This week’s devotionals are inspired by our recent New Ground Sunday. To find out more about our family of churches, please go to:
Summary: We all have two options: we can expect others to take the initiative and so become ineffective and bitter or we can take initiative and become fruitful and joyful.
To watch this devotional, please go to:
‘For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.’ (2 Corinthians 8:3-4)
It’s an experience that we all have I’m sure: we feel left out; we feel overlooked; we wait for people to involve and love us but it doesn’t happen. I often liken this experience to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: will he take the ‘Dark Side’ or the ‘Light Side’? Will we take the dark side and become embittered because our expectations have not been met or will we choose to ‘be the change we want to see’ (as Gandhi put it) or give the kind of kindness and encouragement that we would like to have received. Because, believe it or not, if we won’t take the initiative toward others, we are simply imitating the selfishness that we so hate!
In our reading today Paul comments on the initiative of the Macedonian Christians. He points to their example of generosity which was inspired by their own initiative. This is rare! These are the kind of people who don’t just moan about problems and blame others; these are the kind of people who have seen and need and take action to solve it. In this context, they have heard that Paul is taking a collection to alleviate the suffering of poor Christians in Jerusalem and they have sought to be involved.
This church is working with Paul, he is their apostle and this is worked out in proactive action; they seek to be informed and support his work. A good team seeks to serve other members of the team and take proactive action toward to vision and goals of the group and its leaders.
We all have two options: we can expect others to take the initiative and so become ineffective and bitter or we can take initiative and become fruitful and joyful.
Are you taking initiative to understand and work toward the goals of your local church and the family of churches that you are involved with?
How can you take initiative this week to support your leaders in church or at work?
Have you become embittered and isolated from others? It’s God’s will that you forgive and, like Christ, take action to be a peacemaker.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Firstly, let’s watch this message from Jim partridges together:
Please read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 again.
What particularly struck you from Jim's message?
What 2 relationships are we urged to give ourselves to and how is this being worked out in our lives and church?
SIV - How does working with New Ground help us to fufill The Great Commission?
SIV - How could you serve, invest and invite this week and let’s pray about this.
Prayer - How would you like prayer as a result of today’s study?