TEXTS: Matthew 11:1-24
1. The children of God need to exercise caution concerning where they place their focus. If we fail to have our eyes focused on Christ and His Kingdom, we will experience the temptation to make decisions that lead us away from Jesus and truth.
2. John the Baptist sends for Jesus when he finds himself sitting in prison awaiting death. John is confused and discouraged that he finds himself in such a perilous situation. The Jewish people were wrongly expecting Christ to be a Savior that would provide them a path to obtaining earthly power and control. They were wrongly focused on the temporary rather than God’s heavenly and eternal Kingdom.
3. If we desire to see revival, we must be aware of where our power and hope comes from. Believers in America seem to be fixated on gaining the political upper hand as if that is the avenue in which revival will come. But if we truly want to see God move, we need to get our eyes off the White House and on God’s throne room. The Church’s power doesn’t come from Washington; it comes from heaven!
4. John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. Meaning, he proclaimed a message of repentance and directed people to put their focus in the right place.
5. When we read the accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry, which are found in the (4) gospels of the NT, we see that Jesus spent the bulk of His time ministering to and caring for those who were considered too broken and sinful to be reconciled to their Creator.
6. Even when the Lord deals with our sin, He reveals Himself to be a loving, merciful, and forgiving Savior. He is not a cruel taskmaster who beats us into submission, but rather reveals Himself as a true and gentle Savior whose kindness leads us towards turning away from our sin.
7. God is not as concerned with changing who holds and controls the seats of power in our land as much as He is concerned with changing the hearts and lives of His children.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How can a believer discern if they are too focused on the temporary? What are some indicators that our hearts may be out of balance?
2. How would you define repentance? What does this process typically look like and include?
3. How have you observed Christ loving you as He directs you to deal with your personal sin?
4. Why do you think so many believers in America are fixated on political affiliations and power? What could this be a sign of? What is going on in our hearts that would leave us so vulnerable to this temptation?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Having the right focus as believers
- A proper and healthy understanding of repentance
REMEMBER: Ramadan begins this weekend. Commit to praying for the Muslim world during this special time. Pray that Muslims would encounter Christ and put their focus in the right place. Some materials to help you pray for the Muslim world will be made available to you this Sunday.