God’s plan is for you to have the most amazing life you could ever imagine but there is the catch. It’s not his plan for you to pursue an amazing life for yourself. His plan is for you to provide an amazing life for others. In doing so you will discover the most amazing life you could ever imagine.
If we’re not careful we simply go through the Jesus motions without ever becoming the Jesus movement he’s called us to be. God activating something within us to take us to another dimension of loving, serving and giving which releases another dimension of living.
Our 2017 New Year’s Revelation is: Love Is Our Source. When people give you kindness it’s easy to give them kindness. When they are unkind you must give them what God gives you instead. This speaks of your willingness to allow the expression of your life to be born from the source from within rather than a reaction to what is taking place around you.
Isa 54:17 "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper…" NAS
Isa 54:17 in the context of heritage.
Isa 54:13 "All your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great."
The more convinced you are of God’s Word the more your reality is born from within. The legacy of Jesus and the heritage of faith is truly the greatest gift we can give our children. The context of this chapter further reveals the expression of faith.
Isa 54:1-4 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor…2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes…4 “Do not be afraid…" NIV
Notice that last statement, “Do not be afraid.” Fear cannot exist where faith has taken over. Equally so faith cannot exist where fear has taken over. What’s going on inside is really important to God because the world within you will influence the world around you.
When I was a kid my parents would always go to the lake with friends. All of us kids would stand there as the dads unloaded everything. It would only be a matter of seconds before our imagination and the gifts within us would convert that campground into a fun zone. We all have this incredible ability to take whatever surroundings may exist and translate them into some expression of creativity.
We would stand there looking around assessing our surroundings briefly and suddenly whatever existed would be converted into something more because we had arrived. Sticks become swords. Mud balls become grenades. Bamboo shoots become a fort. Trees become challenges to climb.
This applies on every level of your life. You have the capacity to assess your surroundings at home, at work, at church, in your neighborhood, etc and convert those surroundings into some creative expression that invites life on an entirely new level. Your world is diminished by the life you don’t live and the difference you don’t make in the lives of other people.
The kingdom of God is within you according to Luke 17:21.
Kingdom issues are heart issues. God’s Kingdom is in you and will take control of the world around you if you will be more in touch with God’s Kingdom than you are with the storms surrounding you. The world around you is trying to control the resources of your life!
Loving, Serving and Giving become a worshipful expression because of what’s happening on inside regardless of what may be happening on the outside. No force coming against you can compare to the power of God that is at work within you!
Western Christianity uses faith to attain stability and comfort. Biblical Christianity risks life and limb to advance God's Kingdom. If you don't devote yourself to the greater purposes of love you will confine yourself to a self-serving existence. You were born for more than that! The death of Christ released the life of the church. We are flourishing because of His sacrifice. Now it is our turn!
GP4RL: Begin praying about your 2018 New Year’s Revelation and how you can more effectively love, serve and give.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
1. Describe your top 3 priorities in life and share why they are your top priorities.
Priorities are the things that are important to us.
Isa 54:1-4 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy…“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. 4 “Do not be afraid… “ NIV
2. What stands out to you from Isa 54:1-4?
Notice in the woman who was barren, unable to have children was told to sing and shout for joy as if she were pregnant already. This was an expression of faith along with enlarging the place of her tent for her descendants
It is easy to look at our current situation and put off sacrificing to make a difference until later when we think we will be better prepared to help others. Faith sacrifices and finds a way while indifference searches for an excuse.
3. Jesus conquered our sin now we must conquer our excuses!
How can we conquer our own excuses?
4. How does it help us conquer our excuses when we sacrificially give of our time as expressions of worship?
Being generous with our time and our money as a lifestyle takes practice. God provides a steady training to help us with this if we’re willing to be trained.
Deuteronomy 14:23 “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.” TLB
5. How does giving a tithe of our income every time we get paid teach us to more effectively consider the needs of others?
When we give our time and money it’s an expression of worship and surrender to a story and a plan bigger than our own lives.
The death of Christ produced the life of the church. We are flourishing because of what He has done. Now we must set that example bringing the lives of others into greater fruitfulness because of our willingness to sacrifice!
God never works with what we don’t have. He only works with what we do have. What we do have is many times the key to receiving what we don’t have if we
Read and reflect on these questions that were referenced in Sunday’s message.
• Do you love only those who love you?
• Do you serve only when it is convenient for you?
• Do you give in a way that is worshipful and sacrificial?
Conclude by inviting everybody to share some way they plan to express the loving, serving, giving heart of Jesus to somebody this week. Please be as specific as possible.