"An Unlikely Story: What Heaven Sees"
TEXTS: Luke 4:16-30; 2 Kings 5
1. Believers will face a temptation to allow the natural aspects of life hinder their worship of God. This is similar to how those in Jesus’ hometown were distracted from the truths He spoke because He was the “carpenter’s son.”
2. We should be careful concerning what we allow to anger us. If anger is present in our hearts we should examine ourselves to determine if that anger is coming from a worldly or righteous motivation. This will be a real battle for believers because our culture seems to be constantly pulling on us to become filled with anger.
3. The Lord will go to great lengths to help us get over ourselves. It is incredibly easy to think that self is the most important aspect of existence.
4. When Jesus mentions Namaan in Luke 4 it would have greatly angered His Israelite audience. Jesus does this on purpose because He is making them angry to prepare their hearts for the work He wanted to do in and through them. The Lord will do the same thing to us so that our hearts and lives are in a position to spiritually grow and mature.
5. How should the children of God view every situation and circumstance that comes into their lives? We should strive to make the best of every situation and consider what we can do to make it better. Every circumstance–both good and bad–presents an opportunity to glorify God and advance His Kingdom. Imagine what the slave girl that spoke to Namaan about where he could be healed had to get over and work through.
6. The Lord sees where we are at and the condition of our hearts at all times.
7. Throughout the Bible it is revealed how horrific and damaging it is to be filled with and directed by greed.
8. Namaan makes plans to worship God by bringing back two loads of dirt to Syria after his healing experience. This is done because ancient cultures believed there was something important about the physical territory where a god was worshiped. We know what makes worship possible is something more important than dirt. It comes down to personal decisions, receiving and responding to truth, and viewing God rightly. But, just like Namaan, we should prepare our hearts to worship God wherever we find ourselves in our lives.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How can we overcome the temptation to allow the natural aspects of life hinder our worship of Jesus?
2. How can we discern if what angers us is coming from a righteous or unrighteous motivation?
3. How do you think the Lord works in us to help us get over ourselves? How have you personally experienced the Lord doing this work in your heart and life?
4. How can you personally make plans to worship God? What convictions should be formed in your heart and mind so that you are prepared to worship the Lord?
5. Can you think of any questions that you can ask yourself in any given circumstance that would steer you towards making the best of the situation you are facing and dealing with? It could be helpful if we have a set of questions we routinely run through and personally answer to help us make truth five a reality.
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- That we don't allow natural things to hinder our worship
- That we get over self and are careful concerning what we allow to anger us