On the edge of greatness: Week 2
Sometimes taking the first step toward something good can be scary. How do you overcome fear and find the courage to press on? Today’s message teaches us how to step out into the future with faith.
Bottom line: God’s Kingdom is always moving forward.
Something To Talk About:
- We press on in spite of human circumstances: Most people will face some difficult circumstances. Most of us will make some mistakes along the way. People have faced circumstances and had a choice to make for centuries. In Biblical times, no one received the full blueprint of God’s plan. Since no one had the full script there was always some mystery involved. That is why in those situations when you don’t see the plan, you need to stay close to God and look to see where He was already at work in your life. All we need to do is keep moving forward. Paul declares emphatically: “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” These words from the Apostle Paul have inspired Christians for nearly two thousand years. Paul describes his spiritual journey as a race for a heavenly prize. The race requires focus. The race requires forgetting the past. And the race requires forging ahead in the strength that the Lord provides. Don’t dwell on your circumstances, weaknesses or failures. This is not a race of good works or sinless perfection. It is a race of faith for it is impossible to please God without faith.
- We press on in light of divine promises: Our God is a promise-keeping God. Others may make a promise and forget it. But not God. Do the promises of God make a difference? When a family member is battling an addiction it does. When your circumstances are threatening to overwhelm you it does. When facing difficult circumstances, learn to trust God’s promises. Choose to believe that God is up to something good even though all we see looks bad. Wait patiently on God’s timing, and replace your problems with God’s promises. We are far from perfect, we wrestle with personal flaws, weaknesses, and hang-ups. God is working to bring us to a place of Christian maturity. As you move forward, search out the promises of God. His promises are sure. He is your rock and your refuge. Place your trust in His promises as often as it takes until they produce peace in your life. Choose continually to place your hope in God and live a life of faith regardless of your circumstances.
- We press on by careful obedience: One of the many ways to worship and glorify God is through obedience. Living in obedience to God in all things, even the mundane, is a great way to show your love and respect for Him. Obedience is also a suiting way to draw near to Him and grow in your relationship with Him.. “We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:2-3) The Christian life is a walk of faith—one step of obedience after another. Though we may think the situations we face are unrelated, the Lord moves us through a variety of circumstances toward His ultimate purpose. If, for the sake of safety, we back off from obeying, we’ll miss the opportunity to experience His awesome power working in and through us.
- What can you do this week to better see God in your circumstances?
- Adversity, setbacks, and unexplainable negative events are the tools that God uses to help us become more Christlike. Is it possible to waste adversities/struggles in your life?
- What can or should we do when we hit a wall and lose sight of God’s promises in times of change?
- We can trust God, no matter how impossible the circumstances, because God always keeps His promises. Agree or disagree and why?
- If you completely accepted God’s promises, how would that change the way you look at fear?
- Why do you think you trust God in some areas and not in others? When have you seen God come through when you thought He wouldn’t?
- What do you think God thinks about when God thinks about you? What people and events have influenced your perceptions about what God thinks about you?
- Trust or obedience: Which one is the hardest for you?
- What can we do this week to get better in these areas?
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
Take one thing home with you:
Isaiah 1:19 promises us, “If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.” God asks for us to be obedient to Him because His plan is always for our betterment. He sees what lies ahead of us.
If we are ever going to experience the glorious inheritance God has for us, we must learn to trust Him and obey. God cannot lead us if we are unwilling to follow Him. He cannot lead us into consistent encounters with Him if we don’t trust that He is as near as His word says. And He cannot satisfy the deep desires of our hearts if we don’t trust in His promises.