The book of Acts reminds us how God can do way more than we often think He can. We learn in Acts 9:31-43 from Peter’s example more specifically that we are not the light of the world, but we are the vessels through which the light is sent throughout the world. Our heavenly Father has left us here on this earth for a purpose and in this message Todd reminds us that God changes the world through people He changes and if we are not part of God changing the world we should ask ourselves if we have been truly changed by God.
- Jesus can do what He said He was going to do. There is nothing He wants to do that cannot be done. Therefore, do not worry because our God is in control. Todd challenged our tendency to question God’s plan and even further exhorted leaders within the church. Have you worried this week about how God is going to accomplish His plan for your life and the lives of those you may be leading or discipling? How has your worry affected your ministry? Read and pray through Matthew 6:33-34 and John 14:27. What are some practical steps you can take to help guard against worry each day?
- Todd shared that “The moment you believe that God can’t do what He wants to do, you are practically an atheist”. Ask yourself if there are any areas that you need to be encouraged to believe in God’s ability to bring peace. At this point in Acts, persecution and oppression has come upon the Church under National Roman rule and local pressure from the Sanhedrin, yet God has made a way for His church to be at peace (Acts 9:31). Who is your Roman ruler right now and what are you believing impossible for God to redeem, take care of, or change? Meditate on Jeremiah 32:17 and 1 Peter 5:6-7.
- Acts 9:31 reminds us that God uses those in His church who live in fear (respect, awe, submission) of God and who are comforted by the Holy Spirit. Todd reminded us that God simply asks us to be faithful where we are and sow the seed of God’s word (see Mark 4:26-29). Think about the friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers God has divinely placed you around right now. How can you strengthen (sow Truth into) the Church and/or those who don’t know Jesus this week? Who else from your community group can join you on this mission? Consider how the life of Christ affects you even today and extend an invitation to Watermark’s Christmas Eve service to someone you engage with (https://www.watermark.org/events/950)
- Todd used images of a forest fire to help us understand how God’s Word (Jeremiah 23:29) changes everything it encounters. The word of God destroys sin, isolation, and war; it brings peace. Make space in your day to let the consuming fire of God’s Word change you. What is your plan this week to encounter the living God through His Word? If you don’t have a plan yet, Join the Journey (http://jointhejourney.com/) with us as we finish up studying the gospel of John this year. And get excited for studying Psalms and Proverbs starting January 1, 2017!
- Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, was a woman full of good works and acts of charity (Acts 9:36) as a faithful Christ-follower. But great faith does not equal health, wealth, and prosperity. There are still troubles and sorrows that come even when we are living as a faithful follower of Christ. As we are comforted in our troubles we gain a greater understanding of how we can help and comfort others in their times of trouble. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. What trials, troubles, or sorrows has God brought you through? Who are you able to comfort, relate with, or better equip because of those experiences?