Of Power and Strength
To help us realize that Gods words are very powerful and effective and He wants us to utilize this strength by learning his words and applying them to our lives.
Gen 1:2-6, Isa 62:1-2, Isa 55:10, Phil 4:13
Have the group think for a minute about all the forms of power we have available to us today. Find out if any have lived places where electrical power was not available. Discuss the differences in life style where various forms of power are employed. Suggested are the 2 following forms.
The BackDoor: (Video)
Watch the beginning of the video "Back to the Future I". Watch up to the part where Michael J. Fox turns on the big guitar amp and gets blown off his feet. Discuss the powerful noise the new large speakers make in kids cars these days.
Point out that there is value in being able to go back in time, back to see the way things were when they started. Also point out that the Bible is a wonderful time machine as it has recorded for us what really happened in the beginning. .Turn to Genesis 1:1 . Lets go see the first display of power.
In Gen 1:2 we find a simple setting, The Spirit of God hovering over formless emptiness. The is no background given, no discussion and suddenly God acts speaking the 4 words "Let there be Light" and instantly Light sprang into existence. Disorder became order, creation began. In the next few verses God says Let there be few more time and each time the created universe responds. This is the first demonstration of the power of God delivered through his Words.
Lets take a minute now to look a few other things the words of God accomplished.
Students Teach Students:
Have the group look up and read these verses and identify what Gods word can do in each.
Now in this lesson we shall look at three concepts relating to Gods Power and the first is this.
|God is the absolute ruler of all creation and when he speaks things happen. No ifs, ands, or buts! The utterances (words) of God are powerful and effective. Gods words are powerful because He is behind them. It is his ability to carry out what He determines and what He speaks that makes his word so strong.|
The second concept we will study to is found in the other book in the that begins with the words "In the beginning", the book of John . Now John had a problem back in his time. He was speaking to Greek people who believed in a whole system of false Gods who married each other and had son and daughter gods. So if he spoke to them about Jesus Gods son, they would just map Jesus into their already existing mythology. So instead, He starts out talking about someone called the Word. ..
Here we see something new, yet something very old. We find that the creative power of God was in the beginning, was then and is now fully contained in a person. In vs. 14 the Word of God become flesh.
The person of Jesus Christ. He came to give us power, power over sin and death
Key Message: All creation was for Christ. He participated in starting it in Gen, He came to redeem it in John and in Rev 19:11-16 we see that He will come again to destroy his enemies and claim what is his own. And when he does He will do so with what? .. the sword that comes from his mouth. The Word of God!
pause for reflection
Now just before Christ left 1950 years or so ago to return to heaven, he said something the disciples found rather odd. In John 16:7 he says that it is a good thing for man that he goes away, for if he does a Counselor (the Holy Spirit) will come in his place. And when he comes He (the Holy Spirit) will convict men in regard to sin and righteousness. In other words, were it not for the Holy Spirit their would be no Christians save those who new Christ directly. An in this we find the 2nd Concept we need to see.
|All salvation is by the power of God. It is the sovereign prerogative of God to draw men to Christ through the Holy Spirit. (also see John 6:44).|
The final concept we need to examine in this lesson has to do with us.
The great commission of Matt 28 tells us that God wants us to share the gospel with the world and as his servants we are to obey and do it. But it is easy to become pride full when ministry goes well and worry a lot or become depressed when it doesnt. What we just read in Isa 55 makes it clear where the power of ministry comes from and that we cannot always understand what is really going on in a given situation. Eph 2:10 tells us that we are all Gods workmanship and that the good works, even the ministry we will do, have all been prepared for us in advance by God. Because of this we should not worry or stress out about whether we being effective as long as we are speaking, sharing and obeying Gods Words. If we are being effective, remember whos power is in the words. If we are not effective, perhaps we need to look at whose words we are using.
|Gods want us to utilize the power of His Words to accomplish great things for Him. He wants us to use His strength is all aspects of our lives. (Remember Matt 4:4 and Phil 4:13).|
Do you know Gods Words? If you dont then you need to learn them. Its time for you to immerse yourself in God written word. If you already know them, are you using them, are they the source of strength in your life?
(Pass out the Ownership Vs Obedience handouts that you will find at the end of this lesson. Discuss the concepts described and how they might pertain to the situation your group is experiencing)
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Ownership vs. Obedience
Today, responsible people are often motivated by an attitude of ownership. They take ownership for the tasks they are given and work hard on them. The problem with this is that while ownership produces responsibility it also produces stress and worry when things go poorly and pride when things go well.
For a Christian however there is an another attitude that produces responsibility, it is an attitude of simple obedience to God. Tasks undertaken with an attitude of obedience do not cause stress or inspire pride because the person is not the "owner" of the outcome, God is. (1 Cor 2:4-5) Obedience also has the additional benefit in that it produces faith .. something extremely valuable to God. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
Recognizing this, I submit that a large part of what we call "Christian Burn-out", comes from service directed by an attitude of ownership. Service directed by an attitude of obedience does not result in burn-out because God does not overwork his children. (1 John 5:3)
BackDoor Bible Series