Deepen your understanding and application of God's Word through the weekly discussion guides.
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Prayer can be a puzzle. Sometimes it feels like meaningless obligation. But when you experience prayer in a relationship with Jesus Christ, it becomes highly valuable. When you piece together the puzzle of prayer, your life finds new life and power.
Why Do We Praise God? It has a lot to do with this idea: We need to gaze at what truly matters and glance at lesser things in this life. But often we do the opposite – and that messes us up. Praising God is a powerful gift that God gives to us.
Jesus promised a new life, an abundant life for his followers. Not only is Jesus our Savior because of his life of complete obedience that led him ultimately to the cross, but Jesus is the supreme example of what is possible for our lives because he was totally dependent on the Spirit of God. When we depend on the Holy Spirit, we experience the power of Jesus in our lives. Exploring Ephesians will help us experience the power of Christ.
We all have dreams. Goals. Plans. Things we want to do. Things we want to accomplish. Ways we want our lives to play out. So we go after those dreams, goals, ideas of what we want. There are usually all sorts of obstacles to them. Challenges to overcome. Risks to take. And into these plans and dreams we have for our lives comes Jesus.
Wouldn't it be great if you had the superpower to overcome bickering and quarreling? That's what we are looking at from the Book of James this week.
There's not a person alive who hasn't allowed their emotions to affect how they treat others. Feel great and you treat the people around you great. Feel angry and you are grumpy, withdrawn or you lash out with words. So, how do we replace an angry reaction with a loving response?
We live in a culture where words are spilled more freely than ever before. It’s open season to hunt and kill with our words anyone whom we don't like or agree with. Within this world of words, we must discern what is the way of Jesus with our speech, learning to use our words in a way that reflects the character and desires of Him.
When we face trials, how do we choose joy? How do we become positive parents, when life isn't so positive? How do we remain calm in life's storms?
All of life depends on putting our faith in the right places. If we put our faith in the wrong places, we can end up making a mess of our lives and end up using all the wrongs things to try to fix it. So where should we put our faith?
How do we lead children into a growing relationship with Jesus? We're going to look at three principles to minister to and bless our children like Jesus did.
When you join God’s purposes, he will fortify you with three inner transformations. God doesn’t only work through you. He works in you – empowering you, fortifying you, enabling you to do what you cannot do by yourself. What happened with Esther can happen with you.
Scripture reveals to us not only that God has purposes for all his creation, but that his purposes
are often accomplished through people. God cooperates with people to achieve
his purposes. In other words, he invites us into what he is doing. And he gives
us the awesome privilege and authority to shape the course of events in this
For those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, life is an adventure. God has prepared beforehand good works for us to do each day. There is anticipation to join what God is doing. When you join God in his purposes, though, there will be challenges along the way and we must be aware of the three challenges we face to join God’s purposes for our lives.
God is at work in the lives of people everywhere. The great adventure in life is to join God in his purposes and work. But for many people there is a real barrier to doing that.
The reality for orphans is that there isn’t much you can do to fix your lack of family. You need someone to step up and choose you. And when it comes to being spiritual orphans, this same complication exists. We can’t fix our spiritual problem.
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.