Elijah

Hearing God’s Voice

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Family Devotional Adult 9-3-17Family Devotional Kids 9-3-17

 

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Before Jesus came, God only spoke to a few select people, and only in special ways and on special occasions. Many Christians live like God still operates this way, but Jesus promised that when He sent the Holy Spirit, we would be able to hear from God anytime, anywhere.

2. Bible Verse

Elijah only heard from God in certain instances.

1 Kings 18:1 [ESV] “After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah…”

1 Kings 19:9 [ESV] “There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” 

1 Kings 21:28 [ESV]  “And the word of the Lord came to Elijah…”

 

God spoke to others in that era – people like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and even John the Baptist. They were known as “prophets” – people who spoke on God’s behalf.

3. Discussion

Jesus told us His Word would not only be available to us – it would live in us.

John 15:7 [ESV]  “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” 

John 14:16–17 [ESV] “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

Q: If you can hear directly from God, does that make it less or more important to know what He said in the Bible? Why?

Q: In what ways has the Holy Spirit spoken into your life? Do you think He wants to say more?

Q: If the Holy Spirit is speaking all the time, should we expect the gifts of the Spirit to operate only on special occasions, or more day-to-day?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for speaking to you through the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to work in your life to impact others as He reaches out to them through you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

 Romans 8:31  …If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

“If I Take A Risk, God Will Bring The Victory!”

This week we continued our series, “Never Too Young.”  In this week’s lesson, the children learned about the importance of “Taking A Risk” in their lives.  It is important that our kids know that they can tackle any “giant” that may stand before them with God’s help!

2. Discussion

Q. What giant did you learn about this week?  (Goliath)

Q. Who defeated the giant?  (David)

Q. How did David defeat the giant?  Do you think David was scared or worried when he stood before the giant?

It’s natural to be scared when we stand before a “giant” in our own lives.  David may have been scared too!  But, David didn’t worry because he knew God was with Him and God would help him defeat the giant.

Q. What “giant” can you think of that you are facing now in your own life?  (Help your child identify problems that seem bigger than they are.)

Q. What are some things you can do to help defeat your giant?

Q. What would God want to tell you about your giant?

3. Activity 

God wants us to know that with His help we can defeat our giants and do great things for Him!  We have been talking the last few weeks about how you are “Never Too Young” to do things for God.  With God’s help, you can do anything!  

Be willing to take a risk for God!

Read This Scripture:

Romans 8:31 “…If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  

Spend some time helping your child memorize this scripture for the next time they face a giant in their lives.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your child will be strong and with God’s help can stand up against their giant!  Pray that they will be willing to take a risk in order to do BIG things for God!

Faith-Filled Life

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Family Devotional 8-27-17 AdultsFamily Devotional 8-27-17 Kids

 

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

As Christians we believe very strongly in God: His goodness, His power, His offer of salvation to the world – but our belief doesn’t become faith until we act on it. If you want to live a faith-filled life, you’ve got to allow what you believe to shape how you behave.

2. Bible Verse

Hebrews 11:17-30 (ESV) “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him… It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff… It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born… It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger… It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.”

 

3. Discussion

God uses 2 main ways to instruct us on what sorts of actions we should take – the Bible, and the Holy Spirit’s direction in our lives. By spending time getting to know God through His Word and developing a sensitivity to His personal direction in our lives, we can put our faith in Him into practice and continually experience what a God-changed life looks and feels like.

Q: Take a look at the passage in Hebrews again. Circle or highlight the verbs describing how people acted out their faith.

Q: Of the actions you circled, which ones probably seemed logical at the time? Which ones seemed crazy at the time? Does the same faith in God  that drives the big things drive the little things? What does that mean for the “little” things in your life?

Q: What are some modern-day examples of actions that a belief in God should produce in someone’s life? Of your own list, which things are you doing the best? Which could you stand to change or improve?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for speaking to you through the Bible and directly through the work of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to show you any areas in your life where your beliefs and actions don’t match up so you can keep growing in faith.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Deuteronomy 16:17  “All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God. “ 

“If I Give God A Little, He Will Make It Much!”

This week, we continued our series “Never Too Young.”  The children are learning that they are “Never Too Young” to do amazing things for God.

2. Discussion

Read Aloud:  John 6:1-22

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Jesus Walks on the Water

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone.

Q. Do you think it was hard for that little boy to give up his lunch?

Q. Do you think he thought Jesus was going to perform such a miracle with just 5 loaves and 2 fish?

Q. What do you think would have happened if he hadn’t shared his lunch with Jesus?

The amazing thing about the story is that God didn’t need a lot, he just needed a little.  God can take a little bit and turn it into something big and great! 

Q. Have you ever given something- money, toys, etc. to someone who needed them?  Or have you ever given money to a missionary and maybe it didn’t seem like much?

Q. Do you think God was able to use that?  How?

Q. Have you ever felt like God was asking you to give something and you chose not to?  How did that make you feel?

Parents: share a time with your kids when you or your family gave something that was able to help someone else.  (It may be in a missions offering, clothes, your tithe, etc.)

3. Activity 

As a family, discuss some ideas to help others or something God may be asking you to sacrifice to give to missions, etc.  Write them down and share them with each other, or let your small children draw a picture to illustrate what they could do.  

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God will help you to sacrifice and “Give What you Have” to help others!

God’s Miracles

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional 8-20-17 AdultsFamily Devotional 8-20-17 Kids

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Miracles aren’t just for “Bible stories.” They’re not just for Bible times, either. God is still an all-powerful, miracle-working God – but we don’t always see that played out in our lives. If we want to see the miraculous power of God in our lives, we need to put ourselves in the position to be used.

2. Bible Verse

Galatians 3:2–5 (ESV) “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law (deeds, or what you can do) or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith…”

 

3. Discussion

It takes faith to live a miraculous life – that faith is revealed in…

An understanding of who God is:

Q: How much time have you spent with God on your own this week? Do you think He’s pleased with that, or do you think He wants more?

A submission to Christ’s lordship:

Q: Take an inventory of your lifestyle – what area is the hardest to submit to Christ’s lordship? How does that area look to others?

A willingness to be gracefully bold:

Q: Have you experienced pentecostal services or people who came across as “weird?” Are you ever reluctant to step out in faith because you’re concerned about what you’ll look like to others?

An expectation of God’s deliverance:

Q: Have you ever prayed about something fully expecting the answer to be “no?” What effect do you think that has on God’s response to your request?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the miraculous way He answers prayers. Ask Him to help you grow in faith so you can be ready to bring that power into your life and the lives of those around you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Ephesians 4:15  …speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…”

“I Will Speak Up And Say What Is Right!”

This week, we continued our series “Never Too Young.”  The children are learning that they are “Never Too Young” to do amazing things for God.

2. Discussion

In this week’s story a guy named Naaman had a servant girl who helped him.  

We are going to reread it now.  

Read: 2 Kings 5

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lordhad given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents[b] of silver, six thousand shekels[c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[d] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves?27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Q. What did the little girl do for Naaman?

Q. Why was this so important?

Q. Would you have been able to do what she did?

It’s easy to think you are too young to speak up for someone or to tell other’s about Jesus, but the world needs to hear what you have to say!

Q. Have you ever gotten a really cool gift for Christmas or your Birthday?  Did you want to keep it to yourself or show it off to others?  

Q. Why do we want to share our special gifts with others?

Q. As Christians, what is something we should want to share with others?  (the story of Jesus)

That’s right, as Christians, it’s our jobs to “Speak Up” and tell other’s about Jesus.  It isn’t always easy, but God wants us to tell others about Him.  We need to share the love of Jesus with those around us!

3. Activity 

As a family, make a chart, list, or poster to write down the names of people, friends, or family members that you can share Jesus with.  Let everyone participate and share during this time.  

4. Prayer Focus

When you are finished, pray for the people on your list and ask God to give each of you courage to tell them about Christ!

Where are the Prophets?

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional 8-13-17 AdultsFamily Devotional 8-13-17 Kids

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

It’s easy to be wowed by stories of God’s power at work in the Bible, or in different places in our modern world, and think – “it must take someone amazing to do that!” The truth is, God doesn’t just work through a small group of people anymore. His plan is for all believers to live in His anointing and have an impact on the world.

2. Bible Verse

1 Kings 19:19 [NRSV] “So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing… Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.”

The “mantle,” or cloak, that Elijah put on Elisha’s back represented God’s anointing and power. With this action, he was telling Elisha, “God has called you and will empower you like He has called and empowered me.”

Q. Who is someone you consider to have a strong anointing or to be greatly used by God? 

Q. Imagine if that person came to your house and recruited you to be his/her protégé or apprentice. How would you feel?

3. Discussion

2 Kings 2:14 [ESV]  “Then he (Elisha) took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.”

The plan was always for Elisha to take up the role of the prophet after Elijah was gone, but he had to accept it and take action. The parting of the river was a sign that God’s anointing and power was with Elisha just like it had been with his mentor.

Q. Elisha didn’t just believe that God’s anointing was for him- he took action. What would you do differently if you really believed God’s anointing and power was for you?

Q. What steps could you take this week to get yourself ready for God’s power to work through you?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for calling you to serve Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to work through your life as mightily as He does through the people you look up to.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

1 Timothy 4:12  “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers…”   

“I’m Never Too Young To Change The World!”

This week we started a new series in Overflow Kids called, “Never Too Young.”

2. Discussion

Q. What are some things that you are “too young” to do?

Q. How does it make you feel when someone says you are “too young”?

Q. Do you think God says things like you are “too young” to do things for Him?

The world, video games, school, or even our friends may sometimes tell us we are too young to do things, but God never says we are “too young!” The next few weeks we are going to be talking about some things that God thinks you are “not too young” to do.  In fact, you are just the right age!  

Q. Does anyone remember who the young man was who studied under the Apostle Paul?  (Answer:  Timothy)

Q. What did we learn from Timothy that we are never too young to do?  (Be an example and change the world!)

This week, Timothy helped us learn that we can do BIG things for God.  We can change the world!  We are never too young to get involved in what God is doing!

3. Activity 

As a family (or help children individually) make a list or chart of the things they can get involved in and start doing for God.  (Some Examples: talk to their friends about Jesus, get involved in a certain ministry, raise money for missions, etc.)  

4. Prayer Focus

Pray with your children that they will never forget that they are “Not Too Young” to do great BIG things for God!