The Kingdom of God

     Jesus talked a lot about God’s “Kingdom.” Over 100 times in the gospels He mentions it, trying to explain it to people whose minds were stuck on a physical kingdom. God’s kingdom isn’t a place, it’s a state of being, where He’s the boss. 1. Read Luke 17:20-21 [MSG] “Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on […]

Powerful Prayer

    Let’s be honest – sometimes prayer feels like a joy and sometimes it feels like a chore. Sometimes it seems fresh and inspired; other times, it’s as mindless as reciting the pledge of allegiance to open school. When we think about the reality of hell though, our prayer life should become focused, urgent and Spirit-led. […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 6

The Holy Spirit grants a lot of different abilities to believers to accomplish His mission – from knowledge, to healing, to discernment – but it all starts with infilling, when the Holy Spirit comes upon a believer in power. Acts 1:8 [ESV] “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 5

  God wants us to be effective witnesses – representatives of who Jesus is to the spiritually lost in our world. In order to accomplish that goal, the Holy Spirit empowers believers with special abilities, including the gifts of discernment and speaking / interpreting unknown languages. 1 John 4:1 [NLT] “Dear friends, do not believe everyone […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 4

  The Holy Spirit has special abilities He gives to us, which help us to be better witnesses in our world. Two of those abilities, miracles and prophecy, are often misunderstood. The truth is, they’re vital, real-world practical functions of God’s work in our lives today. 1 Corinthians 12:10a [NLT] “He gives one person the power to perform […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 3

  The Holy Spirit has special abilities He gives to us, which help us to be better witnesses in our world. For some, those abilities are gifts of faith and of healing. Hebrews 11:6 [ESV] “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 2

  When the Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses, He also gives us special abilities that are beyond our natural skills and talents. At first blush, this might seem outlandish or kooky, but in reality, these abilities are functional, highly useful tools for the mission we’ve been entrusted with. 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 [NLT] “A spiritual gift […]

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 1

  Adult & Teen Discussion Guide 1. Discussion  The Holy Spirit works with us to empower us, but we as Christians often get the wrong idea about why. That power is meant to make us more effective witnesses, representing Jesus to a world that needs to see and hear the gospel. Acts 1:8 [ESV] “But you will […]

Prayer

  Adult & Teen Discussion Guide Prayer is a lot less complicated than we often make it out to be – and a lot more important. When we stay in communication with God, we’re more effective as ministers to the people around us. 1. Discussion  Matthew 6:9 [NLT] “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept […]

Bearing Fruit

  Adult & Teen Discussion Guide Being a minister in your world doesn’t mean preaching sermons on your lunch break. It usually happens in much subtler ways, like being someone known for your love, patience, and self-control. 1. Discussion  Galatians 5:13 [ESV] “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity […]