Growth Questions

Get in the Game! Growth Questions
By: Shane Shobert
Central Intern

 

Reinforce Your Belief

What has God been teaching you in your quiet time?

Who have you had the privilege of reaching out to this week?

What is your number one public phobia? (i.e. public speaking, getting called on in class, attending social gatherings, being the center of attention, etc.)

Live Like Jesus

Do you ever find yourself being like the Pharisees and wanting to separate yourself from the notorious sinner? Why?

Are you willing to put your reputation on the line to reach out to someone or do you sit on the sideline? What would make reaching out to that person worth it?

Read Luke 5:31-32. Do you consider yourself “sick” and in need of a physician? If so, what can Jesus do to help you? If not, why not?

In verses 33-35 is Jesus speaking against fasting? What is Jesus teaching about fasting?

Why were the Pharisees so hesitant to even consider this new way of life? What was holding them back and why?

Do you have old ways of life hindering your walk with Jesus? If so, what are they?

Are you trying to mix your old, comfortable ways with the new Kingdom life that Jesus brings? Explain what they are and try to figure out why they are incompatible.

What attitudes or actions of yours need to change since the old way and new way cannot coexist? How can they be changed?

Love Like Jesus

Dig deep and find something in your life that is comfortable for you, whether it is a custom or tradition and confront it. Pray that this way of life would not hold you back from the new life found in Jesus.

A Message of Joy

As I thought about this idea of “The Ultimate Christmas Story,” I couldn’t help but think about my own love for good stories. Good stories have a way of pulling the listener into its world. In a good story you feel what the characters feel and experience the raw emotions that the plot dictates. Every story, both good and bad, sends the listener away with some kind of emotional feeling. I personally like stories that send me away feeling good and joyful inside. I’m not a fan of sad endings or unresolved conflicts; instead I like happy endings and clear conflict resolution.

What I love about the Bible is that it is a big, epic story, with a happy ending! Not only that, but it’s a story that all people throughout all of time participate in. The interesting thing about this story is that we know in advance how it ends. If you fast-forward to the book of Revelation you will see that the Bible ends with two major events. (1) God resolves the great conflict that sin brought upon the world. He rights all the wrongs of creation. (2) He throws a great party in celebration of heavens victory.

These two future events will be marked by one overwhelming emotion, and that emotion is JOY. In Revelation 19 we get a glimpse of the great joy associated with the Bible’s happy ending. We read that multitudes upon multitudes are so overwhelmed with joy that four times they shout out “Hallelujah!” Their resounding Hallelujah is so powerful that the heavens shake at the sound of their voices. Revelations 19:6 says it this way: “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.’”

The great joy of this future day will be so overwhelming that all the sorrow we have ever experienced in this present world will simply vanish. Jesus compares the joy of this future day to the joy of childbirth. He says, “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:19-24 ESV)

The sorrow that we experience now will be completely overpowered by the joy of this future day. Every doubt, every hurt, every regret, every fear, and every sorrow will disappear at the sight of Jesus. This day will be unlike any other day in our entire existence.

The question is, are you ready for this day? Are you ready to see Jesus? Will you be welcomed into His joy? These are questions only you can answer.

Ricky

The Lion & The Lamb – A Message of Peace

What comes to your mind when you think of the word Peace?

Do you picture a young sleeping baby? A dancing hippy and a Volkswagen van? Maybe you see a Miss America pageant contestant promising to pursue world peace?

Peace is when we experience calm and harmony instead of conflict. We all want peace – inner peace, peace in our relationships, world peace – and the Bible promises a time of perfect peace.

But we are a world in conflict with the Creator. Because of this, we don’t experience peace in our relationships and we suffer inner conflict and anxiety as we respond to the conflict we live in.

True peace is only possible when King Jesus institutes perfect justice, and there will never be perfect lasting peace in this world until there is an end to the rebellion against the King. To experience true peace, you must allow him to be the strong, protective Lion with total authority in your life, and you must depend on Him as the sacrificial lamb that takes away your sin and comforts you in your affliction.

If you depend on Jesus to be your Lion and your Lamb you will experience peace in three ways.

On the day of Judgment you can have confidence that you will be at peace with God. The apostle Paul writes, ”Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

Youll be able to cling to the hope of eternal peace to calm your inner conflict. The promise of eternal peace has the power to quiet your inner anxieties, fears, and struggles. You won’t give up or give in if you remember that Jesus wins. You can have confidence that this temporal conflict is part of God’s greater purpose for ultimate peace. We know that He only allows it in order to draw more people to Him, and to help us be more like Him. One day we will live in harmony with God.

Youll experience more peace in your earthly relationships. We can trust God to do what is right, and to treat us better than we deserve, so we don’t need to avenge ourselves or live with bitterness towards others. Instead, as we do all that is in our control to be at peace with all people we find out the true meaning of Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

This Christmas season, remember that peace is possible when you follow Jesus as King and depend on him as Savior.

Andrew

The Return of the King – A Message of Hope

As we enter the advent season, let’s remember to be mindful of both Advents. Yes, we celebrate the birth, life, ministry, atoning work on the cross and the Resurrection of Jesus our risen Lord, but we must also be mindful of His return.

As Christians, we live between the times of the First Advent and the Second Advent.

We affirm that Christ has come, He is present in the world today, and He will return as King in glory and power.

In Genesis 1 & 2, we’re told that God created a perfect world, a good world were there was no sin and no death. No crime. No hatred or animosity. No need for escape. It was paradise.

But that good world was fractured when we chose to rebel against our Creator and now sin and death are a part of our experience on this planet.

But even in the midst of our rebellion, God provided HOPE.

He said that He would one day send a Hero to rescue us from sin and death and not only us, but also all of creation, so that by believing in Him we could have a relationship with God.

We would be adopted into His family, sons and daughters of the King of the Universe.

The good news is: the Hero has come.

Jesus, God’s Son, came and lived a perfect life, the one we could never live. He died a bloody, horrible death and was raised again to life the third day, conquering both sin and death so that we could have life – life today and life eternal.

So as we go through the Christmas season let’s spread the good cheer, we have a message of HOPE – the good news of Jesus!

Jim