The Prayer Of Nehemiah

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth,I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’ “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.” – Nehemiah 1:4-11.

Nehemiah had a burden for his people and for the city of Jerusalem. He had a vision of what could be, but he didn’t immediately pack up and race off to Jerusalem and try to get things fixed. He didn’t start developing a strategy or plan. He didn’t communicate with the populace in an attempt to get them on board. Instead, he went to the Person who knew the problem and had the power to fix it. Nehemiah went to the Lord and prayed. Nehemiah understood that he needed God to be successful.  

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4) He begins his prayer after days of fasting and mourning. He mourned how his people had turned their backs on God. He mourned how nothing was right. He mourned the lack of dignity God’s people had. He mourned his sins. All the while he was talking to God. He was pouring out his heart and soul to God. Nehemiah’s relationship with God teaches us we ought to walk and talk with God not just in the little things, but the big things too. God wants us to bring our worries, anxiety, dreams and hopes to Him. That is when God will direct us. That is when God will set us on our purpose. Prayer helps us to find strength for today and hope for our future.

Because Nehemiah realized the power of prayer, he ends his prayer by praising God and petitioning for the success of his plans if it’s in God’s will. He reminds himself and God that he is God’s servant. Our hearts should always remain humble in the truth that God is God and we are His servants.

God uses all kinds of people in all kinds of places to change the culture, revive hearts, and build His Kingdom. God has placed you where you are for a purpose.  God wants us to remember: “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17).

Discussion Questions:

  1. If God were to answer all of our prayers from just last week, how would our lives and the lives of those around us look different? Would it make any difference?
  2. What steps can we take to become people who are marked by big, bold, and faith-filled prayers?

The Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” –  Matthew 6:16–18. 

Many people view fasting as a negative. Perhaps the reason so many of us fast so infrequently is because we think of fasting mainly as what we’re giving up rather than what we’re getting. It is understandable because fasting is viewed as abstaining, going without food or drink, or something else that is a part of our lives.  But Christian fasting is more than simply abstaining. The goal of Christian fasting, in fact, is not going without but getting. Christian fasting is abstaining for the sake of some specific Christian purpose.

Jesus did not waffle as to whether His church would fast. “When you fast,” he said — not “if” (Matthew 6:16–17). “…they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15). And so the early church fasted: “One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

The spiritual purpose in fasting includes strengthening prayer. Ezra 8:23 says, “So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.”  Or seeking God’s guidance: “Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” (Acts 14:23) Or seeking His deliverance or protection: “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.” (2 Chronicles 20:3–4)  Or humbling ourselves before Him. Psalm 35:13 says, “Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered.” There are others but the bottom line is that without a spiritual purpose, it’s not Christian fasting. It’s just going hungry.

Fasting is a kind of special measure in the life of faith. Fasting is a special mode, for unusual prayer and for showing the Giver we enjoy Him more than His gifts.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you believe that is it important for every believer to practice the spiritual discipline of fasting? Why or why not?
  2. Share about a time you fasted and prayed. What did God reveal to you during that time? What might you do differently when you fast again?

Holy, Holy, Holy

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” – Isaiah 6:3

What comes to mind when you hear the word “holy?” Words like holy and holiness generate different ideas in different contexts. People hold many different definitions. Sometimes people believe that holiness is righteousness, or perfection, or separation, etc. But one thing is for sure: God is holy. The Scriptures declare twice that God is “holy, holy, holy.” (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8) This three-fold repetitiveness is meant to emphasize to the reader that God is Holy. If you could only understand one thing about God understand this: God is holy.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God. The chapter also details how Isaiah reacted. But if we go a little deeper into the text we learn that God gave Isaiah a revelation not just about Himself but into Himself. God is seated on a magnificent throne. He is high and exalted, and the train of His robe fills the temple. Six-winged angels called seraphim are flying above Him, and the seraphim are covering their faces with sets of wings as they fly. They’re calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).”

This passage gives us a very personal glimpse of God. We see similar glimpses in the books of Revelation. These glimpses are small peeks into heaven where even the angels are simply blown away by God—they are so in awe that they can’t even look at Him. And what attribute of God do these angels call out? They’re not calling, “loving, loving, loving.” They’re not calling, “Faithful, faithful, faithful.” They’re not calling, “indescribable, indescribable, indescribable.” Even though God is all those things and more, the angels have a laser-like focus. They’re not searching for the right word. They are not trying to debate theological concepts. They’re not searching their Bible software for an inspirational quote. No. They center on the holiness of God.  

John’s vision of the throne of God in Revelation 4 was similar to that of Isaiah. Again, there were living creatures around the throne crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” (Revelation 4:8) in reverence and awe of the Holy One. John goes on to describe these creatures giving glory and honor and reverence to God continually around His throne.

Hopefully, we will spend some time today reflecting on how worthy God is of our devotion. May we authentically give God our devotion today as we take time to discover how holy and worthy He is.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you describe the holiness of God? 
  2. How does the fact that God is holy impact our lives?  

Know Your Bible

“…Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. 47 These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River.” Deuteronomy 32:46-47.

The Bible has had untold influence throughout history and influences hundreds of millions of people worldwide today. But how well do we know the Bible? Many people would probably not be happy if our knowledge of the Bible could be quantified. Yes, we want to be knowledgeable about Scripture so that it can guide us as we journey through this life. 

The Bible represents God’s instructions to us. The Holy Scriptures were written by forty authors. It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible has something to say on almost any topic you can think of and has much to teach us about the issues we face on a daily basis. When we need an encouraging word, or we’re in a negative environment, it’s good to know that we can find the answers in God’s Word. Charles Spurgeon said, “nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”  

Reading the Bible teaches us who God is. As created beings, it’s important for us to know more about our Creator. As we come to know God we learn why we should worship Him and how we should serve Him.

There are numerous Bible verses that instruct us to learn Scripture and apply it to our lives. A few examples include:  Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Joshua 1:8 tells us to ”study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Colossians 3:16 adds, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Matthew 4:4 says that “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as “alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword.” Deuteronomy 11:18–20 encourages you to put Scripture into your heart and mind, writing it on hands and foreheads, teaching it to your children, talking about it at home and when you’re away, thinking through Scripture when you lie down and get up. “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7) 

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture back to the evil one. “It is written . . . it is written . . . it is written.” That’s the winning tactic for us as well. If you want to know God in a deeper way and hear His voice more clearly, then become a student of His Word. Read the Bible every day, and let the Lord speak to your heart. You will say along with the psalmist: “Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)  

Discussion Questions:

  1. How well do you believe you have been oriented to the Bible? What can you do to fill in the gaps?
  2. Bible study is not the same thing as Bible reading. How are they different?

Pray For Those Who Offended You

“Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”  – Luke 6:38.

Well, this is a tough one, isn’t it?  It is difficult and counterintuitive to our nature to pray for someone who’s hurt you. It’s so much easier to plot revenge and lick our wounds. The problem with that approach though is that, paradoxically, it keeps us attached to the very person who has hurt us, magnifying their power to hurt us even more. Without realizing it we give them too much control over our thoughts and feelings; in other words, giving them rent-free space in our hearts and heads.

With a little thought, we could all come up with a list of people that have hurt, betrayed, lied and/or offended us, whether it’s friends, family, social media, or opposing views. We will all experience times on the giving and receiving end of feeling offended. We may not have set out to hurt someone intentionally. But we’ve all hurt people and wished so desperately that we could take it back. But how different would you feel if they were praying for you and working on forgiving you?

In the Old Testament, even righteous people prayed for God to destroy their enemies in cruel ways. But Jesus turned life upside down with His command to bless, love, and pray for our enemies.  

Why should we pray for our enemies? Because Jesus did. He prayed for those who opposed Him, for those who devised evil against Him, and ultimately as He hung on the Cross, Jesus prayed for His Father to forgive all those who had a part in His death—because they didn’t know what they were doing. Jesus modeled unconditional love and how we should pray for our enemies, then commanded us to do the same.

Prayer is an amazing discipline and privilege. What usually happens when we pray for anyone, is that the prayer acts as a boomerang. God may or may not answer in the way we prayed, but God often chooses to bless and change us as a result of our obedience to pray. It’s hard to stay angry at someone for whom you earnestly pray. Prayer also leaves the consequences, revenge, and complete justice to God. By praying for our enemies, God’s Spirit can supernaturally show love and kindness through us or another that may ultimately change them.  

If Jesus can love you unconditionally, no matter what you’ve done, couldn’t you pray for someone who has done something to you? I know it can be difficult to pray for someone when you’re hurting and angry but the first step is to pray to see them from God’s perspective, and a heart to forgive. The other person(s) are probably struggling just like you are and they need forgiveness and grace, just like you do. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is prayer such a vital part of forgiving others?
  2. How different would your life and your relationship with Christ be if you removed all bitterness from your heart by forgiving those who have hurt you?

Moving On Through Forgiveness

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” – Colossians 3:13. 

Most people are comfortable with the idea of forgiveness. That is until someone offends or hurts them and then the concept of forgiveness is not all that appealing. Suddenly the idea of forgiving someone seems to compound the unfairness of being wronged. We want to focus on everyone else’s wrongs and rally those who agree with me to join in the fight for justice. Is that too much to ask?

The Bible says we can’t let that happen. Because we are not perfect, even people who love us are going to hurt us. The question is, “How will we respond when we get hurt?”The first part of Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you” We need to remember that even the most mature Christians we know are not perfect. Neither are our family and friends. They do things we might not think are right. If and when that happens, we’re to be gracious and loving and forgive anyone who offends us. Colossians 3:13 is pretty straightforward; it’s not just good advice; it’s a command. God expects us to forgive each other.

Most people are thinking to themselves about now “hold on a second…I can forgive a lot of things, but I can’t forgive that. Not that.” The second half of Colossians 3:13 gives you something to think about when you find yourself in these situations: “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Jesus died on the cross to forgive every offense you and I have ever committed against God or our fellow humans. If we’ve accepted Jesus as our Savior, God has forgiven us, without hesitation or exceptions. Whatever we’ve done and whatever our motivation was, He forgives us. And He expects us to do the same.

In Matthew 18,  Jesus then told a parable about a servant who borrowed millions of dollars from the king and couldn’t pay it back. The king forgave him and cancelled his debt, but then the servant wouldn’t forgive one of his coworkers who owed him a few thousand dollars. When the king heard what happened, he was incensed and had the servant brought in and punished for not having the same mercy in his heart that the king had demonstrated. No matter how large the offense is or how often someone hurts us, God expects us to forgive.

It is not human nature to do that. We need the Holy Spirit to take over our lives to help us to forgive like Jesus. But when we do, we see the benefits: Not only do we experience God’s forgiveness more fully, but also we enjoy relationships without being hindered by the hard feelings that come from holding a grudge.

That’s why God wants us to forgive others — not just for their benefit, but for ours as well.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is forgiveness to you?
  2. Is there power in forgiveness? Why or why not?
  3. What happens if I don’t forgive?

Taking Offense

So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” – Luke 17:3-4. 

It is hard to finish a sentence these days without offending someone. And it often has nothing to do with what is being said. People today are looking for a reason to be offended. Being offended is an all skate because just about everybody will discover a provocation somewhere and be offended. 

Consider this scenario: You sit down with a friend or relative and ask them one simple question. But, before you ask the question you make one stipulation. You ask them to be completely honest with you. With that said, you ask the question: ”do I offend you in any way?” Then you sit back with a hopeful smile and await the response. The friend/relative pauses, reflecting on the question for a few seconds. And then the answer: “Hhhmmmm…let me think…well, since you asked, I would have to say your appearance, politics, bad habits, your choice of music, putting pineapple on pizza,  and your idea of what constitutes good music have all offended me at one time or another.”

You are surprised the list is not even longer. We have all offended people at one time or another and been offended in return. But here is the problem: if we get offended by every little thing, how will we ever interact with others, much less reach the world? If anyone had reason to be offended, it’s Jesus. We serve a Savior who chose to come in the lowliest form and share meals with the very people society rejected. Rather than being offended by their lives, He chose to love people as they were—broken, imperfect and in need of the Father’s unconditional love. 

As Christians, it is not about the person offending us, it is about how we choose to respond. When Jesus calls us to love our enemies, we might wonder what that really means in practice. Surely, we’re not going to get all warm and fuzzy when we think about those who have hurt or offended us. But that is exactly the kind of robust, challenging love envisioned by Jesus, a love that is more about action than about feelings.  Making this choice to love and not be offended, however, is difficult.  

Ask yourself these questions: What would happen if you didn’t allow yourself to go there? What if you stopped and said – “Why am I getting mad about this…does this really warrant getting offended?”  What would have happened if I didn’t allow myself to be offended?

If we want to be more like Jesus we need to stop being so easily offended, a believer who wants grace for him or herself and wants to extend that grace to others. That means we are always focused on forgiveness. Now that does not mean that nothing should bother us, convict us to action, or require confrontation. Of course not. But our goal in any situation is seeking to find avenues of reconciliation. To bring peace, healing, and compassion to the world around us. Our job is simple: Love God and love others.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think it is possible to work so hard at relationships that you can prevent offending others? 
  2. Should we forgive those who hurt or offend us?
  3. What can we do this week to be less easily offended?

What Is Agape Love?

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”  2 Thessalonians 3:5

Agape love. Every Christian has heard the term, but with so many different meanings of the word “love,” do we understand agape love? Agape love is unconditional, selfless, sacrificial love. It is love that has no boundaries; it has no end. It is love that never fails, a love that gives us hope.  

The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling some people think it is. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely, not because we deserve to be loved or because of any excellence we possess, but because it is His nature to love and He must be true to His nature.

This is probably why 1 Corinthians 13 describes love (and by extension God) with a laundry list of concepts: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” This is also why, within each of us, the presence of God naturally expresses itself in “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Agape love is unconditional, willful love. It’s a choice we make to love another person whether they love us back or not. It means that you choose to love someone even if he or she is our enemy.  We are told, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) This is agape love, that you willfully show kindness, even when you don’t “like” someone; that you willfully forgive, even when you don’t feel like it. Agape love makes it possible to “love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27) 

Now, this kind of love presents a real challenge for us Christians. It’s tough to live out because it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t respond to you in the way we’d like. And no matter how much we try to avoid difficult people, there will always be certain individuals—even within the body of Christ—who are just hard to love. And yet, God’s Word is very clear: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7) Now, you couldn’t find a clearer command about what we’re called to do as followers of Jesus Christ.

We love because God loved us first. Let us love others with an agape kind of love. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does agape love mean to you? 
  2. What can we do this week to demonstrate an agape kind of love?  

Running In The Rat Race

“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” – Hebrews 12:1

We live in a time-crunch, rat race world. Everything we do seems to be urgent. Stress levels are rising with each passing day if we are not careful. We live under such intense pressure, running from one appointment to the next, that we often overlook some of the most important things in life. 

Tyler and Brittany are a pretty typical couple. Not unlike many couples on the Emerald Coast. They dated and after a year or so fell in love and made the decision to marry. Like most couples, they wanted the good life so they poured themselves into a career, to raising a family. They didn’t worry about the bills piling up. They moved into a new house within walking distance of the gulf. They had a nice SUV and a cool European import. In many ways, they were living the good life, but their debts and responsibilities just kept mounting up. They became discouraged. There were bills to pay, kids to pick up from daycare, quotas to meet, and not much time to enjoy all of the possessions they had been accumulating. Arguments took the place of peaceful evenings; disunity replaced unity. Tension mounted. The marriage was on thin ice.  It was at this time that Tyler remembered the lyrics from a song: “Like a rat in a maze; The path before me lies, And the pattern never alters; Until the rat dies.” ( Patterns by Simon and Garfunkel) 

 The idea of a rat race is a fairly modern tale of materialism, but materialism existed in Jesus’ day. People were caught up in accumulating possessions and wealth above all else, just like today. Is it God’s will for His people to be trapped in this rat race? We often get trapped in the rat race out of fear. We fear that our children won’t get into the right college, or that we will have enough money for today and for the future. We are afraid we won’t have a dependable car or the latest technology to make life a little easier. Francis Chan said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but at succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter at all.”  But the question we have to ask ourselves is this: at the end of the day will all the things we do to win the rat race matter when we stand before God’s throne? 

 The book of Ecclesiastes talks about this subject. In chapter 3 Solomon says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end…And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14) Introduce God into the rat race and the rat race suddenly changes.

No matter how hard we try, we can never beat the “rat race” of life through our own efforts. It is only when we stop running; when we learn to be quiet before God and trust Him, that He can show compassion on us and walk intimately with us. All of us who are in the rat race are chasing the same stuff, and most of it rots, rusts, or corrodes. Chase God. Chase eternity. Chase a relationship with Jesus Christ, with God’s family, and you’re chasing something that just gets greater after the grave.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why are we so easily drawn into the rat race?
  2. What can we do this week to ensure we are running the right race and not the rat race? 

Is There An Energy Shortage?

“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”  – Colossians 1:29 (ESV)

We are living in an energy crisis. I’m not talking about a shortage of gas but trying to find enough energy to deal with the ever-increasing demands of this life. When we take on too much and hit the wall, it is because our energy levels grew too low. Need proof: a lack of energy has spawned energy drinks which are now a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The Apostle Paul, of course, didn’t have the luxury of going to a local market and buying a Powerade or a Red Bull to replenish his energy supply. He depended on a different energy supply. His energy was supernatural. Paul operated under the power of the Holy Spirit, relying on Him to fuel his every action. Paul was not exempt from exerting tremendous effort. He “toiled” and “struggled.” But Paul was never striving in his strength alone. There was a mixture of human labor and divine energy. John Piper said it this way: “God does not work instead of our working but through our working. God does not energize instead of our having energy; He energizes our energy.” 

Picture a wind-up toy. If you wind it up, it will go for a little while – but then you must wind it up again to keep it going. It cannot continually wind itself up; nor can it run forever on an initial wind up. The toy requires constant intervention to continue. The same is true, in a much deeper way, of us. The energy to “go” comes from a source other than us. We cannot continue without God’s power, which works in us through the Holy Spirit. If we are not continually connecting with our power source, we will eventually become ineffective, tired, and frustrated.

Paul must have understood this truth because look at how he prayed for his brothers and sisters: “We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness! And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope.” (Colossians 1:10-11)

And so Paul prays that the body of Christ will be strengthened with all might according to God’s glorious power, reminding us that the strength we received is not of ourselves but from God. However, Scripture also teaches that God provides the energy, positivity, and focus that we need, in more than one way.  There is the vertical way: prayer, the Bible, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and surrender to Him.  These are the means by which God sources us directly.  But the second way is horizontal. God provides for us indirectly through people: their love, support, wisdom, and direction. People can be a “delivery system” for the grace of God.  We should be an “energy source” for each other, keeping ourselves and others energized and growing.

Unity is the fuel for optimizing and utilizing the “fuel” that comes from the church.  So look for practical and useful ways to tap into the energy source of God and the church.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you describe the level of your energy? 
  2. What can we do this week to tap into the power of God and the power of the church?