Miraculous Movements – Message 1
Do you ever long to be used by God to make a difference in this world? Do you wonder how He uses the ordinary to be a part of something extraordinary? In today’s message, we hear how God wants to use each of us to be a part of a movement of epic proportions.
Something To Talk About:
- God still speaks to people and sometimes in unusual ways: Job 33:14 says, “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” God conversed with Adam in the first garden. He told Noah to build an ark. He spoke to Moses in a burning bush. Paul heard His voice on the way to Damascus. God still speaks to us today. God speaks to us in different ways. He is the mastermind behind all of creation. He cannot be limited in any way. He is the Almighty God and He’s everywhere all at the same time. He cannot run out of means to communicate with His people. One time He even spoke through a donkey. God treats each of us as unique children. None of us are cookie-cutter Christians. Because of that, God doesn’t “speak” the same way to all of us. God can speak to us in any number of ways, some of them may be unusual. Regardless of the way God chooses to reveal Himself or “speak” to us today, remember one truth. He will never contradict His Word, and the message He gives will always bring glory to God.
- Sometimes Jesus prayed all night long and so should we: Sometimes in college we needed to pull an all-nighter to cram for an exam. Jesus pulled an all-nighter. In Luke 6:12 we read, “One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” Then, in the morning, He called together the large group of His followers and selected twelve to be apostles. Apart from the extraordinary length of Jesus’ prayer session, the fact that He seemed to need to pray for so long is striking. The example of Jesus praying should challenge us to consider how devoted we are to prayer when we have to make a major decision. Prayer is a two-way street. We have been given this wonderful opportunity to have a two-way conversation with our Creator. He already knows our hearts and thoughts, but to express them to Him releases our burdens and desires. You can pray short prayers or long prayers, God hears both. What is necessary in prayer is to be thankful, respectful, sincere, and to seek His will.
- God is still preparing persons of peace for me and you to find: As we live our lives, be alert to discover “Persons of Peace.” Often, these people or “households of peace” are like a gateway relationship into a family, neighborhood, or community. Consider prayerfully seeking them out as you go about living more intentionally. We can often recognize the person of peace because they will: welcome and receive you. They will be open to you and your friendship and to what you have to say about Jesus. They will be interested in and open to the life you live as a follower of Jesus. As you go about your daily life, learn to pray and be alert to these people of peace and expect that God will be at work in some. Pray to encounter people of peace, listen to and learn their stories, and then be ready to tell your own story (testimony). Pray and ask for Persons of Peace to be brought across your daily paths.
- Ordinary people can make disciples and plant churches: How did the church get started. There were no professionals back then. God uses ordinary people. He did it to start the first movement of the church. And He does it today. The first church sent ordinary people around the world to tell others about Jesus. It sent ordinary people to stand before governors and generals and rulers and kings. It sent ordinary people to heal the sick, feed the hungry, raise the dead, and teach all of God’s commands to everyone in the world. Jesus’ final instructions to His followers were simple; make disciples. Ordinary people plant churches and the church makes disciples. The church makes disciples by creating an environment in which people can grow in their walk with Jesus. In essence, the church exists to serve God’s people. We serve one another by using our gifts to come alongside each other and equip one another with truth so that we can pass that truth along and effectively care for other believers.
- Read Isaiah 43:18-19. God encourages His people to watch for Him to do new things. What has God been speaking to you lately?
- When you spend time with God, do you spend more time talking or listening? Why? What things in our lives distract us from hearing the voice of God?
- God speaking equals receiving communication from God. We receive this through whatever vehicle God uses unusual or not: is it possible God may have been speaking to you and you may have never realized it?
- The Holy Spirit is an “inner voice.” Have you experienced this? What were the effects on you? How did it impact your faith? Your closeness to God?
- What is the significance of Jesus praying all night?
- How could we become more prayerful? What are the things we should be praying for as a church?
- What defines a person of peace to you?
- Is the idea that God uses ordinary people different from what you think should be done? What is your reaction to the statement that very person is a minister?
- Do we focus enough on discipleship? What is your role in discipleship? What can we do as a small group to increase that focus?
- What did you think or find interesting about today’s message? Did anything that was said in the message particularly speak to you or surprise you? What is your biggest take away from the message?
- What will you do? How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned this week?
Take one thing home with you:
Every person is a minister.“God … has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus, and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:10 TLB). God did not put you on Earth just to live for yourself. He wants you to make the world a better place through ministry. Every Christian is a minister. Not every Christian is a pastor, but every Christian is to be a minister. That means you use your talents and gifts to make a contribution in life, to be a giver, not a taker. God uses every little thing. Nothing is insignificant when you serve God. None of it is in vain. “Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58 TEV).