Preparing with Hope May 7, 2023

disciple: someone who follows Jesus and leads others to do the same.

Looking Back.

This past Sunday we examined 1 Corinthians 6:9.  The way that this verse is often misunderstood is that we make it about one issue.  In particular we make it about homosexuality and only homosexuality.  And while Paul is clear that choosing to live this lifestyle is a sin, that's not Paul was writing about.  When we read the section that this verse was taken from (1 Corinthians 6:1-11) we discover that Paul was talking to members in the church that were suing each other.  And then Paul begins to make a list, I'm guessing, of lifestyles that members of the church in Corinth used to practice.  And Paul makes it clear that without Jesus, none of us will inherit the Kingdom of God.  But with Jesus, we have been made different.  We are made clean.  We are set apart.  We are able to be with God.  And because of this gift we need to choose to live differently.  

Looking Ahead.

This week we are studying Colossians 3:15.   This verse tells us to "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful."
Before applying some of the tools that you have been learning.
  • What do you think this verse is talking about?  
  • Why does it talk about peace?
  • What is God asking you to do?
  • Is there anything else about this verse that stands out to you?  


Before you do anything else.  Stop.  And pray.  Stop and ask God to quiet your heart.  To quiet your mind.  And allow you to hear what God wants to say to you.  Remember, God is the one that created everything.  He is able to be everywhere.  He's all powerful.  He's all knowing.   I'm sure He doesn't mind hearing about your day.  But He already knows what happened.  And I know that you think He needs to do what you want Him to do.  But ultimately He's in control.  Stop and listen to Him first.

Read it again.

Chapter 3 begins with Paul making a list of things people need to get rid of from their life now that they are followers of Jesus.  (Colossians 3:1-11) And then Paul begins to address ways for those in the church to be different.  Things to add to their life in Colossians 3:12-17.  Read these verses a couple of times.  Use various translations.
  • Does something stand out from one translation versus another?  
  • How is Paul challenging you to live differently?  Think differently?  
  • How is Paul challenging the church to live differently?  Think differently?  
  • Do you have different thoughts about Colossians 3:15 because you read the whole section? 

Now What?  Where's Jesus?

Now what?  You don't read the Bible to just read it.  The intent is for us to be changed because we read the Bible. How are you going to be changed?  What is Jesus calling you to do?  How to live differently?  Who does Jesus want you to share this with?  I am praying that as you read through the Bible God makes you so excited to share what you've earned with someone.  Everyone.  
When you read through these verses, where did you see Jesus?   We look for Jesus in the first four books of the New Testament, but all of Scripture points to Jesus someway.  Where did you see Jesus as you read these verses?  

Now Get Ready for Sunday.

The challenge that I face is that every 168 hours I'm expected to step onto the platform and share with you what God has been doing in my life.  But what if I haven't spent any time praying?  What if I haven't been studying?  What if I staying in my office and never did anything but wait...for Sunday to come?  
And the same is true for you too.  We each have a part to play.  And every persons part is important.  What is your part?  Read through the Bible verses ahead of time.  Sunday shouldn't be the beginning of learning.  It should be a time for us all to share share what God is saying to us.  To celebrate what God is doing.  Spurring each other on to do more good to glorify God.  
  • Set aside time to read the verses.
  • Spend time praying.  Praying for your heart to hear God.  Praying for others to hear God.  Pray for those that leading.  Those that are serving.  Pray for everyone.  
  • Share what God is doing in your life with someone and invite someone to join you this Sunday at church.  But don't stop there, invite them to have lunch with you afterwards too.  Have coffee with them.  
  • Have you considered serving in some way?  Did you know that prior to 2020 over 80% of the financial giving and serving was done by less than 20% of the people.  And it has only worse since 2020.  Today in churches across the globe ministry is being done by less people and with less financial resources.  Let's be different.  How can you serve?  How can you join God financially in what He is doing?

Let's Go!  I'll see you Sunday!  Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section and encourage each other as you do!

It's not too late.  Click on the link below to join this week's devotional.

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