"Jesus Shows Up When Two or Three Invite Him"
TEXTS: Acts 8; Prov. 6; Matt. 18
1. God extends His power to all believers and includes them in His work. Philip–who was not included among the original 12 disciples–is powerfully used by God in Acts 8. From this account we are able to see that God’s power is extended to all His children (not just Jesus and the Apostles).
2. What’s a sign that Jesus is actually present and working among us? We will experience joy and unshakable certainty. The work and movement of God, even if it requires us to sacrifice, will ultimately bring great joy to our lives.
3. No local church is a perfect expression of what it looks like to worship Jesus. But we should exercise caution about being overly critical concerning things that are related to the church. If we constantly critique and complain about people and the other things we don’t prefer at church, we will teach the younger generations to disregard the truth of God.
4. One of the necessary and distinguishing characteristics of a Christian is humility. We are called to be bold and courageous, but that does not imply that we are to serve the Lord in a way that makes it seem as if we are superior or more righteous than others.
5. We can often make serving the Lord about self-determination and teeth-gritting obedience. Being motivated like that will not produce the joy and life that God wants for us. The average Christian often wonders how they are called to serve the Lord and in what capacity they are to be ministering to others. A believer who finds themselves in such a place can look at what their spiritual leaders are asking the congregation to be involved in and joyfully commit to those things.
6. We are not allowed to be the backstabbing, gossiping, and insult hurling type of people. God will not overlook division among His people.
7. The context of “2 or 3 in agreement” is not dealing with prayer (as it often gets connected to). The context is actually dealing with corrective measures a local church takes to ensure that unity is preserved.
8. God expects that if we have been forgiven by Him that we are able to extend forgiveness to others. Holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness will cause us to be held in captivity and bondage by the powers of darkness.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. What kind of things often cause division in a local church? What must we be cautious about and on guard against?
2. What does Christian humility look like? Does it look differently than how unbelievers would define humility?
3. How can we discern if we are being overly critical about church related issues? Why is this practice so dangerous for the younger generations to observe?
4. How does the work of the Lord bring joy to our lives? Both personally and corporately?
5. What does the process of forgiving someone look like? How does it practically play out in our hearts and lives?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Forgiving others / against divisions
- Modeling a life of Christian humility
REMEMBER TO READ MATTHEW 18