We must help one another. The desperation people have in needing to talk to someone is not always merely their desire to be heard, although that is important in itself. It is also often the case that they need help, and so their speech is really a cry for assistance. We will find that if we stop to listen to people, their needs will come rushing to the surface and we will have infinitely more to do than wash their feet. There will be people to feed, thirsty ones to whom to give a drink, naked people to clothe, lonely people to visit, sick and dying persons to care for, and so on for a host of other needs and obligations.

Jesus served us by leaving heaven, taking on a true human nature, teaching, and then dying on the cross for our sin. We cannot do that. So we must ask, "How can we serve others? In what way must we demonstrate the servant nature of our master?" I suggest the following.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ is an individual matter, but it is not individualistic. Let me explain. When we say that discipleship is an individual matter, we are saying that it is something the individual must do. No one can follow Jesus for you. Your husband cannot be your proxy. Your children cannot read the Bible for you, pray for you, obey the Lord for you. You must do these things for yourself, and if you do not do them, you are no true disciple. Individualism is something different.

Suppose we do pursue regular, personal Bible study and prayer? Suppose we do earnestly seek to know the mind of our Savior and obediently follow where he leads? What do we find then? Some would say that we discover a dull monotony of life or at best a list of rules to follow duly, but those who have actually followed Christ find something different. They find freedom from self which is an amazing form of liberty.

We are focusing on how to do systematic study of the Bible, and another aspect is the study of key words. Begin by looking at other passages in the same book in which the word occurs. You can find these by your own reading or by using a concordance in which verses containing a given word are listed. Simple concordances are in the back of many Bibles.