When You Pray: Protect Your Perspective

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WHEN YOU PRAY: Protect Your Perspective

Perception produces perspective. This is why it is vital that we stay in the Word! To memorize the Bible is to memorize the mind of God. God’s Word must be our defining source of perspective.

Are the eternal priorities of God giving birth to your perspective?

Heb 11:29-40 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea... 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell…shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword…38 the world was not worthy of them…39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. NIV

The faith of these amazing men and women of God coupled with our faith completes the picture of God’s plan to redeem the earth.

The first century church was clearly a Jesus movement. Early Christians understood their role was to actively establish God’s Kingdom of love and compassion in the earth. These Christians knew their God so intimately that they sang His praises as they were burned at the stake. NERO apparently would stick his fingers in his ears saying, “Why must these Christians sing?”

Romans started jumping out of the stands rushing to them willingly accepting death to know this passionate intimacy with God. The challenging question for us is, “How many people would die to have what they see in our lives?” If we don’t devote ourselves to the greater purposes of love we confine ourselves to a self-serving existence. We were born for more than that.

Our world is diminished by lives we don’t live and the difference we don’t make in the lives of other people. Restlessness and boredom abound in the church today. Largely this is the result of smallness of purpose as we are rarely equipped to get past own personal needs. 


GP4RL: What can you do over this next week to experience and express the sacrificial nature of Christ in the way you love, serve and give?

Your Action:_________________________________


DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS

Click here for a downloadable pdf file of this week's discussion guide

Icebreaker: If you knew you only had 24 hours to live, what three things would you do in the time you had left?

Our perspective produces our priorities. Today’s discussion is all about protecting the right perspective so we are prioritizing the right priorities.

Perception produces perspective. This is why it is vital that we stay in the Word! To memorize the Bible is to memorize the mind of God. God’s Word must be our defining source of perspective.

Discussion Question:
•    In what ways do you allow the eternal priorities of God shape your perspective?
•    In what ways do you allow the temporal priorities of this world to hold your perspective hostage?

Heb 11:29-38 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea... 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell…shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword…38 the world was not worthy of them… NIV

Christianity started as a simple Jesus movement! This was a movement to establish God’s Kingdom of love and compassion in the earth.

Discussion Question:
•    What is the difference between the typical church of our generation and a true Jesus movement?

After reading these verses in Hebrews 11 about mighty men and women of faith back in those days Pastor Lawrence pointed out this crazy challenging verse. Notice their amazing faith throughout all those generations is incomplete without us.

Heb 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Discussion Question:
•    Explain what you believe is your personal role of actively establishing God’s Kingdom in the earth?
•    Last week we discussed what steps we could take to express more meaningful devotion to our relationship with Christ? How did you do this past week?
•    The action point calls for another commitment this week. What can you plan to do this week to experience and express the sacrificial nature of Christ in the way you love, serve and give? Let’s come next week prepared to discuss how this went.


Going Deeper:

Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in Rome and 25 years after his death Emperor Julian took over and decided to return the Roman Empire to paganism. He began to fund the construction of pagan temples and pagan worship but the culture wasn’t shifting for him. He wrote a letter complaining  “These Galileans support not only their poor, but ours as well. He goes on to say how difficult it would be to get control of society when Christians have been so generous.

Early Christians understood their role was to actively establish God’s Kingdom of love and compassion in the earth. Today Christians understand that Jesus died for them and a decision is required for us to invite him into our lives. There is a vast difference in these two beliefs as one is totally about God’s Kingdom in the earth while the other is totally about my personal life and how Jesus can make my life better.

Many Christians have come to view the Gospel as simply the personal plan of salvation. The modern emphasis is to “fix the sin problem” in an individualized way. This private version of faith in Christ reduces the Gospel to knowing some facts about Jesus and then making a personal decision for Christ based on these facts. This dramatically alters the idea of our purpose and mission as Christians. 

1 Cor 4:5 He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. NIV

After this world’s production= cast party = God praise you in reciprocation for job well done!

In one way of thinking somebody in this room will have loved, served and given more than everybody else and somebody will loved served and given less. God’s Word is very clear on this the amount you love, serve and give is measured by what’s been measured to you.

2 Cor 12:15  I will gladly spend my money and my energy for your soul (Simple English Translation)

What are resources of your life and how are you using the to take true riches with you. You can take it with you if you understand the true riches of this life = people!