Faith

God’s Greatest Commandments

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Family Devotional Adults 7-30-17Family Devotional Kids 7-30-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

God addresses a lot of things directly in the Bible- don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t take advantage of the poor, etc. What about modern issues, like abortion, medical marijuana and birth control?  If the Bible is our guide, then what do we do when there’s no direct answer?

2. Bible Verse

Start with loving and serving.

Matthew 22:36-40 [NLT] “‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’  Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Learn the overarching values presented in scripture.

Matthew 7:12 [NLT] 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

Jesus was not about adding regulations,  He was about heart & motive. If you have love in your heart and are living to serve others, you’ll find yourself on the right side of uncertain issues more often than not.

3. Application

Decide based on what you know of God’s character. 

John 10:27 [NLT] “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

The more we get to know God’s character, the more our thoughts will align with His. As we take on His world view, we’ll naturally do things He wants and avoid things He dislikes.

Q. Name one or two issues that are debated in church circles today. Does the Bible directly address these?

Q. How do you think loving and serving others would affect these issues?

Q. How do you think the overall values taught in the Bible affect these issues?

Q. Based on what you know of God’s character, what do you think His opinion on the subject is?

 

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for giving you the Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to make the right decisions when you’re uncertain about an issue.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

“Who is the Holy Spirit?”

John 14:26 “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

God is like no one else. He has unique traits that are His and His alone. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit share those unique traits. Why? Because they are One God, even though they are three Persons.

2. Discussion

The Holy Spirit does many things for us. Here are two:

1. The Holy Spirit will Teach God’s Truth

2. The Holy Spirit helps us Remember God’s Truth

Since the Holy Spirit is eternal, He was around before the very beginning, before creation. But in the Book of Genesis, we can read about how God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit created all our universe.

Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

It says that the earth was empty and had no form. But God’s Spirit was there, ready for creation to begin. 

Remember, the Holy Spirit is God so He was everywhere, helping with the creation of our world.

The Bible has another great story that tells us that the Holy Spirit is God, one Person of the Trinity.  Read the story of Jesus’ baptism in water from Matthew 3:13-17.

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

 

3. Application 

Q. How many Persons are in the Trinity? 

Q. Who hovered over creation? 

Q. Which Person of the Trinity showed up as a dove? God the Son, (Jesus,) or God the Holy Spirit?

Q, Which Person of the Trinity said, “This is my Son”? God the Father or God the Holy Spirit? 

Q. How does the Holy Spirit help us?

4. Prayer Focus

Spend time praying together as a family.  Take turns praying for each other, asking for the Holy Spirit to guide and teach you about God’s truth.

Cornerstone- Lifestyle

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Family Devotional Adults 4-9-17

Family Devotional Kids 4-9-17


Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

A life built on the Cornerstone of Christ looks different than those built on the world’s standards. Every one of us has a responsibility to live a visibly-changed life, and the empowerment of God to accomplish it.

2.Bible Verse & Talking Point

You have a responsibility to live differently.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV) 

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (ESV)

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Q. In which area in life is it the hardest to live differently than the world? 

 Q. What happens to our message when we preach one thing, but live another?

3. Application

The Holy Spirit gives you the power to say “no” to sin and “yes” to right-living.

Romans 8:11-13 (NLT) 

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”

4. Wrap up Discussion

Q. What’s something you know you should do that seems impossible?

On your own, it’s impossible to choose a God-honoring life, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, you have more than enough strength to reject sin and practice what you preach.

5. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and ask God to help you choose the right things through His power in you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Activity

Find something around the house that is too heavy for your child to lift on their own, but not too heavy for you. Ask them to try lifting it. After establishing that it’s impossible (or really difficult, if you underestimated their strength), ask them to lift it again, but this time, help them do it.

2. Bible Verse

Romans 8:11-12 (NLT)

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation (parents, define “obligation”) to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”

3. Application & Talking Point

Q. Do you ever find yourself in a spot where you know the right thing to do, but you feel like you just can’t? (parents, you may need to suggest a few examples)

Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to make the right choice – and by yourself, it is; just like picking up something really heavy. But when God lives inside of you, He helps you. No matter what the situation is, you can do the right thing with God’s help!

4. Wrap up Discussion

Q. What’s something that you know you should do, but it seems too hard? You can do it with God’s help!

5. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and ask God to help you choose the right things through His power in you.

Family Devotional 4-9-17 pdf download

Spiritual Battle

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We’ve all grown up believing that fighting is wrong – and in a physical sense, that’s generally true. In a spiritual sense, though, we too often shy away from fights we’re equipped to win.

If you are having trouble reading it, here is the family-devotional-1-22-17 pdf download.


We want to invite you to join this home discipleship program designed to facilitate Bible reading, discussion, and prayer.

There are two pages in the Family Discipleship Guide.  One page is for teen & adult discussion and the other is for kids.

  1. Choose the discipleship outline that works for you and/or your family.
  2. Sit down and read through the scriptures and questions each week and then take some time to discuss your thoughts.
  3. Later in the week we ask that you take time to pray for each other and for specific needs.
  4. Text DISCIPLE to 24587 after each prayer and discussion time or comment below so that we can celebrate with you, who are deepening your knowledge.

As always, please feel free to ask questions.

A New Creation

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When we give our lives to God, He not only gives us a fresh start, but through His work in us, He brings things to life in us that have never been seen before.

If you are having trouble reading it, here is the family-devotional-1-8-17 pdf download.


We want to invite you to join this home discipleship program designed to facilitate Bible reading, discussion, and prayer.

There are two pages in the Family Discipleship Guide.  One page is for teen & adult discussion and the other is for kids.

  1. Choose the discipleship outline that works for you and/or your family.
  2. Sit down and read through the scriptures and questions each week and then take some time to discuss your thoughts.
  3. Later in the week we ask that you take time to pray for each other and for specific needs.
  4. Text DISCIPLE to 24587 after each prayer and discussion time or comment below so that we can celebrate with you, who are deepening your knowledge.

As always, please feel free to ask questions.

Labor of Love

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Each of us has been called by God to be a witness to our world. Our mission is challenging, costly and long-term, but the cause and the reward far outweigh the cost.

If you are having trouble reading it, here is the family-devotional-12-11-16 pdf download.


We want to invite you to join this home discipleship program designed to facilitate Bible reading, discussion, and prayer.

There are two pages in the Family Discipleship Guide.  One page is for teen & adult discussion and the other is for kids.

  1. Choose the discipleship outline that works for you and/or your family.
  2. Sit down and read through the scriptures and questions each week and then take some time to discuss your thoughts.
  3. Later in the week we ask that you take time to pray for each other and for specific needs.
  4. Text DISCIPLE to 24587 after each prayer and discussion time or comment below so that we can celebrate with you, who are deepening your knowledge.

As always, please feel free to ask questions.

Sharing the Good News

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May the Holy Spirit lead you and empower you to share your faith this week.

If you are having trouble reading it, here is the family-devotional-11-6-16 pdf download.


We want to invite you to join this home discipleship program designed to facilitate Bible reading, discussion, and prayer.

There are two pages in the Family Discipleship Guide.  One page is for teen & adult discussion and the other is for kids.

  1. Choose the discipleship outline that works for you and/or your family.
  2. Sit down and read through the scriptures and questions each week and then take some time to discuss your thoughts.
  3. Later in the week we ask that you take time to pray for each other and for specific needs.
  4. Text DISCIPLE to 24587 after each prayer and discussion time or comment below so that we can celebrate with you, who are deepening your knowledge.

As always, please feel free to ask questions.

Imitation of Power

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As many of you are aware, this past week I joined some 20,000 Assemblies of God ministers, family members and youth at the 2015 General Council in Orlando Florida. It was a wonderful gathering. During the week my son and I had a free day and we choose to visit the Universal Studios parks. If you’ve never been there, much like Disney, Universal has taken themes from their cartoons and movies and created rides and attractions. Two areas in particular stood out above all the rest. Both of them were amazing for their architecture and effects, and there were literally tens of thousands of people visiting them. Both of them were areas modeled after the Harry Potter books and movies.

Yes, there is a very strong theme of witchcraft and wizardry and even though Harry and his friends are seen to be on the side of good I still have strong reservations about anything including witchcraft for kids. However, that’s not my theme for today. It was the numbers of people in these two areas. More so than any other area in the two parks that make up the Universal Studios, these areas dedicated and modeled after these books and movies were exponentially more crowded. They were very literally shoulder-to-shoulder, front-to-back crowded. Adults, teens, and children filled these areas to capacity.

I had a single question that filled my mind. Why? I think I have an answer.

People long to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  In the absence of something in the real world they will participate in an imaginary world to find that sense of grandness. Hogwarts offers a world of magic, power, and even immortality. Here’s where I got angry at Satan.

All of those people seeking a sense of immortality, adventure and significance are in fact immortal beings who are princes and princesses, heirs of a heavenly kingdom not seen with mortal eyes. They have at their disposal supernatural power through prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Harry and his friends are make-believe and yet people were walking around wearing robes and carrying wands. I didn’t see them but I heard that entire troops of people were dressed up like all the characters in the books.

Often people make God and church out to be about religion, traditions, meetings, music, sermons, and preachers.

Rather, God is about his connection to people and he expresses himself in power, revelation, and miracles; seen, unseen, grand and miniscule. We appropriate this kingdom through faith, which comes through the Bible made alive through the Holy Spirit. This thing called faith and having it changes everything about a person. As faith increases, the change becomes more noticeable and God’s power begins to grow in the life of the person having faith.

Simply put, “More Faith> More Jesus> More Revelation= More Power.”

Harry Potter has a version of this progression as well. More knowledge of magic, more spells, and belief in magic equals more power. Everything tries to copy and imitate God’s plan for his people.

I wonder sometimes if we have even as much faith as these play actors in a made up story. Over the course of the day I saw people dressed as Captain America, the Hulk, Spider Man, and lots and lots of Harry Potter characters. I prayerfully hope some of them saw Jesus. Even though I didn’t know the story lines from the books or the movies, before the day was over, I sort of knew the plot from the rides, costumes, and architecture. I hope we’re doing as good a job revealing the story of  Jesus and that I have as much passion for my hero as they have for theirs!

Would it be easier if the story began… Once upon a time ….

We too are in a battle against evil. The difference is that this battle is real, the war rages just beyond our sight, and the spoils are the eternal destinies of every man, woman, boy, and girl.

This isn’t a fairy tale.

Blessings, Pastor Roy