"Works With Great Benefits"
TEXT: Rev. 3:7; Acts 2:42-47
1. Followers of Christ have been called to the work of believing. Meaning, the central tenets of our faith call us to action. Over time, the doctrines that we adhere to transform our attitudes and actions. But it can be tempting to reduce the Christian faith to a collection of doctrines that one must intellectually agree with, but the saving work of Jesus is designed to impact more than our minds. God's children have been called to understand the relationship between what we believe, our internal desires, and ultimately, our actions.
2. We have also been called to participate in the work of worship. Biblical worship calls the children of God to sacrifice. Our Heavenly Father directs us to serve the needs of others ahead of our own. True worship demands that one sacrifices their personal desires if and when those desires appear to be hindering the advancement of God's Kingdom.
3. As God has forgiven us, we have called to the work of forgiving others. It is extremely difficult to deal with the aftermath that comes as a result of humans sinning against one another. A huge part of your life will be learning how to forgive others and respond rightly when you have been sinned against. If we neglect to take this work seriously our hearts will become full of bitterness, confusion, and anger.
4. We are living in a time commonly referred to as the "Church Age." One of the 'central' truths of the Church Age proclaims that the Spirit of God is not relegated to a specific place, but rather the Holy Spirit is now in us--the children of God!
5. Individual believers need to make sure that they are teachable, expectant, and open to the work of God's Spirit each week when they gather to celebrate their risen Savior. Why? It is hard to believe the "big" promises of the Bible if you have never seen God move. And we can resist participating in corporate worship services which, over time, hardens our hearts and positions our hearts to be skeptical of many of Jesus' words and promises.
6. Christians have been called to pray both publicly and privately. In order for us to experience the full benefit of prayer, we need to be committed to both methods of intercession.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. What is the relationship between what we believe, our desires, and our actions?
2. Why is sacrifice necessary in order for true worship to take place? What is God seeking to communicate to us through this revelation?
3. What are some helpful truths to remember as we seek to do the work of offering forgiveness? It can often be overwhelmingly difficult, so what are some of the truths that we must intimately know so that we don't abandon the work of forgiveness when we have to walk through the process?
4. The Spirit of God now lives in us! Why is this revelation important and what does it practically mean for our daily lives?
5. Is there a difference between public and private prayer? What are those differences? Additionally, what do these two methods of prayer have in common?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Growth concerning prayer (privately and corporately)
- Having a heart of forgiveness
- Lifewise (fruit, volunteers, funding, etc...)