• Matt Beaney

#452 (5/10/21) - PEOPLE WILL NOTICE IF YOU’VE BEEN WITH JESUS




INTRODUCTION

Over the next three weeks, our devotionals will be based on our vision at CCP. If you are not a part of our church, I trust that you will still find these reflections helpful.


Our vision is to be a church community that is,


“Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and my community”




This week we are focussing on what it means to bring ‘myself’ to Jesus.




On Sunday, our message was based upon these inspiring words from Acts 4,

‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.’ (Acts 4:13)

Peter and John had been called to follow Jesus. We read of how they ‘ left their nets…their boat and their father and followed Him’ (Matthew 4:18-22). They made a radical commitment to leave their old lives and be with Jesus and learn from Him. Too often, Christians fail to understand that Jesus is asking for everything from us. He is our only Lord and Saviour. We are in His Kingdom. We have been purchased by Him -by His blood- and no longer belong to ourselves.


Peter and John left everything to follow Jesus which meant that they spent time with Him and learnt from Him. This moment in Acts 4 is birthed out of being with Jesus. No one will be astonished at our character, courage, gifts, love, miracles… if we have not made a radical commitment to be with Jesus. People will notice if we’ve been with Jesus! How is your call to follow Jesus being working out in giving quality time to be with Him in prayer and worship out of the Bible?


Let’s be inspired by the words of Oswald Chambers,

‘When a person is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way to nourish one's life with God.’


PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

In keeping with this aim of developing a personal relationship with God through prayer and worship out of the Bible, we’ll be developing our skill in meditation and prayer using the structure that we are taught in The Lord’s Prayer.


If you look at The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), you’ll see that it can be broken into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9) , Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13).


Using Acts 4:8-13, use the Lord’s prayer structure to help you to pray.


‘Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.’ (Acts 4:8-13)

1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

THIS WEEK IS SIV (SERVE INVEST AND INVITE) WEEK.

Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus. Let's never forget the Great Commission that Jesus has given to us,


“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)


SIV is our main strategy for reaching our communities for Jesus. It has three elements:

I) SERVE - SERVING REAL NEEDS.

People who see our love in action - our ‘good deeds’- will be much more open to our message.


II) INVEST - INVESTING IN RELATIONSHIPS

Investment is about time and faithfulness. It's praying faithfully. It’s going to the club faithfully. It’s phoning the friend regularly. It’s sacrificing for the good of others. Many Christians speak of love and of wanting to reach the ‘lost’ but are not prepared to be like that 'good shepherd' and make time for people!


iii) INVITING

This is Inviting people into our church community and closer to Jesus, particularly through Alpha. This might even be a moment when you lead someone to receive Jesus through the gospel message. If we have been investing in our friends, this step will often happen naturally.


VIDEO

Please watch the video together (Click the image below)



In response to this inspiring video, let's talk about how we might respond to God's call to reach our communities for Jesus:


i) Firstly, do you have any encouraging stories since our last SIV week?

ii) Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the people and places that God has put? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable?

iii) Are you planning to do anything together as a group?

iv) Who are you planning to invite to our carol service on the 5th December?

v) How do you want to pray in regard to our mission?




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