How can you follow God and thrive in the secular world at the same time? That’s a question that many are confronted with daily as they endeavour to remain true to their faith in a cut-throat culture that is constantly calling them to compromise what they believe. Today we will look at how a life of integrity and consistency can have a far reaching impact when it is centred on God, drenched with God and trusts daily in God for all things.
#8 in series :Making All Things New.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
If God can deliver Daniel from the lion’s den and Jesus from the grave, he can surely deliver you from whatever lions are waiting to devour you.
1. What’s a routine that you cannot change (morning coffee, nighttime prayers).
2. What is the ‘lion’ that is waiting to devour you and your faith at this present time that you need saving from?
3. How important is prayer in your life in helping you to live with integrity and consistency?’
Everyone has one. Everyone lives by one. It may be well-constructed and clearly articulated or silent and not consciously expressed. But it is there. It's called an agenda and it contains the important items that need to be done or completed to give direction and focus to your life. What headlines the agenda of your life? How do you respond when the Holy Spirit shows up and interrupts your agenda to fulfil his agenda for your life? It's so easy to live by our own agenda and then ask God to give power to the plans we have decided. It's far more difficult to take a step back and let God's agenda shape our agenda and become our agenda. But the promised Holy Spirit comes to introduce us to God's plans and take us on an adventure where we see God's power at work transforming lives in a way we can never ask or imagine. Join us today as we explore 'Living in the Spirit' - it's a journey that is wild, scary, exhilarating, surprising but incredibly humbling as the Spirit moves and works through us to fulfill God's Kingdom agenda.
#7 in series: "Making All Things New"
So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:17
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
You have been created by God, chosen by God, and empowered by God to fulfill His agenda, not yours. Our effectiveness in sharing the love of God with the world will only come through living a life of being filled, led by and shaped by the Holy Spirit to go places our human will wouldn’t go, say things our human intellect would not say and love people our human hearts wouldn’t love.
1 What’s the been the greatest/wildest adventure in your life so far?
2 What would people around you conclude about what headlines your agenda in life?
3 Where have you seen the Holy Spirit act/move in surprising ways in your life?
‘Are we all done, all finished…’. You know what comes next if you have ever attended an auction. But maybe those words have taken on a new meaning in your own life. I’m all done, all finished, over it and in your mind you are thinking about your relationship, your past or even your life. The truth is you can’t go back. What’s done is done. But God says you can start anew. That’s what his resurrection victory has won for you. It’s all done, all finished, a sealed deal. Done. That’s great news. The God who creates, the God who comes, the God who comforts and confirms, the God who completes and covers is the God who invites us into a new beginning, a new home, a new body, a new work and a new forever that is simply stunning. It’s a life where you can declare with certainty each day that the best is yet to come We’ll explore and experience that today.
#6 in series: "Making All Things New"
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
REMEMBER THIS WEEK:
The Resurrection gives us future certainty and a present reality. God is making all things new. Right now! This is not about waiting to “go to heaven when we die” but about heaven that has come to us so we can live! Right Now! Where every day becomes more beautiful than the last as God reveals that the best is yet to come in us and through us. Now that’s life-transforming. Right now!
1 If there was one part of your life, that you wish you could ‘do over’, what would it be?
2 How would your life be impacted if you prayed daily, “Lord, thank you that the best is yet to come?’
3 What has been the one take home from this series that you cherish and is worth sharing?’
To be a human is to suffer from chronic near-sightedness. We can’t see tomorrow. It is rare if we can truly see today clearly. And our memories play tricks with the past…we remember what we want to remember…or we just forget…so even the past is foggy. Does that mean life is just random chaos, filled with uncertainty or insecurity? Or is there some sure anchor for our lives and our souls? Today John shows us the great hope to which all creation is drawn. The Father who created all things for his pleasure will one day rule over all things in love. Neither past, present or future are determined by us, by the circumstances of our lives or the challenges or threats we face. All of life is played out in the hands of Jesus who holds past, present & future in the sure grip of his life won for us by his death & resurrection. Living in trust is possible when we rely on the one who has been faithful from eternity to eternity. We’ll explore and experience that today.
#5 in series: Making All Things New
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign’ Revelation 11:17
REMEMBER THIS WEEK:
Spiritual myopia is caused by only thinking about right now. "What do I want now? How do I feel now? What is happening now? It distorts our vision, blurs our future, affects our judgement, and makes every step uncertain. Through the lens of faith and eternity, Jesus' resurrection corrects our vision giving us present clarity, future certainty, accurate decision-making and trust in each step. For true vision gives us confidence to see that whatever is happening now, will never thwart God's purposes or promise to those who belong to him.
1. When iyou think of what is happening in the world or your life, would you say your vision is blurred, dull, seen with rose coloured glasses, or crystal clear? Why?
2. Are there people you have a hard time trusting? Why?
3. What prevents you from fully trusting God at various points in your life?
Sometimes life hurts. That's the unavoidable reality in our world. Turn on the news and you see it. Look in the mirror and your body either bears the scars physically or your heart the wounds emotionally. Being a Christian doesn't guarantee a safe passage through this world unscathed. Neither is being a Christian like a flu shot that immunises you from pain or loss. Luther once said that one of the marks of the Church is struggle. Wherever there is faith, there is also struggle and suffering. Living in suffering is not a sign of failure or even a lack of faith, but is actually testament to a deep faith that takes God seriously; that believes God's promise that suffering will never have the last word. That claims his victory which alone provides strength in suffering, hope amid hurt and gives courage to keep on living. We will explore and experience that promised triumph even if today it feels at a very real level to be another loss for you
#4 in series: Making All Things New
He who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ Revelation 7:15b-17
REMEMBER THIS WEEK:
Whatever scars you bear or ordeal you are going through know this: Christ sees you. He knows the grief that weighs heavy on your heart. He knows the depression or addiction that oppresses you. He knows the challenges you are facing and uphill struggles you are contemplating. Through it all, the Lamb bears the scars for you, continues to bless you and is present with you to lead you to life and victory forever.
a) What’s the best scar you have on your body and how did you get it?
b) What has been the worst ordeal you have been through in life?
c) What has enabled you to keep the faith in the midst of that?
Disappointment. Disillusionment. Dysfunction. Discouragement. Dread. Defeat. Darkness. Death.
If monochrome grayscale life is all there is, then ready yourself for a life that is dreary dull, dead. But John assures us today that’s not the final chapter the Father has written for us. The resurrection of the lamb-who-was-slain changes everything. Out of darkness, light shines. Out of despair, hope arises. Out of discouragement, inspiration awakens. Out of death, new life grows. This is the beauty that the resurrection restores to life. Today we explore life that vividly colours & adds beauty in every time, place and circumstance; a vibrancy and freshness that emerges in and flows from living in worship.
In the vision John receives of Jesus and of God’s ultimate triumph of his kingdom… “…they sang a new song with the words our theme verse for today:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10
REMEMBER THIS WEEK:
Worship not only unveils the beauty of a God who loves us, is for us, and living in us but it fills our lives with a new song that brings life, hope, strength, and trust in every circumstance of life. The daily act of living becomes an act of worship that proclaims to the world that there is nothing of greater worth than Jesus Christ.
1. What made/makes your mum beautiful?
2. How does worship help you see the beauty of God?
3. How are you singing a ‘new song’ in your life because of the resurrection?
Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and taken a long hard look at yourself? Forget about your hair, the wrinkle lines, zits or makeup and look at yourself. Who is that? Do you have the courage to speak honestly about who/what you see or do you look away? Today Jesus walks alongside his Church - the Church he loves, the Church his blood has bought, the Church he holds securely in his hands, and asks us to answer honestly, "What do you see reflected back. What sort of Church are we? A good honest look at ourselves can be confronting, challenging, even convicting but Jesus knows what is at stake. So he calls us out, warns us of danger, but above all reminds us of the incredible promised blessings given to those who live in honesty and claim daily his resurrection victory.
#2 in series: Making all things New
"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:22
REMEMBER THIS WEEK:
Jesus loves you too much to pamper you. If it's comfort, strength and encouragement you need to hang in and hold on, he loves you enough to give that to you. But if you need to be challenged in areas where you are compromising your relationship with him or his witness to the world, he loves you enough to discipline you and warn you. For having paid the ultimate price to get you back and give you life, he cannot bear to lose you again.
1. When you look in the mirror, what do you think is your best attribute?
2. Who was or is the disciplinarian in your house?
3. What would Jesus commend or critique about your relationship with him?
C.S. Lewis once said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” That's what the resurrection does for us. Resurrection is all about a new reality, a fresh perspective, a renewed life that changes everything…even if what you experience in this world seems to be the same...or getting worse. When we wonder who is in control of this world, when life seems too big or you feel too small, not good enough, inadequate, or that you have somehow disappointed Jesus…or made him mad at you…never forget, "the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead" (Eph 1:19-20) is in you. In Christ's presence, by his power, we live the promised journey toward fullness of healing and life and discover a grace that is “making all things new” including us. For from beginning to end, God is in control of all things Today, we begin a journey where John unveils the reality of what God’s making all things new resurrection living looks like.
#1 in series: Making All Things New
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
Living in Christ; means there is nothing too great for God's power to handle or too insignificant for his love to embrace. It's a reality that says from beginning to end, God is in control and his powerful love is transforming everything: …our past…our future…and how we live right now.
1. How has the good news of the resurrection made a difference in your life over the past week? If it hasn't, why do you think that is?
2. From your perspective or from the groups of people you hang around with, who or what seems to be in control of the world at this point of time?
3. What confidence does that give you in facing the future?
There are days in our lives which are difficult
There are occasions in our lives that are confusing
There are times in our lives we'd rather forget.
There are moments that are simply unbelievable
But not today.
There are days when the darkness surrounds us
And the night appears to be endless
But not today
Because today is a sunrise that resurrects It all
Today is a light that breaks every darkness
And shines brighter than any sun
Today is a day like no other
Because the tomb that once held the body of Jesus
Is now, by the power of God, empty.
Today the stones that hold life at bay are rolled away
Today the staleness of decay meets God's breath
And new life springs forth.
Love has won Death is defeated Peace is real
Today the unbelievable is believable,
the impossible is possible
Because Jesus lives.
READINGS: Colossians 1:19-27; Luke 24:1-12
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Luke 24:5-6a
REMEMBER THIS WEEK
No Other Life
Endures…Than the life of Jesus for you.
- If you had to pick three words which come to mind when you think of Easter morning,
2, Where in your life do you need new hope?
3. How has the risen Christ revealed himself to you?