A Legacy of Tranquility

                                                                                                                                               Legacy Series

Peace Promoters

“the healing that almost didn’t happen”

2 Kings 5:1-16

Read the passage. Any first impressions?

Peace Promoters are those who use gentleness and kindness to bring others close to the God they love. In this story there are three instances of “peace promotion”.

  1. The servant girl who suggested that her master could be healed. Review verse 2 to discover why it was unusual for this girl to be so kind.
  2. The prophet Elisha. At that time there was very little faith in Israel. The Jewish people had abandoned God. This “unreasonable request” by Naaman, a foreigner, was an opportunity for God to get glory. Did it work? See verse 15.
  3. The unnamed servants of Naaman, verse 13, who noticed his anger and chose to confront him. (As a sidenote: unmet expectations/disappointments can rob us of the blessings God has in store. Naaman had God in a box and almost missed out.) Discuss the servant’s appeal to Naaman.
    1. Was there a risk in confronting Naaman?
    2. Did the servants do it in kindness?
    3. Did Naaman respond well?

The end result of this story is a healing testimony and a saved soul. Naaman needed a healing to come into a relationship with God and the Lord gave him one. But none of it would have happened without the peace promoters in his life.

How can we be peace promoters?

  1. Prayerfully look for situations where God could get glory. As a group list some potential situations where you could be a peace promoter.
  2. Take the risk. Make the pitch. Peace with God can and will help them. They only need to turn it over to the One who loves them. Kingdom advancement happens when we are bold! See Proverbs 28:1
  3. Watch God work and continually give thanks.

Legacy of Ministry

Romans 12:3-8

Discuss the following quote. Do you agree with it and why?

Remember, it’s not what we leave FOR others that matters; it’s what we leave IN them that matters most. So, serve others by leaving behind the best and most beautiful parts of you. Today, and every day, create your legacy. Lisa Haisha, Host of The Legacy Series

Now read Romans 12:3-8 out loud. Give this paragraph a title.

Since we all form one body, we _______ to all the others, verse 5, NIV. What if the finger thought he didn’t need the eye or the toe didn’t think she needed the liver? Since there is a deep sense of need among body parts there is a deep sense of belonging. Look at the members of your group right now. Have you considered that you need them?

From this passage does it appear that every part of the body has some gift something to offer, see also 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11? What would you say to someone who claims they have no gift from God to offer the body? If you have a gift what should you do with it, 1 Peter 4:10?

Verse 6 is insightful. It opens with: We have different gifts (charisma “a special favor from God without merit”) according to the grace (charis, the “merciful kindness of God”). Now we can see clearly why Paul opens this paragraph with the info in Verse 3. It is clear our gifts, which are very helpful to the body, are a free gift from God. We operate in our gift by faith. God gets all the glory for the fruit.

Look over the gifts mentioned in verses 6-8. Which gift best identifies you? How are you currently using this gift or how would you like to use it? In a moment of accountability with your small group be honest about your spiritual gift or gifts and how effectively you are using them. Then pray for God’s help.

Is God Really Worthy?

Text Box: Sermon Based Bible Study
September 20, 2020
Is God Really Worthy?

Revelation 4:1-11

The Revelation gives us the best glimpse of the Lord and His heaven we are ever going to get in the whole Bible. Read chapter 4 out loud.

  • What does the open door stand for, verse 1?
  • John encountered this vision “in the Spirit”, verse 2. What is that all about? See Revelation 1:10.
  • John’s attention is immediately drawn to Someone on the Throne. Describe that individual, See Daniel 7:9, 10.
  • Others are around the Throne. Do a quick review of who is in heaven focused on the Throne from this chapter.
  • The beings closest to God declare His holiness in verse 8. Is there any significance to repeating “Holy” three times? See Isaiah 6:3.
  • The 24 elders (presumed to be human leaders who have served the Lord successfully) use slightly different language in verse 11. Instead of “Holy” they shout “Worthy”.

The Greek word used here for worship is axios meaning “weight”. How much something was worth was determined by weight as in the weight of silver or gold. Paul uses axios as a comparison in Romans 8:18.

Our English word “worship” has its roots in “worthship” a 17th century word meaning to ascribe and proclaim someone precious and supremely valuable.

What is God worthy to receive in verse 11?                                                                       (One might ask, “Doesn’t God already have those things?” We could respond, “He doesn’t have them from us until we give them!”)

What has God done and what is He still doing that makes him constantly and forever worthy, Verse 11?

  • How does verse 11 fit in with the theory of evolution?
  • If your children asked you, “What holds this world together” how would you answer them using this verse?

Conclusion: If God is worthy of glory, honor and power, what will you do?

Crushing Satan’s Head Through Prayer

Sermon-based Bible Study

Read Genesis 3:14-19 This prophecy includes a future conflict between the serpent and his offspring and the Savior and His offspring (that’s us). The word for “bruise” in verse 15 can be translated “crush”. A crushed head would speak symbolically of the removal of the serpent’s dominion.

Background to “head crushing” prayer

Ezekiel 28:12-17 God had been good to Lucifer, the shining one. Few creatures, if any, were as beautiful or as talented. Yet pride crept in and he fell. His doom is announced in Matthew 25:41.

Lucifer (also known as Satan, the accuser) has authprity/control over this fallen world, John 12:31. Most evangelical theologians believe Adam surrendered his authority to the serpent when he sinned (died spiritually). That gave the devil the right to offer it to Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness.

John 8:44 Lucifer has children (offspring or seed) the same way God has children. Initially, we are born into moral decay and wickedness, Ephesians 2:1-3. We can choose to be born again in new life! We exchange the condemnation of the old Adam to the righteousness of the second Adam, Jesus.

After his fall, Lucifer hated God and everything God loved, especially mankind. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image which made them greater beings than all the angels.

Believers are called to pray in and cooperate with the expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth, Matthew 6:10. The tense of the verbs “come” and “be done” allows for command or declaration. You can get radical when you pray! As you pray in partnership with your Heavenly Father you are essentially crushing Satan’s head who desires to hang on to his dominion of darkness over mankind.

Try praying right now with a sense of authority and faith, in Jesus name, that the Kingdom of God invades your home, your place of employment and your church with righteousness, peace and joy.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:13, 14

Justification and Forgiveness

Forgiveness: A Legal Transaction

You look in the rearview mirror of your car and see the red blinking lights. What are you hoping for?

We all want grace when we sin. Couldn’t God just forgive us for all our sins? The answer is “NO” and here is why.

God is holy and justHis holiness causes separation from sinners, Isaiah 6:5.

His justice requires punishment for transgressions, Romans 1:18.

Because of sin everyone abides under the eternal wrath of God, John 3:36.

We would love to minimize our sin but that isn’t how God works. He has a much better plan!

True Forgiveness requires a Legal Transaction – Justification

  1. First, we must come to the realization that we are not in right standing with God. Each of us should declare with Paul, “Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst”, (1 Timothy 1:15). What would you say to someone who thought their sins weren’t that bad?
  2. Justification is a declaration by a holy God that we are righteous based upon the eternal merit of Christ on the cross. This merit included the saints in the Old Testament, Genesis 15:6.
  3. God can declare us righteous because through the cross Jesus became sin and was judged for what we did, 2 Corinthians 5:21. God cannot and will not judge you for your sin after He judges His Son for your sin.
  4. We receive this merit by faith alone and immediately stand justified in His grace, Romans 5:1, 2.

Who is qualified to be justified? Romans 4:1-5

Ungodly, wicked people

Those who don’t work for it but believe

We all want grace and God wants to give it. He gives it legally through the process of justification. What is the correct response to justification?

Complete Dependence on God

Complete Dependence on God

Matthew 6:9-13

 

In the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” is as much a statement as it is a request. Not only are we asking God for the most basic needs of life ( bread) but we are stating we will trust the Him to meet those needs.

 

Self-dependence test: When you think about your Heavenly Father meeting your daily needs are you more like the young child, happy to have her parents feed and clothe her or the teenager who can’t wait to break free from home?

 

The prodigal son showed signs of independence. It is likely he was tired of all the hard work at home. He thought he could make it in the world without his father. How did things turn out for him? Luke 15:13-20

 

 

Depending on the Lord is not a labor saving device. It is a partnership. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

  • What would happen if Paul and Apollo’s did nothing?
  • What was Gods part?

 

 

Depending on the Lord is a daily surrender through prayer, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Look closely, how often should you rejoice, pray and give thanks?
  • Could a self-dependent person obey these verses?

 

Jesus, our perfect role model, demonstrated complete dependence on the Father through His time on earth. Rather than marshaling his courage to go through the cross, he prayed.

  • Matthew 26:39
  • Luke 23:46

 

Think of three areas you can become more dependent upon God and pray for the grace to do so.

Kingdom Declarations

Sermon-based Bible Study                                                                         August 23, 2020

Kingdom Declarations

thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

 

The words “come” and “be done” in this verse are in the present tense, imperative mood. The present tense speaks of something happening or our desire to have something happen now. The imperative mood is a form of command as in, “Sit down!”

There is a commanding voice when we are declaring Kingdom realities over our lives. It is almost like we are saying, “We are done with what is and we speak Kingdom life over this situation.” Have you ever prayed like that? Could you share about it?

Prayer gets weak and wimpy when we don’t pray with conviction, 1 John 5:13-15. “Confidence” in verse 14 literally means “freedom in speaking, frankness, bluntness”. How often do we pray like that? The Lord’s Prayer says we should!

Other confirming Scriptures: Mark 11:22-24, John 15:7

Pray some declarations with boldness and confidence:

 

  • In the name of Jesus, We are filled with “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 14:17)
  • We have set our minds and keep them set on things above, where Christ is. We set our love on God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit. We make Jesus Christ the Center of everything we do. We honor the Holy Spirit and yield to His presence, His power, and His will in all things. Colossians 3:1-3
  • We are filled with the Holy Spirit and power. We go about doing good and healing all who are oppressed by the devil, for God is with us. Acts 10:38
  • We are keenly sensitive to the Lord and His voice. We ALL hear God’s voice behind us, saying “This is the way; walk in it,”. We hear God’s voice clearly, and we follow Him. All of our prayers are heard and answered, and everything we need is provided in abundance. John 10:27
  • We have received the Spirit of adoption, by Whom we cry out “Abba! Father!” We operate in power, love, and a sound mind, and we are all filled with God’s perfect love. We dwell in unity as brothers and sisters in Christ, and God’s anointing covers us. Romans 8:15, 2 Timothy 1:7

See 15 Declarations to Speak Over your Church by Jamie Rohrbaugh for more.

 

Be honest. Does praying this way make you uncomfortable? Discuss this with your group. What could change in your prayer life that would bring about more boldness and confidence?

I Can Pray

Sermon-Based Bible Study

The School of Prayer, WK 1

August 15 and 16, 2020

I Can Pray

Matthew 6:9-13

Someone in your group should be able to say this prayer without looking in the Bible. See who can. Your goal over the next 6 weeks should be to have this prayer memorized.

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer

  • Matthew 6:5 One really bad reason to pray is ________________
  • Matthew 6:6 One really good place to pray is ________________

(this seems to encourage praying alone, but the Lord’s Prayer starts with “Our”)

  • Matthew 6:7 One really unhealthy tendency in prayer is to ________
  • Matthew 6:8 One thing we should be assured of in prayer is ________

 

Luke 11 is the other place in the Bible where we find the Lord’s Prayer

  • Luke 11:1 What caused a disciple to ask for instruction in prayer?
  • Luke 11:5-8 God is much more compassionate than your neighbor at midnight! However, even that neighbor gave “more than ________”. Do you believe God gives you “more than enough” when you pray?
  • Luke 11:9, 10 How much uncertainty do you find in these verses?
  • Luke 11:11-13 These verses expose the Father’s heart toward you. Share the essence of these verses in your own words.

 

Conclusion: What we believe about prayer and its effectiveness is entirely up to us but it does make an incredible difference when we pray! How will you pray and what will you believe about prayer the next time you pray?

Feelings, Facts and Faith

Feelings, Facts and Faith

 

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. (Prov. 28:26).

 

Group discussion. How do you feel when:

  • Worship music is playing?
  • A superior is correcting you?
  • You have achieved a goal?
  • You discover you have procrastinated too long?
  • The sun is out and the sky is blue?

 

Feelings and emotions are wonderful ways to respond to experiences in our lives. No one would want to live without them. But they can be fickle and can lead us to believe lies.

 

We need a standard that guides us when our feelings err. That standard is the Bible.

  • Name three reasons you trust the Bible over your own feelings.
  • The heart is that part of us which creates feelings. Here is what we know about our hearts, Jeremiah 17:9. Even a redeemed heart can return to old patterns.
  • Can you think of a time when you felt that God was distant or that the Word wasn’t true? How did you overcome?

 

Faith over Feelings

 

Matthew 7:24-26

  • Is hearing the Word enough?
  • What should a believer do who continually makes bad decisions based on feelings?
  • If a close Christian friend were about to make a major life decision based on errant feelings (marry an unbeliever, become sexually active before marriage, take something from work that he believes he deserves but does not belong to him, etc…)

 

Commit your self to enjoy your feelings and emotions but to constantly evaluate them in light of God’s a Word.

Disagreements

 

 

Philippians 2:1-4

 

Read the Passage

A disagreement is defined as friction, discord, or a lack of consensus about how two parties think. They are not “like-minded.”

 

As believers we have great reasons to choose to be like-minded.

  • Name some reasons we should be “like minded’ from Philippians 2:1-4.
  • Why would church unity bring such joy to Paul?
  • If a disgruntled person came to you, how could you use this passage to help?

 

What was the mindset of Jesus?

  • Philippians 2:5-7
  • Matthew 9:36
  • Is it even possible for us to have these qualities? How might it change our relationships to have the mindset of Jesus?

 

So, you have a disagreement with another believer. You have a chose to make. You can either:

  • Never talk to them again or at least, stay distant.
  • Meet with them to prove how right you are.
  • Surrender and lay down like a doormat.
  • Choose path that brings unity to the body of Christ. Discuss with your small group how you might follow this path of unity.

 

Conclusion: God included you into His family when He saved you from your mountain of sins. Will you commit to including others through a mindset of unity with those believers who think a little differently than you?