Thursday, October 15, 2020

Connect Group 26 – Don’t lose joy when tribulation arrives

 Text: John 16.4-24 (You can read it or read a couple of verses and share the story)

           John 15.11


Icebreaker: Is it possible to have joy in the middle of tribulation? Honestly, do you have joy when trouble comes? How do you think Jesus deals with our tribulation - especially in relation to joy?


Introduction

We can have a very limited perspective when we consider the trouble that we will face in life– we often only see what hurts us, but Jesus sees more than that, He sees how tribulations bring us closer to Him and sees the spiritual growth that will come from those times and experiences.  He sees too, an opportunity to teach us how to have joy even in the most difficult circumstances of life. 


As His death approached, Jesus became increasingly focused on working to stabilize the joy of His disciples in the face of the imminent crisis that the coming weeks would bring to them. To do this in the text above, He dealt with two main threats to their joy: 


Firstly, He is leaving the disciples and going to the Father and this threatens to fill them with fear.

Secondly, He is going to die soon and this threatens to fill them with grief. 


Both threats seem pretty bad, and both would seem to be detrimental to the joy of the disciples. It is no wonder that they were perplexed! In answering their confusion and uncertainty, Jesus speaks in a way that reaches out to us across the centuries, seeking to stabilize our own shakeable joy too, aiming to make it unshakeable no matter what trouble comes to us. This is neither accidental nor incidental,  it is what He meant to do; it was His purpose: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” – John 15.11.


There are some truths that Jesus teaches His disciples about the relationship between tribulation and joy that we need to understand if we want to have God’s joy, a joy that will last, in our lives.


1) Joy comes not from the absence of tribulation, but from knowing the truth

Jesus seeks to solidify the disciple’s joy in readiness for His coming absence, not by diminishing the love, but by removing the ignorance. He says, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16.7). Although there were many reasons why this coming loss would be to their advantage, the main reason was that the Spirit was going to make the glory of Jesus more real to them and in them. Yes! Even more real than if Jesus were there in the flesh! - “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. . . . He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine” (John 16.13-15).

Some people think that Jesus will remove all tribulation from their lives, and that only then  will they be able to feel the love of God and have lasting joy. But Jesus Himself teaches us that the way that He gives us that lasting joy, is to show us the way and the truth about God, so that we can fully embrace the life that God has for us even when that involves suffering and struggle.   


2) Being a Christian does not prevent us from passing through tribulations in life! 

Jesus told His disciples that sorrow would come to them. He didn’t strengthen their joy by telling them that their lives would be without sorrow, but in fact, by telling them the very opposite.

Some people have been hurt by churches and individuals who have spoken wrong things into their lives about this; for example, by saying that some lack of faith, or lack of closeness to God must be at the heart of things if we experience struggle or suffering.  Some of those people may even have had good intentions, but nevertheless they have used God’s name to say wrong things, perhaps even things that they wished in their own heart to be true. The truth is that God doesn’t lie, He doesn’t change His mind, He doesn’t contradict Himself! And God says that we will pass through tribulations. We don’t know when or how strong, only that it will happen.

The tribulation is not the absence of God, but a circumstance that we can pass through with God. No tribulation is supposed to be eternal, we are promised that all suffering and tears will come to an end in eternity. It’s so important that we run to God, and not from Him, when the tribulation arrives. God is with you and He can do all things, but that doesn’t mean that everything in our lives will happen in the way and at the time that we would choose.


3) Not only Joy, but victory!

Jesus does not promise only joy, but also victory  “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16.33). What a great statement! 

How can we not take heart? How can we not be encouraged when we hear about the victory that Jesus won for us on the cross? Our joy has a strong foundation, it is built on Jesus Christ’s victory. Not only has He overcome the world — and hell and the devil and death — but he remains with us and in us like a mighty warrior against all our tribulations. 

So, yes, there will be tribulation in this problematic world; sorrows of so many kinds that we can’t count them. But the world that makes us so sorrowful will not have the last word. We already know the end, and the end is that all who walk with Jesus will be with Him for an eternity of joy!!!! This is the joy that cannot be taken from you whatever you are facing in your life today!!


Conclusion: Would you like to have God’s joy in you? So, let’s pray!



* This cell group was based on the article Why Jesus had to leave the earth from John Piper.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Connect Group 25 – Living God’s promises in God’s way

 Text: Genesis 21.8-21


Ice-breaker: When was the last time you made a promise to someone? Was it a promise that could be fulfilled quickly or is it something that you will have to work on for a long time? Today we are thinking about living the promises that God makes for our lives, in God’s way! 


Introduction

God promised Abram that he would bear much fruit – that he would have as many descendants as there were stars in the sky. God promised that this would happen through a child born to Abram and his wife, Sarai.  As they were both old, unfortunately, the weight of the promise got too heavy for Abram and Sarai, and so, instead of waiting for God to act,  they tried to help fulfil the promise by acting on their own, through an idea that Sarai had.  Abram slept with one of Sarai’s slaves, Hagar, and their plan worked, a son, Ishmael, was born. But this was not how God had planned it, and it meant that things became very messy when Sarah’s son Isaac, who was the child of God’s promise, was born. This all happened because neither Abraham or Sarah lived God’s promise for their lives, in God’s way. 


 We can learn from their situation and actions; whilst we all have promises from the Lord for our lives, we don’t need to help the Lord fulfil them, we just need to be faithful and obedient, and prepared to wait on God’s timing. 


Hagar knew that the Lord had promised her that through Ishmael, she would have many descendants. However, when Abraham asked them to leave their home, because Sarah was upset, Hagar found herself surrounded by the desert and thinking that they would both die. In that moment she totally forgot the promise that God had made to her about Ishmael. She sat with the boy and cried without hope, thinking that they would die of thirst. 


Like Hagar, people surrounded by a desert will be tempted to quit, but if we want to live God’s promises in God’s way, we need to listen to the following guidance from the Lord:


1) Don’t quit 

The temptation to give up, to quit,  is real and it can have a big influence in many moments of our lives. According to a poll, 40% of the pastors in America think about giving up their ministry at least once a month. If that is true for you, and you want to quit at this moment, God is saying to you “Don’t Give Up”. 


It can help us to understand that we are more vulnerable to the temptation to quit:

a) when we are sad. If we dwell on this,  we start to think things like “nobody calls me” or “no-one invites me to anything” and we get in a downwards spiral. 

b) when we are sad because of money, relationships, frustrations and lack of joy; all these things make us more vulnerable to these feelings of wanting to give up. 

c) when things are hard; doing what God wants doesn’t mean that everything will be well and perfect or that everything will be growing as we planned. If something is from the Lord it can still be a hard thing to do. All the apostles had difficult deaths; Jesus had to die to enable the victory that followed. The truth is that the level of difficulty of life will increase as we increase in the abundant life that Jesus leads us to. However, don’t be afraid because this is a good thing; behind it all is the promise of God, behind it all is what God says is best for our lives, and in that truth is strength, encouragement and unending hope.  We need to remember that whatever we are facing, without God it would be far worse. 


2) Renew your vision

When Hagar was sitting in the desert, she cried out to God, and we hear that the Angel of God called to her, and told her not to be afraid. At this moment Hagar opened her eyes and saw a well of water that was right by her. It’s important to pay attention to the fact that the text doesn’t say that God created the well for Hagar and Ismael, it was there all along, but her eyes were closed and she just couldn’t see it.  When fear and anguish controlled Hagar she lost the capability to see the resource and blessing that God had provided, even though it was right in front of her eyes. 

When we get desperate, we become blind to the promises and faithfulness of God. Remember that God has already provided everything that we need on the cross, and if we can’t see it today, then we need to renew our vision and see the greatness of his grace and mercy for the new day we are facing. 


3) Seek God until nothing else matters 

We need to seek God until nothing else matters. The problem is that in our time people want the best outcome, with the minimum of effort. People want to know what is the least amount of exercise that they need to do in order to be fit, or the maximum that they can eat and not get out of shape; or even the minimum that they can save and that will allow a comfortable retirement. More and more, people are settling for mediocrity! I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but in total honesty,  it means that people are only willing to do just enough to get by.

Hagar’s problem was that she looked to everything else but God. And what about us, what is the new thing that the Lord is doing in our lives? The testimony of last month is good, but His mercies are renewed every day. So, what is God doing today? Can you see it? Can you see the well of provision that is right in front of you? Are your eyes open?


Conclusion

Sometimes we conform to the pattern of the world, but we need to obey God, renew our mind and seek Him until nothing else matters. Would you like to have an encounter with God this week? Something that would leave you in awe? So let’s pray and be vigilant, because I know that God wants to do it!



Thursday, October 1, 2020

Connect Group 24 – WISDOM

The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper. Proverbs 19.8


Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9.8-12


ICEBREAKER: What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘wise’? What would be your definition of a ‘wise person’?


If we are on the path to wisdom, we need to choose carefully where to go, because there are only a few choices that we can make that will lead us to live in God’s wisdom. ‘Worldly’, or ‘human’ wisdom is all around us and is easy to find, it’s also temptingly easy to listen to, but the fact remains that nothing else can teach us, or can help us to grow like the wisdom of God. 


1) Choose your teacher carefully.

There are two very efficient teachers in life and it is certainly true that both of them will help you to be wiser and to live life with fewer mistakes. However, despite this, the consequences and path to wisdom that these two teachers will bring, are as different from each other as it is possible to find. So, it’s really important to know which teacher we are relying on and learning from! 

The first teacher that you can have is “PAIN” – here you learn by doing things that hurt you and that cause self-inflicted suffering. The second teacher is “LEARNED WISDOM” which is the experience of others, of those who have learned what is good and Godly, and who can share that with us so that we can walk in their footsteps.  

Both of these teachers will help us to learn lessons for life, but it is true that we don’t have enough bones in our body, enough endurance, or enough resilience to become a truly wise person through the path of being taught by pain. 


So why wouldn’t we be open to what is less painful – which is to learn in hours from others what it took them years to experience? How can we do that? How do we take that path? 


We read the Bible and see the life stories of those who encountered God; we read good books that support our learning and build our experience through the testimony of others; we listen to good podcasts and we live as part of a church community so that we hear what God has given others for our benefit as well as for theirs. 


2) Ask God for it! 

Isn’t it funny that the Bible is clear that if anyone wants wisdom, they can ask God directly and He will give it to them. That means it’s available to us - but when was the last time that you prayed for it?


 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).


3) Fear the Lord

Solomon says that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (see Proverbs 9:10). But how should we fear God? What does it mean to do that? Philipp Melanchthon, who was a collaborator with Martin Luther, discussed what it means to fear God by contrasting ‘filial fear’ with ‘servile fear.’ Filial fear is the type of respect and love that a child has for a parent, a fear of offending the one that they most adore and trust; it is a result of love and openness.  In contrast, servile fear is the kind of fear that a prisoner has for his jailer or executioner, it is rooted in pain and control. 


So, to have the ‘fear of the Lord’ that Solomon spoke of, is not be afraid of God, but to have a deep awe and respect, that leads us to want to please God, responding to His merciful and gracious love by living in His will. 


Conclusion: Wisdom is to pursue God’s will, and that is only possible through a real relationship with God. Would you like to become wiser and stop repeating the same mistakes? It is time to advance and experience a new life and new challenges and God is inviting us to do that with Him. Would you like to know God better? Would you like to become wiser? So, let’s pray.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Connect Group 23 – Gratitude

 Text: Habakkuk 3:17-18

Ice-breaker: How often do you find yourself saying “Thank-you”? What are you thankful for in your life at the moment? Can you imagine being thankful to God no matter what the situation you are facing?


Introduction

If you dig into the back story of Habakkuk, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a dark book. Israel’s reform-minded king, Josiah, had been killed, and the nation of Israel had slid back into sin and apostasy, turning away from God after they had committed their lives to Him. The prophet Habakkuk struggles with God’s silence and His unwillingness to judge Israel. In Habakkuk’s third chapter, the prophet prays for God to revive His work in Israel. Toward the end of the of the prayer (v. 17-18), Habakkuk recognizes the potential hardships that will come with God’s judgment. Despite those difficulties, he resolves to take joy in God’s salvation. We tend to judge everything from our own limited perspective so unless we have what we believe we should, we see no reason to be thankful. That’s not Habakkuk’s perspective. He tells us to show gratitude even if we don’t have what we want—or even need. Habakkuk’s experience tells us that it’s essential for us to prioritise what God is doing in a situation over our own wants and needs. We can learn from Habakkuk that it is possible for us to rejoice even during troubling times.

It’s easy for us to put our own situation into what Habakkuk writes:  Though things are not how I want them to be, though I am sad about…., though I am suffering because……, though there are challenges in my life that are hard to face ……. “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.”

Let’s see what gratitude is and see what effect it has in our lives:

 

1) Gratitude turns what we have into enough

When is enough, enough in our lives? When will the things that we desire, (perhaps money, a car, more entertainment, new activities) be enough to satisfy us? If we are still waiting for some particular thing to happen, or to come into our lives before we are grateful, we will never understand what it is to be grateful; this is true because, put simply, gratitude is not motivated by things that are exterior to us, but is the fruit of a relationship with Jesus. Gratitude is friendship beyond things; it is to know that God is everything that I need, and that that is enough. It is to be content in the Lord. Ask yourself, when was the last time you were content in the Lord?

 

2) Gratitude is to worship God. It is to live by “God is enough”

In the 18th-century classic, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law made the following statement:

“Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it. Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it turns all that it touches into happiness.”

 

3) Gratitude is radically counter cultural and against our flesh

The world teaches us that we always need more – it can be easy to feel that we are lacking something when we listen to those messages, it can cause us to fear that we are missing out on something, but truthfully, the people who transform the world are those who have a counter-cultural view about this and choose instead to be full of gratitude. It goes against our flesh and the world concept, but we need to remember that we are in this world, not of

this world. Which pattern do you want to follow? Yours and the world’s, or God’s?

 

Conclusion

Would you like to grow in gratitude? Then know the Lord and discover that He is enough. Everything starts with God and leads to the Glory of God; His Grace is sufficient. Let’s pray and put all our effort into being grateful to the One who is worthy of all praise and worship – God.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Connect Group 22 – Be careful with what is inside!

Text: James 3.10-12.

 

Icebreaker: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12.34). What do you think about this phrase? Do you find yourself saying things that you don’t want to say? Do you have times where your heart and your head disagree and what is inside of you spills out in what you say?

 

In his book, “After you believe”, the author, N. T. Wright, tells the story of a man who wanted to make a point to his friend who had a short temper. So, when they were helping to serve people at a party, he gave his friend a tray of drinks glasses. Every glass on the tray was full to the brim. When they were serving the guests, he bumped into his friend on purpose, spilling the contents of the glasses all over the tray. When his friend looked at him, he explained that we only spill out what we are full of[1]. There are three central truths that we need to observe in this area:

 

1)   You will spill out what you are full of.

I know that we tend to make excuses; at least I know I do. But the reality is that we can’t help but spill what is inside of us. The situation that we are in may increase the strength of the spillage or make it more explosive, but if those thoughts and attitudes and feelings weren’t there in the first place, they would not be able to come out.

The problem is that people spend more time trying to control what comes out than they do being concerned with what is inside their hearts and minds.

 

It is not my intention to make anyone feel bad, but we need to recognise what is inside of us. We wouldn’t leave a rotten potato in a bag containing good potatoes, would we? That is because if we don’t recognise and remove it, the rot will spread to the other potatoes and the whole lot will be lost. (That can also be applied to picanhaSmiling face with no fill).

 

We need to stop making excuses. It is time to face it and to ask God to help us to change. How many marriages, friendships, families, career, jobs, ministries end because of the rotten or poisoned words that people speak? Sometimes people will regret it for the rest of their lives and once the words are out of our mouths we cannot go back and the impact of our words will last. The only way to prevent such things is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit who fills us with His fruits – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.” (Galatians 5: 22-23) Letting the Spirit into our lives so that we can be this way,  starts with us choosing what we feed on.

 

2)   Be careful what you fill yourself with.

The recognition that we are full of the wrong things is the first step, but if we don’t stop filling up with new wrong stuff, then we will continue to spill the wrong things into our lives and the lives of the people around us.

 

We need to stop the cycle! It is hard to have a healthy life if we only eat fast-food, fish and chips and fat meat. In the same way, it is impossible to have good things coming out of our mouth when we feed our souls with ‘bad’ stuff all the time. I am not asking anyone to stop watching TV or listening to music, in the same way, that no one asks someone with a bad diet to stop eating altogether. But let’s make healthy choices with our lives.

 

It is tough to listen to God when we spend 10-hours watching trash TV programs + 4 hours of music that doesn’t have anything useful to say! So, let’s read and listen to what is good, and to things that will nourish our souls. It can seem overwhelming to make the change, but we can do it step by step, so that it becomes a habit in our life rather than something that we start and just give up on because we have made it too difficult by trying to change everything at once. Small changes can, over time, have big results and that’s a really encouraging reason to get started.

 

3)   Remember that your words are seeds

I remember that when I was growing up in Brazil I would often hear the phrase “words are powerful”. Even in a context that was not religious, that phrase kept me thinking. The truth is that every word that we say is a seed, and every seed will try to produce fruit. People forget this principle when they are complaining about their lives, shouting at someone or just making a comment to pass the time. We, and others, believe our words, and if they are negative then they take root and grow and do damage.

 

Remember that we will have to be accountable for everything we say (Matthew 12.36), and that is because your words call things into existence.

 

Our words can bless or curse, encourage or discourage, build up or tear down, bring people together or scatter them, offer life or only death. We have the opportunity to speak the life that comes from Jesus, into the people around us and when we do that, what grows from those seeds is love, hope, peace and joy. Isn’t that what everyone needs - someone to speak those things to them? We can be someone who spills those things into other people’s lives, our words can bring the life of Jesus right to their hearts.

 

Conclusion: It is time to think and reflect on our lives. God is inviting us to recognise what is inside of us and to ask Him to help us to have a different attitude from now on in whatever areas we have a problem. Let’s be blessed, and let’s bless.



[1] N. T. Wright, after you believe: Why Christians character Matters (New York: Harper One, 2010)

Connect Group 21 – Be careful with what is inside!

Text: James 3.10-12.

 

Ice break: “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12.34). What do you think about this phrase? Do you find yourself saying things that you didn’t want to do?

 

N. T. Wright writes in his book “After you believe” a story of a man that wants to make a point to his friend that was short temper. So, when they were helping to serve people in a party, he gave a tray with glasses full of drinks. Every glass was full to the brim.

When they were serving the guests, he did bump into his friend on purpose spilling the liquid on the tray. When his friend looked at him, he could explain that we only spill out what we are full off[1].

There are three central truths that we need to observe in this area:

 

1)   You will spill out what you are full off.

I know that we tend to make excuses; at least I know I do. But the reality is that we will spill what is there. The situation may increase the strength or make it more explosive, but if it weren’t there in the first place would never come out.

The problem is that people spend more time trying to control what comes out than concerned with what is inside.

 

It is not my intention to make anyone feel bad, but we need to recognise what is inside of us. We wouldn’t leave a rotten potato in a bag with good potatoes, would we? That is because if we don’t recognise and remove it, that will spread to the other potatoes and the whole lot will be lost. (that can also be applied to picanhaSmiling face with no fill).

 

We need to stop making excuses. It is time to face it and ask God to help us to change. How many marriages, friendships, families, career, jobs, ministries end because of rotten words and poisoned words that people speak. Sometimes people will regret it for the rest of their lives.

 

2)   Be careful with what you put inside.

The recognition is the first step, but if we don’t stop new wrong stuff inside of us, we will continue to spill the wrong things.

 

We need to stop the cycle! It is hard to have a healthy life if we only eat fast-food, fish and chips and fat meat. In the same way, it is impossible to have good things coming out of our mouth when we feed our souls with ‘bad’ stuff all the time. I am not asking anyone to stop watching TV or listening to music, in the same way, that no one asks someone with a bad diet to stop eating altogether. But let’s make healthy choices with our lives.

 

It is tough to listen to God when we spend 10-hour watching trash TV programs + 4 hours of music that doesn’t have anything useful on it! So, let’s read and listen to what is good, to what will nourish our souls.

 

3)   Remember that your words are seeds

I remember growing up in Brazil hearing the phrase “words are powerful”. Even in a context that was not religious, that phrase kept me thinking.

The truth is that every word that we say is a seed, and every seed will try to produce fruit. People forget this principle when they are complaining about their lives, shouting at someone or just making a comment about passing the time.

 

Remember that we will have to be accountable for everything we say (Matthew 12.36), and that because your words call things into existence.

 

Conclusion: It is time to think and reflect on our lives. God is inviting us to recognise what is inside of us and to ask Him to help us to have a different attitude from now on. Let’s be blessed, and let’s bless.



[1] N. T. Wright, after you believe: Why Christians character Matters (New York: Harper One, 2010)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Connect Group 20 – Keep the fire burning!

Text: Leviticus 6.8-13 

 

Icebreaker: What is the easier thing to do - to start a diet, or to keep going with it for a while? (This question can be applied to many other things in life as well)

 

I don’t know about you, but for me to start a diet or daily exercises is a lot easier than to keep it going for 2 or 3 months! In my life I never said, “That’s it! I will stop the exercise now and I will put some weight on and be out of shape”. But all that happened as a consequence of the act of stopping doing what I started to work towards as a goal. Unfortunately, the same thing happens with other areas of our lives.

 

Imagine for a second that you are Moses! God is giving you all the instructions about what should happen with the offerings in the tabernacle, but God keeps pausing and reaffirming as he gives the instructions that you should put wood on the fire all the time, because you need to never let the fire go out. You would take notice of that command, right?

 

Well, God is saying the same thing about our lives today, He is telling us not to allow the fire to go out. And if you want to keep the fire of God burning strongly inside of you, you must understand that:

 

1)    The fire won’t light up by itself

The first law of Newton in physics is that “an object at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it”. This is also true in our spiritual life; everything will stay the same as it is now unless we start to do something! We need a spark, like a match being struck and flaming into life. Sometimes we let the spiritual fire in us get so low, that there is nothing but ashes and hardly any sparks. But the good news is that it only takes one spark to start a fire; one worship song, one prayer, one Bible verse,  can produce a spark that can get something going, especially if we clean the fire-place of the ashes first, by going to God and repenting of everything that is stopping us from being passionate about Him. 

So, we are responsible for starting the fire; for going to God and recognizing that our fire is going out. But… RECOGNITION is only the first step.

 

 2) You must keep the fire burning by putting fresh wood on it every day!

God gave an order to Moses, every morning, if you want to keep the fire burning, you must put fresh wood on it! To keep the fire (passion) for God, and the presence of God moving us forward, we need to give our spiritual fire something that will keep it burning! The wood is our prayers, our reading, our worship, our time with Him and around Him. The Bible says, not just to put ‘wood’ on but to put ‘fresh wood’ on the fire. Stuff that isn’t fresh in our lives tends to come with religiosity – these things are about compulsion and repetition not about hope, joy or discovery – it’s so important that we put fresh things in front of the Lord! Don’t offer the old, offer everything!

 

3) Fire from yesterday was good for yesterday; today you need fresh wood!

A mistake that the people of God often make is to think that the fire from yesterday will keep burning today! That is impossible if the fire isn’t built up with fresh wood. Just because you ate yesterday it doesn’t mean that you can do without eating today! Just because you took a shower yesterday, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take one today!

Your time, experience, gifts, works and everything that you did yesterday was good for yesterday, today is a new day with Him, and today has new opportunities to allow God to glorify Himself through you!

It’s good to remember what God has done in our lives in the past, but if we are not careful everything that we say about our relationship with God is in the past tense – and we realise that we have gone cold – our passion is missing, and our relationship with Him is not on fire any more. Today is a time to put fresh wood on the fire of our relationship with God, to start again if necessary, but to make sure that we don’t allow His fire to go out in our life.

 

Conclusion:

I don’t know how your life is today, if the fire of the Holy Spirit is going out, or if there have been cold ashes in your heart for a while already! The only thing that I know is that if God helped you to realise this today, it is because He wants to change that situation and put a new fire inside of you! Today is time to be in love (relationship) with God again! Is a new time in our lives, do you want that? Let’s pray

 

 

Connect Group 26 – Don’t lose joy when tribulation arrives

 Text: John 16.4-24 (You can read it or read a couple of verses and share the story)            John 15.11 Icebreaker: Is it possible to h...