PART 36 – TAKE INITIATIVE (19/2/20)
'David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.' (2 Samuel 23:15-17 )
If we want to be great team-players, it’s important to anticipate the needs of others. ‘The three’ overheard David and took action. Imagine how we would bring glory to God and help more people if we looked and listened for opportunities to meet needs. How would your marriage be if you behaved like Jesus in His initiative-taking Love? Think how such an approach would open people to the gospel, build friendships, heal broken-relationships because we are prepared to take initiative even though it may be ‘poured out’ - not received as we’d have expected!
This daring act is a picture of the gospel. We were and are thirsty - “Oh that someone would get me a drink…” However, Jesus has broken into enemy territory. The living water cost Him His blood. He brings the cup to us. Will we drink it? Will we, in turn, become those who will take loving initiative for others? Jesus says to us,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34).
Let’s learn from this story, and, ultimately, from Jesus to anticipate other’s needs and take loving initiative. Most importantly, let’s remain mindful of everyone’s deepest need: the need for ‘living water’ - for Jesus; will we seek to bring them to Jesus or bring Jesus to them?
During this week's devotionals, we are being encouraged to be 'mighty warriors' for Jesus. However, it's important that we understand that doing great things for God is to simply - do all we can, with all we have, where we are, by God's grace. To this end let's meditate on and memorise Philippians 4:13.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – DAVID'S MIGHTY WARRIORS (FOR THE WEEK OF 17/2/20)
What is the scariest thing you've ever done and why did you do it?
Introduction (Please read this intro to the group)
This week we are finishing our series in the life and times of King David. We finish by looking at his 'mighty warriors'. David was a great man of God, however, he depended on the support of many people. Behind the scenes of any success, there are usually numbers of faithful friends, colleges and family. In the words of the Beatles, we truly do 'get by with a little help from my friends'.
I want to thank every one of you for your love, prayers and sacrificial service that make Community Church what it is and will become.
Please read and discuss 1 Chronicles 11:10
In what ways do you, or could on, seek to give 'strong support' in church, in the home, at work?
How could you, as a group, support one another more effectively?
How do you need support in your life at the moment? Who could you approach about this?
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 23:20-23
What are the kinds of 'lions, pits and snowy days' that we encounter?
Do you have any past or present examples of taking faith 'jumps' for God?
This story could easily become a 'self-help' message - "face your fears and have a can-do attitude". To keep us from this danger, we want to be 'gospel-centred' - appreciate what Jesus has done for us, how this changes us, before we talk about what we do for Him - He's the hero! How is Benaiah's act (with the lion) a picture what Jesus has done for us? How does knowing Jesus enable us to become more like Benaiah?
PRAY - IN GROUPS OF 3-4
Note - At the moment, please get into smaller groups every week when you meet, and, preferably, in the same groups each week.
Share anything from your life or the bible study that you'd like prayer for.
Share any encouraging things that God has done in your life recently.
Pray for students' mission week (see this week's church news for prayer points)
Pray for provision in the church, specifically for our upcoming gift days on 22, 29th March.
Please look at the church news together.