Not Exactly As Planned

December 10, 2018

Life Application: Pray this prayer every day this week:

Lord Jesus, make us expectant and eager to do your will even when it disrupts our world, just like Joseph.  Lord, prepare us to have our lives changed and our world rocked by your advent among us, just like Joseph. Lord, give us the grace to silently, obediently live as you would have us live in whatever strange and inexplicable circumstances we find ourselves, just like Joseph. And Lord, make us ready to receive you to be born in our lives and ready to pick up and move to wherever you might lead, just like Joseph. Amen.

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A Scandalous Grace

December 3, 2018

Life Application: Today is the first day of Advent, a season during which we seek to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. 

  • Beginning today until Christmas, pray that you will experience Jesus in unexpected ways.
  • Do one intentional act to share the life and love of Jesus to a new generation.
  • What does it mean to you for Jesus to usher in ultimate rest this advent?
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What Should I Do with My Doubts?

November 26, 2018

Life Application: What are the greatest doubts in my life right now?  What are my greatest doubts when it comes to God? Am I willing to name them? Which story has the greatest hold on my life and influences my decisions the most? How can God use my doubts to strengthen my faith? In the midst of my doubts, what will allow me to feel the touch of Jesus or hear the voice of Jesus in my life right now? How much of a role do life groups, scripture, and prayer play in my life right now?

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Is God An Angry Judge?

November 19, 2018

Life Application: How can the reality of hell deepen my love for God?

  • Upon what am I tempted to build my identity? What step can I take to more firmly build my identity upon Christ?
  • Do I need to trust that God will make all things right and give up seeking vengeance for a wrong that was done to me or someone I love?

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:17

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What Can We Do About Suffering?

November 12, 2018

Life Application: 12 Ways Ordinary People Can Love Orphans

1) Foster

2) Adopt

3) Celebrate Orphan Sunday Annually

4) Become a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children

5) Mentor

6) Become a volunteer Safe Family 

7) Offer practical aid to foster/adoptive families

8) If you have a specialized skill, considering offering it to adoptive/foster families

9) Raise Financial Support

10) Conduct culturally sensitive mission trips with clear objectives

11) Establish an ongoing church ministry as one church or partnering with others

12) Facilitate a church culture open to loving/supporting orphans and families

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Is the Bible Historically Reliable?

November 4, 2018

Life Application: What parts of the Bible are the hardest for me to accept? What parts speak the most to me? How engaged am I in God’s Word?  Do I read it daily? Weekly?  Monthly?  Never? How can I take my next step to be more in God’s Word? Consider exploring the YouVersion Bible App. Am I willing to trust the Bible in such a way that my heart begins to “burn within me?” What would it take for this to happen?

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Has Christianity Hurt People?

October 29, 2018

Life Application: Who have I hurt?  Am I willing to confess this to God? How do I show favoritism? Who can I pray for who has been hurt or disappointed by the church?

“Whole-hearted faithfulness to God will always require of us whole-hearted faithfulness to the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters: to orphans and widows, to our naked, hungry neighbors, to wounded and broken left-behind bystanders”.  ~AKM Adam, Oxford University

 

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Is There Only One True Religion?

October 22, 2018

Life Application: What question is my biggest obstacle when it comes to understanding Jesus as the truth? What question most helps me understand Jesus as the truth?  Do I see questions more as obstacles or opportunities? Why do you think Jesus asked so many questions? What is a question in your life that you would most love answered?  How am I testing what is true?  What question can I ask that will help me discover the truth?  Will you ask Jesus to reveal His truth in your life this week?

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Salvation

October 15, 2018

Life Application: Have you ever had a defining moment of saying “Yes” to Jesus in your heart and mind?  If not, can today be that day? Is Jesus just a formula in my life?  Or Lord of my life?  Am I trying to become a Christian?  Or can I say with certainty I am a Christian?  How can I better realize that salvation in Jesus is the greatest news in the universe?

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The Communion of Saints (World Communion Sunday)

October 9, 2018

Life Application: What is your current perception of “church?”  What step can you take to help us live into GOD’S perception of the church? What step can you take to help First Church become a “supernatural community” where so many different people are united in God’s love? How can our vision of “Transformation in Christ, Changing Lives Inside and Out” be more than a statement? How can it be our reality? Who can you be the church for this week? Who is someone very different from you that you can love, serve, invite, and exemplify Christ’s love? Will you commit to fervent prayer that we would be the community of saints that God intends God’s church to be?

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