listened to pre-flight announcements on an airplane. Most passengers ignore the instructions from the flight oxygen maskattendants. I’ve seen people reading books, flipping through magazines, or listening to music. Almost no one pays any attention to the announcements – including a very important one: “In case of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first.Then help those around you.” On one Southwest Airlines flight, a particularly funny stewardess told passengers that they would want to place an oxygen mask on their own face before helping even their own children. The stewardess advised us that if we were traveling with two or more children to “start with the one who has the most potential.” It got a big laugh that day.

Oxygen Masks and Bible Study Groups

If a plane’s cabin were to depressurize, it would be imperative that each passenger wear an oxygen mask. Without it, a person would pass out from a lack of oxygen and would not be able to help others. It would create a very serious situation indeed. Group leaders must put on their own “oxygen mask” before they are in a position to lead the members of their Bible study group to become mature disciples. What kind of oxygen mask am I talking about? It’s obviously not a real oxygen mask!

Your Daily Devotional Time Provides Oxygen For Your Soul

Before you can lead your group to explore and apply God’s Word, you’ll want to “put on the oxygen mask of His Word.” You must do this before you are in a position of leading others.

Jesus knew the importance of having time alone with His Heavenly Father. He often retreated and began His day alone, praying and seeking His Father’s blessing, presence, and grace. If this was Jesus’ own example and practice, how much more so do we need to practice breathing in the rich oxygen that comes from God’s Word?

Start Today

Get in the habit of teaching from the overflow of your life in Christ. Meet with Him in His Word each and every day. Pray. Listen. Do. There are many free devotional apps for your phone. My team at LifeWay has created a new resource called the Daily Discipleship Guide that features 5 daily studies based on a group Bible study; this keeps people in God’s Word daily as they deepen their understanding of the Scripture passage their group recently studied.

Whatever you choose to use to keep you in God’s Word daily, get going! The new year is fast approaching, and that would be a great time to create a new habit like this one.

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