The reason God has left us in place with our families, community and country is to share the gospel. Only the Gospel has the power of God to save and transform people across all political, racial and religious divides.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I truly believe this verse, do you? Can this message of salvation bring people as different and diverse as Jews and pagan Greeks? Is this message of good news enough to bring Liberals, Conservatives, rich poor, black, white, young, old together into an unexplainable community? I still believe it can and must.
This work of sharing the gospel through word and community is hard. It requires supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Remember the Gospel is the power of God to change us. The struggle is that so often we fail at this in our words and actions. We fall into old habits and fears that betray the gospel. The reason this happens is not all your fault. You and I have an adversary that wants to discredit the Gospel through our failures. The devil has an agenda to make sure your life has no impact on the people around you. In fact, if the adversary gets his way he will get you to live and speak in a way that will drive people from Christ. We must resist this and do all we can to stand firm against his strategies to end our witness to those who need it most. I pray this Sunday you will come and learn. I pray you will see the power of the gospel. I pray you can learn how to recognize his schemes and how to avoid his snares. Please bring a friend and come. plan to attend a class or small group. As you get ready to be with family over the holiday you need to be gospel-ready not blinded by the enemy.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Please pray and read the following scriptures:
1 Peter 5:8-11 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (9) But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. (10) After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (11) To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- What does the devil and his helpers want to do stop you from doing as your adversary?
- How can he discredit the Gospel through our lives?
- The word devil means slanderer or liar; what does he lie about?
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- Why does the devil always try to get you to walk in your flesh?
Gal 5:16-24 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (17) For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, (21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- What can you do you stay awake and alert and resist the devil’s tactics?
1 Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
1 Peter 4:7-9 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. (8) Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (9) Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
Luke 22:40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
- How does the devil as a roaring lion use fear to stumble our witness? Share a personal example?
2 Timothy 1:7-8 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (8) Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
- How does the devil blind us and get us to turn on each other?
2 Timothy 2:24-26 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, (25) with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
1 Co 1:10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
- How can we specifically pray for you?