Deepen your understanding and application of God's Word through the weekly discussion guides.
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The story of Esther is going to help us discover and live out God’s purpose for our lives. Do you know what God’s purpose is for your life? Have you ever committed your life to follow Jesus – to trust him and do what he calls you to do? Have you ever had the adventure of watching God do through you what only God could do?
Our best act of friendship is to bring our friends to Jesus. The way that we do that is by bringing the good news.
This is intimidating to some. We think, “Why would I try to connect my friend with Jesus?” That seems awkward and no one likes to talk about religion.
So, let’s clarify that to share the good news about Jesus with your friend is not to talk about religion but about a relationship with Jesus. A friendship with Jesus is the best friendship that you can possibly have.
We know from the Bible that people cannot be saved without hearing the good news, the gospel. God’s plan is that we bring the good news and hearing the gospel about Jesus Christ is powerful enough to bring us to trust in Jesus. But how does that work? Am I the one who saves people? If I say just the right words and with the right touch emotions, is that how people get saved? What if my child never accepts Jesus? Have I failed my child? When we bring the good news, what’s our role? What is God’s role?
We are called to be witnesses and ambassadors of Jesus so that others can have new life in Christ. But, how do we do that? Is there a way to be normal and not scare people off or to unnecessarily offend people? We can effectively bring the good news.
Do you struggle with feeling inferior? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others; believing that nothing you do is ever good enough. or you experience persistent self-doubt and uncertainty?
When it comes to questioning our worthiness to be loved, God thinks differently about us than we think about ourselves.
We all know that is what happens when you leave a couple of glowing logs together. The power of the fire is not just in the flames. Those coals continue to burn until there is nothing left to consume. Unresolved anger works a lot in the same way in our lives, doesn’t it? What’s the alternative? The good news for those of you battling with resentment, is that Jesus has a way to restore life and joy to you without sacrificing justice. And there is a clear way to step into that freedom.
How do I win the war against lust? Some answer, “What war?” Others say, “I’ve stopped fighting.” There are those who are fighting but discouraged. To some, this is on the No Talk List. Others have had some success – but know that they must continue the fight. Whatever your response might be, we need to talk about this.
Do you struggle with worry, shame, lust, resentment or the feeling of being unloved? We don’t have to stay stuck in negative thought patterns but we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too may life a new life. This means that, when we die, we go to heaven with Jesus because he paid for our sins. And, it means we can have a new life right now. Did you see it? We too may live (present tense -- right now) a new life. But here’s what is true about us. There’s a gap between the life we have, and the life we could have. (The new life in Christ.) And often that gap is in our relationships.
Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus stepped fully into the hoped for expectations of many that he was the Messiah sent by God to save his people and set up a kingdom that would enable God’s people to prosper under the justice, righteousness, and blessing of God forever. So Palm Sunday is a celebration that God is intervening in this world and personally into one’s life to bring about eternal good.