Part 1 of 1 – The Miracles of Christmas Series
2019 is almost over! Maybe it was a great year for you. Maybe it was a year full of trials; a year you barely survived. Simply surviving stinks! Get your faith off of life-support and live like you believe!
2 Kings 13:19 (NLT) But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”
The Apathy of a King. Elisha shouts, “This is the Lord’s arrow of victory!” Over your enemies. Your Tormentors. This scripture depicts the apathy that many of us have known. Now, how much victory do you want in your life? 3 victories? Do you just want to taste victory, or do you want to revel and live in that victory?
What do you Want Out of this Life? Are you living like this life is all there is? That’s what most do.
We should live a life worthy of the Heavenly reward!
1 Corinthians 9:23-24 (NLT) I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
God Deserves your Best. Let 2020 be a focus year for you…a year where your VICTORY comes into focus! No more apathy. No more scraps for God.
1 John 5:4 (NLT) For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
You have the same promises this King had. May you drive arrow after arrow into the floor today. May you claim your victory and destroy your enemies. Here are five ways to Level Up in your faith:
Grow in The Word
Fill your Life with God’s Word. Read it. Listen to it. Think about it. Talk to people about it. Memorize it. Go to sleep at night and review scripture in your mind. That’s better than stewing on the stupid stuff of the day. Let your life, thoughts, and speech be heavy with scripture.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Devotion To Prayer
One of the only lessons the disciples specifically asked Jesus to teach them, was how to pray. What does that say about Jesus’ prayer life? Something about His prayer life was so significant that His closest followers wanted to do it too.
Let’s Start Praying! Work on praying more. Not as a work to please God. But in response to an invitation into God’s own Throne room.
Colossians 4:2 (NLT) Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
What an invitation! This standing invitation is made anew each day. If you got an invitation to some famous person’s home, you would be thrilled to go. But the God of the Universe invites us over and we take it for granted. What’s wrong with us? This isn’t about pleasing God. It’s about choosing God!
Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
We have the power to save people in our arsenal. The power is in the Gospel. It’s powerful all by itself. It doesn’t need to be reinvented, it just needs to be shared.
Romans 1:16 (NLT) For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
Sin is Our Problem. Bad news. . .we’re all sinners. Rom 3:23. Even worse. . .sinners die and spend eternity separated from God in a terrible place. Romans 6:23.
Jesus is Our Solution. Good News. . .God sent His son Jesus to pay the price for our sins! Romans 5:6,8. And it gets better. . .He will now take us to our Father for all eternity. John 14:1-3
Our Response is Faith. We surrender to Jesus. That’s what Faith does. It stops believing in “self”. We repent of being our own God and put Jesus on the throne of our life. It is a free gift!
Nothing is Impossible Anymore
Mark 9:23 (NLT) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Why do we believe things are impossible? Often, it is blindness that makes a thing impossible. We are unwilling to see a thing differently. But most often impossible is the product of unbelief.
Faith is Powerful Stuff. We spend a lot of time trying to get a miracle and not a lot of time building our faith. This is one more reason we need a church, to build our faith.
Jude 1:20 (NLT) But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prepare For Suffering
Partners with Christ. Nothing makes you more like Christ faster than suffering WITH Him. It connects you to what He has done. Who He is. It makes you victorious over Sin! 1 Peter 4:1
1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT) Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
What if this life is more like Basic Training than it is Endurance Training? When we endure a thing, it being over is the reward. That’s how most live their faith. “I live, die then I retire forever.”
But if this is Basic Training, then we are being prepared for something greater. Death isn’t supernatural retirement, but graduation day. So embrace the suffering. It prepares you, so prepare for it.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- Review 2 Kings 13:14-20. Discuss the story. What do you think about the King’s behavior? What about Elisha’s?
- What do you find most difficult when it comes to growing in God’s Word? What is most difficult? Discuss Colossians 3:16.
- What is a “devotion to prayer”? What is your favorite thing about prayer? What is your least favorite? Or, what makes it hard to pray?
- What have you done to learn how to share your faith? What is the easiest or preferred way you like to share your faith? What do you think about the Gospel being innately powerful?
- Discuss Mark 9:23. Why do we not see more miracles? How might we see more? How could we build each others faith. (Jude 1:20)
- Read 1 Peter 4:12-13 as a group. What are the rewards of suffering? What are the consequences? What might make those rewards worth it?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?