Devotional April 24, 2016

Week of April 17, 2016

 

Resurrection faith weaves together divided communities.

 

The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a

distinction between them and us (Acts 11:12)

Monday: Peter explains his actions of baptizing and eating with Cornelius’ gentile family.  His actions were by the initiative of the Holy Spirit and make reconciliation possible for all.

 

Read Acts 11:1-18

Questions for Reflection and Application

Are you open to leaving behind cherished traditions if the Spirit leads you to remove barriers for carrying out God’s mission in the world?

What would you not be willing to give up for the sake of God’s mission in the world?  Has that become an idol?

Prayer Focus

Pray that God would deliver you from making any tradition, religious practice or form from becoming an idol.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s vision for you.

 

Tuesday:  Paul explains how we are one in Christ (there is no longer us and them).

 

Read Ephesians 2:11-22

Questions for Reflection and Application

Are there people in your life that you consider “them?”  How might you see them differently through this passage?

What barriers might be afflicting our church?  What can you (we) do about it?

Prayer Focus

Pray for dividing walls between yourself and others to come down through the blood of Christ (through his cross Christ puts to death hostility between people – see vs. 16).

 

Wednesday: Resurrection faith overcomes division between people.  It does so by being faithful to the new commandment Jesus gives his followers.

 

Read John 13:31-35

Questions for Reflection and Application

Do you love the members of our church?

How can you demonstrate that love so that the world may now that we are disciples of Jesus?

Prayer Focus

Pray for the members of our church – for our unity and love for each other.

 

Thursday: Not only has Christ broken down the dividing wall between people but also the barrier between heaven and earth.  We look forward to the fulfillment of his work in the new heaven and the new earth.

 

Read Revelation 21:1-6

Questions for Reflection and Application

How might this vision affect the way you go about your business today?

Prayer Focus

Pray for the assurance of this vision.

 

Friday:  Resurrection faith translates into a life of praise

 

Read Psalm 148

Questions for Reflection and Application

What words of praise are you inspired to utter because of your resurrection faith.

Prayer Focus

Praise God.

Small Group Format

Welcome

Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question: Have there been any barriers in you life that you had to overcome?  If so, share one of those barriers.

 

Opening Prayer

 

Song (optional)

 

Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

Have someone read Acts 11:1-18

Discuss observations about the text

What word or phrase strikes you the most?

What do you think is the most important point of the text?

 

Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text

 

Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional.

 

Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the questions

 

Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)

 

Pray for each other

 

Refreshments (optional)

 

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Event Date: 

Sun, 04/24/2016 - 09:30