Making it to the mountaintop takes sacrifice and surrender, but it is the place that we will see God’s vast vision for Tennessee.
What is the highest point you have visited in this world? Do you know the altitude? What is the highest point in Tennessee?
This weekend, Pastor Chris began our Heart for the Harvest season by launching a new series called The Tennessee God Sees. Heart for the Harvest (H4H) is a special time each year when we prepare to give sacrificially to further the ministry of Faith Promise and ask God to use our church to make an eternal difference in the world. This offering is key in our effort to launch new campuses to see exponential growth and changed lives. We are asked to prayerfully consider giving above and beyond our regular tithes to the Harvest Offering weekend, Nov. 12-13, 2016.
Pastor discussed it being scary when we cannot see the top of the mountain to which God is calling us. We may stall out on the way up, but God has a vision, and it is vast and it is transformative. In the Bible, God used mountaintops or the highest point around (watchtowers) to reveal His vision to many- Moses, Elijah and Habakkuk. We can only see His vision from the top, but making it there takes full surrender and sacrifice. We are called to be a shining light to our community, and we cannot out-give God. He continues to deepen our faith by calling us to a new level of commitment. God will use the money from the H4H in a transformational ministry, one that reaches lost souls in this hurting and dying world. God can do the impossible (Ephesians 3:20), and He can open our eyes to see the TN He sees. We long for our hearts to be broken for what breaks His. We need to run to the top of the mountain to see His vision. But it doesn’t end there! We must run back down to the valley of the shadow of death and bring the hope to those who have no hope. The vision is already happening at FP, but there is so much more to do. In this time of fasting and prayer, may God draw you close as He makes clear to you your financial role in advancing His Kingdom.
Read Matthew 16:24-28.
1. What is meant by taking up your cross to follow Jesus?
2. Discuss what it means to lose your life to save it.
3. Is there an area in your life where you are devoting resources that God is showing you to give up so that He can be more greatly glorified? How will you ask Him in prayer to help simplify your life so that your focus and devotion can be more fully on Him?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.
4. In this passage, Paul discusses the sacrificial giving in the early church. These believers gave even though they themselves were poor. With what is God more concerned: the amount we give? Or how and why we give?
5. For what reasons do believers give to the church?
Read Habakkuk 1:1-4.
6. Do you ever feel like the prophet Habakkuk, crying out to the Lord in despair over the wickedness in society? Discuss some of the things that break your heart in this world today.
7. What can you take from Habakkuk and apply to your life?
Read Habakkuk 2:1.
8. Where did Habakkuk go to hear God’s response?
9. Where do you go first when you have questions? Do you go to a friend? Or do you go to God?
10. Discuss a time in your life where you were challenged as you waited for God’s response. What was accomplished during this time?
The highest point in TN is Clingman’s Dome- 6,643 ft.
1. Following Jesus requires a full commitment- even to the point of risking death and no turning back. It does not mean to carry a burden or problems. It means to identify with Christ in His rejection, shame, suffering.
2. As mentioned above, following Jesus requires a full commitment, meaning we pledge our whole existence to His service. When we concern ourselves with our own life/pain/suffering, we become inwardly focused and miss the full experience of serving Jesus. We miss the purpose of our life, which is to point others to Jesus! When we give our lives fully to Christ, we discover the real purpose of living.
3. Answers may vary.
4. How and why we give.
5. Dedication to Christ, compassion for people and the joy of giving.
6. Answers may vary.
7. Sometimes it seems like wickedness is prevailing in society. We must remember that that God is Sovereign. He is in control of the world despite the apparent triumph of evil. We know that He is at work in the world and in our lives, and one day evil will be completely destroyed. We as believers must realize that we can bring our questions to God. We can listen for answers and rejoice over His Sovereignty.
8. He expectantly went to the top of the city wall, the watchtower, to patiently wait and watch for God’s response.
9. Answers may vary.
10. Many struggle with patience as they wait on the Lord. But in this time where an answer does not seem clear, God is training us and transforming our hearts to trust him more fully. FAITH= Forsaking All I Trust Him. He is just and He knows all the details of our trials. He will work out His plans in His perfect timing.