Dec 23, 2018
Open the Door
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  • Dec 23, 2018Open the Door
    Dec 23, 2018
    Open the Door
  • Dec 9, 2018Our Way
    Dec 9, 2018
    Our Way
    "Our Way".
  • Dec 2, 2018Two Families
    Dec 2, 2018
    Two Families
    "Two Families".
  • Feb 26, 2017Paul’s Mission
    Feb 26, 2017
    Paul’s Mission
    Series: The Story
  • Feb 19, 2017New Beginnings
    Feb 19, 2017
    New Beginnings
    Series: The Story
  • Feb 12, 2017The Resurrection
    Feb 12, 2017
    The Resurrection
    Series: The Story
  • Feb 5, 2017The Hour of Darkness
    Feb 5, 2017
    The Hour of Darkness
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 29, 2017Jesus, Son of God
    Jan 29, 2017
    Jesus, Son of God
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 22, 2017No Ordinary Man
    Jan 22, 2017
    No Ordinary Man
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 15, 2017Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    Jan 15, 2017
    Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 15, 2017Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    Jan 15, 2017
    Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 8, 2017The Birth of the King
    Jan 8, 2017
    The Birth of the King
    Series: The Story
  • Jan 1, 2017Rebuilding the Walls
    Jan 1, 2017
    Rebuilding the Walls
    Series: The Story
  • Dec 11, 2016The Return Home
    Dec 11, 2016
    The Return Home
    Series: The Story
     
  • Dec 4, 2016Daniel in Exile
    Dec 4, 2016
    Daniel in Exile
    Series: The Story
    Shadrach (Hananiah), Meshach (Mishael), and Abednego (Azariah) boldly declared that they would die before bowing down to an idol. Recall any pressure-filled situations in your life and the ways you are tempted to compromise. How did you stand up to the temptation? What are some things you can do to strengthen yourself to be able to stand up under pressure?
    It is in the dark places that light shines most brightly. What are some ways we can be part of our culture and still not compromise? Why is it valuable and even essential for Christians to understand and function within our culture (without crossing the line of compromise) if we are going to bring Jesus’ message and love to this world? Where is one place in your life that God wants his light to shine through you?
    Daniel, Shadrach (Hananiah), Meshach (Mishael), and Abednego (Azariah) had each other. Though prisoners of war, this small community of faithful friends could band together in prayer and obedience. Make work of building this kind of network in your life. If you have one, be intentional about strengthening it. If you don’t, begin praying for and looking for people of integrity who can become long-term friends and supporters.
    *Remember to pray for power to stand strong in your faith even when the culture and people  around you pressure you to compromise, AND thank God that He is with you even in the furnace moments of life.
  • Nov 27, 2016The Kingdoms’ Fall
    Nov 27, 2016
    The Kingdoms’ Fall
    Series: The Story

    Jeremiah (one of God’s prophets) was told that God had a plan prepared for his life even while he was in his mother’s womb; he had been set apart for a special assignment (Jeremiah 1:4-5).  In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul assured all believers (including us) that God has prepared good works for each of us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  Is there an action, commitment, or conversation God has been placing on your heart to follow through with? One that you have been resisting as of recent? Pray for strength to surrender it before the Lord and then follow Him as He guides you!

    Hezekiah and Josiah (two faithful Kings of Judah) had children who were not faithful. We see this pattern throughout The Story- sometimes family members struggle to walk with the Lord and ignore the pattern of faithfulness that their parents or other family members set before them.  Is there someone in your family who is struggling in their faith right now? Or wandering away, perhaps? In addition to praying for them, consider giving them a call or a note this week.  Ask God to help you navigate the conversation as well as how to encourage him/her in their faith.  

    Ezekiel (another of God’s prophets) expressed to the people God's desire for the nations to know that He is the Sovereign Lord.  How has God been using your life as a signpost as of recent to declare His might, presence, love and sovereignty? Is there a relationship, place, or context where your Gospel witness needs to be strengthened?
  • Nov 20, 2016The Beginning of the End
    Nov 20, 2016
    The Beginning of the End
    Series: The Story

    Despite God’s constant warnings, the people of Israel continued with their idol worship and commitment to other world religions.  As a result, the Israelites fell under heavy persecution from neighboring nations such as the Assyrians- a violent and cruel people.  This week, as you reflect on your lifestyle, choices, hobbies, and loves, is something becoming an “idol”? Look at it this way- what’s been dominating your passion and time to the point that you are not growing in your relationship with Jesus?

    Have you noticed any consequences in your life as a result of those behaviors, choices, or “idols”?

    This week (and beyond!) ask God to take you to deeper places as a person of prayer to address those areas of your life.  Invite the Holy Spirit to teach you to pray with greater passion.

    Finally, as you wake up every morning this week, make a simple statement before you get out of bed: “No king but King Jesus!” Then pray for strength to live out this truth each day.

  • Nov 13, 2016God’s Messengers
    Nov 13, 2016
    God’s Messengers
    Series: The Story

    God was very patient with the nation Israel.  For over two centuries and through the reigns of nineteen kings, God kept loving, seeking, and sending His prophets with a call for His people to come home.  Finally, God said, "Enough!" and accomplished His plan of restored relationship with humanity through the Southern Kingdom of Judah.  Reflect upon how patient God has been with you.  Identify patterns of sin in your life that seem to come back again and again.  Pray for power to see these and turn from them.

    Or, here's another way to look at it: God is calling.  Don't put Him into voicemail.  This week sit quietly in prayer and listen to God, a journal or blank piece of paper and pen in hand.  Ask God a few simple, pointed questions and write down any words He places on your heart.  Here are a few questions to get you started:
     
    -What have You done to show Your love and patience with me?  (Thank Him!)
    -What are the behaviors and attitudes in my life that are not honoring to You (Commit to change!)
    -How can I listen more closely to Your Word (the Bible) and other ways You speak to me?  (Seek to follow His leading...even when it is hard!)
     

    Remember- God pursues you on a daily basis because He loves you and cares about your future with Him!

     

     

  • Nov 6, 2016A Kingdom Torn in Two
    Nov 6, 2016
    A Kingdom Torn in Two
    Series: The Story

    In this Chapter of The Story we learn about the consequences of Israel’s sin, particularly in the area of idol worship.  God desires that He alone receives all glory, honor, praise, and worship from every heart. 

    With that said, are there any idols currently in your life…even little ones?

    Is someone or something receiving the honor and attention that only God deserves?

    If so, what can you do to begin casting out the idols?

    Solomon had been placed in a position of influence as King of Israel, as had his father (David) before him.  God places Christians in positions of influence as well to show others who He is.  As you reflect upon your life- your family, place of work, school, neighborhood, congregation, etc., what positions of influence has God placed you in?

    Have your recent decisions and actions been accurate or muddied reflections of who God is? Have those decisions and actions been influenced by God or someone/thing else?

    What changes need to be made this week with God’s help?

  • Oct 30, 2016The King Who Had It All
    Oct 30, 2016
    The King Who Had It All
    Series: The Story

    Near the end of his life, Solomon was inspired by God to write a collection of reflections, the book of Ecclesiastes, on what he learned along the way.  Read Ecclesiastes and reflect on how easy it is to focus on the wrong stuff.  Ask God to help you identify what matters most to him and what should be most important to you.

    In 1 Kings Chapter 11:1-6, we learn about a weak point in Solomon's faith life and relationship with the Lord.  As long as it remained unchecked, this sinful area of his life continued to consume Solomon, eventually pulling his heart away from the Lord.  Is there an area of life where your faith and relationship with the Lord are being slowly corroded? What changes need to be made today to stop the corrosion? Who can you reach out to today for help and support? For prayer?

    Read 1 Kings 3:3-15 once again (today's first Scripture reading).  What strikes you about Solomon's request? Why does he ask for wisdom? Does his request reflect care and concern for his kingdom or the Lord's? How might this better guide your motivations when praying?