If we are comfortable where we are, we do not rely on God. We must be desperate for and dependent on Him.
It’s winter, and it’s cold! What do you find comforting this time of year?
“Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.” (Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest) Pastor Chris recapped our vision, the Decade of Dreams, to reach 10,000 and to “make it hard to go to hell” from East Tennessee. We are actually ahead of schedule! BUT, when we think we can, we often rely on ourselves instead of on God! This is evident in many churches today. It is human nature to default to our comfort zone- to move away from desperation and dependence on God. Faith Promise has been taking steps of faith for 20 years. We are adding services, and we are adding campuses. This is going to necessitate people switching service times, call more saints to use their gifts, and require more people to serve. In effect, it will take people out of their comfort zones.
Pastor questioned us if we knew where most people spend their time…focusing on their PROBLEMS! We can never solve them, but we desire to walk in victory. How? Get involved with something bigger than our problems. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Cor 4:17. So, where do we go in the next 20 years?
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:
Read Matthew 28:18-20
1. True or False? These verses are known as the Great Suggestion.
2. Who has authority over heaven and earth?
3. Whose authority commands us to share the Gospel and make disciples for the Kingdom?
4. Were the disciples limited as to where they could share the gospel? Where were the disciples told to go to share the gospel?
5. This command is still in effect today. Jesus’ disciples are to go and make other disciples! We must know the facts of the gospel to believe and become a member of God’s redeemed family. (Romans 10:14-15). Share with your group where you can share the gospel. Is there someone the Lord has placed on your heart, especially?
6. Is this commission optional? Why or why not?
7. Jesus’ presence can comfort us when we are too timid or scared to share the Good News. How is Jesus with us?
8. Explain what it means when one is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?
Read John 16:33.
9. Should we expect trouble in this world? How does this verse comfort you?
10. Are you ready to commit and get into the game- to fix your eyes on a higher, grander and more glorious vision?
1. False. It is the Great Commission.
2. God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth.
3. On the basis of Christ’s authority, He told his disciples to make more disciples as they preached, baptized and taught. With the same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the good news and make them disciples for the kingdom.
4. These were Christ’s last words before he left the disciples. In previous missions, when Jesus sent his disciples, they were told to go only to the Jews. However from now on, their mission would be worldwide. Jesus is Lord of the entire earth, and he died for the sins of all people from all nations. We are to go and make disciples of all nations.
5. Remind your group of how Pastor Chris challenged us that FP will be going where few want to go- not into the suburbs but into additional surrounding counties including Grainger County. There are 1+ million people in these areas, and 90% of them are unchurched.
6. Not optional! Make your life count; join the vision! God’s vision.
7. Remember, Jesus was with the disciples physically until he ascended into heaven. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent, and Jesus was present with them Spiritually. The Holy Spirit would be Jesus’ presence that would never leave them (John 14:26). Jesus continues to be with us today through his Spirit.
8. Baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God’s covenant people. In baptism, the Holy Spirit seals the believer forever with God’s name. Baptism with water is a sign that identifies the person publicly with Jesus Christ.
9. As Christians, we should expect continuing tension with an unbelieving world. The world does not understand Christ, His gospel or His people. However, we can expect our relationship with Christ to produce peace and comfort because we are His.