What do you look forward to the most about summer?
Lord, let me see my life the way You do!
Ephesians 2:10 NLT, emphasis added: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
What is your perception of yourself? What characteristics do you think define you? Some of us see ourselves through an incorrect filter; we think of ourselves as a “master disaster”! When we see ourselves through the Lord’s eyes, however, we will understand that we have a much different identity. He doesn’t just see our past, but He sees it through the lens of Calvary, changing it completely. Believers don’t let their past define their future, because they know they are His masterpiece, an example of the incredible wealth of His grace.
Have you ever run into a childhood friend who recounted your wilder days? How did that make you feel?
Before you knew Christ, you were dead, disobedient, and doomed. You were dead because of your many sins. You lived in disobedience to God, obeying the devil, following the passionate desires and inclinations of your sinful nature. You were doomed, with fearful expectation of judgment.
We all come from a life steeped in sin. When did your new life in Christ begin to replace your old concept of yourself? How did that change you and your relationships with others?
You are alive with Christ. As Ephesians 2:4-6 (NLT, emphasis added) says, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”
Have you ever been so hard on yourself that you began to have a misguided view of yourself? When did you start to see yourself in the way God sees you? How did that make you feel, and how did it change your behavior?
God is working in you, and God is working through you. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT, emphasis added) tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Just as we resemble our natural parents, we also resemble our heavenly Father. What aspect of your new life do you see as being totally God? Does it even surprise yourself?
As heirs, we inherit our DNA from our parents, but it took many years for us to reach adulthood. Similarly, we are God’s heirs, no longer doomed to a life in hell. As His heirs, we are becoming like Christ. We are not there yet, but we are becoming.
God thinks of you as His masterpiece. See yourself as He sees you, remembering that the cross defines you.
Take all thoughts captive this week that disagree with God’s Word. See yourself through the cross. Say out loud this week, “I am a masterpiece,” knowing that you are becoming like Christ.
What was your favorite part of your B-Group’s Love La outreach?
Thank You, Lord, for wanting us and including us.
Ephesians 1:15–21 ESV, emphasis added: “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.
There are so many types of invitations. Sometimes we receive an invitation that delights us, while other times the invitation is unwanted because the event feels burdensome. Sometimes we do not receive an invitation to a certain event and feel the sting of not being included.
God has invited each of us to have a relationship with Him, but some people are not aware of this great and generous invitation. Let’s look at the various aspects of God’s invitation to us.
Have you ever been invited to an event that you wanted to go to, but you missed out on it for some reason? What prevented you from fulfilling it?
God has invited us to salvation. God did not have to include us in His family, but He did. Not only does He want us in it, but He has made us joint heirs and prepared a place for us. That is amazing. We should jump at the chance to become part of His family. Hebrews 2:3 (NLT) says, “So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?” and John 3:16–17 (NLT) declares, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
When the sobering fact of spending eternity in either heaven or hell strikes us, we can be overwhelmed at the prospect. What was your reaction when it dawned on you that God wanted to rescue you from hell?
God has invited us to righteousness and relationship. Second Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” This gives us the right to fellowship with Him. He wants us to walk with Him, and He looks for us to interact with Him.
God has washed our sins away, even though they were like crimson. Have you enjoyed an intimate relationship with Him now that you have been washed clean? Share with the group.
God has invited us to discipleship. This means we have the privilege of learning from Him. Can you imagine being mentored by the world’s foremost expert in an industry or sport that interests you? God, in fact, wants to take you under His wing and teach you personally how to live your life with joy. Matthew 11:29–30 (NLT) says, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
The gospel is not just a gift, but a baton to pass on. We are expected to pull up a chair and become a student of His Word and His ways. When do you feel you first took the invitation of discipleship more seriously? Share with the group.
God has invited us to eternal life. This invitation doesn’t come just from the governor or the president, but it comes from the Creator! We must take advantage of the opportunity and accept God’s invitation.
The level of fellowship God has invited us to share with Him is mind-blowing! He wants to redeem us, wash us, and make us His understudies, trusting our ability to act on His behalf. Walk in that confidently this week. Instead of seeking out a mentor, read Jesus’ words in red in the Bible.
Have you ever gone on a foreign missions trip? If so, what was it like, and what did you learn from it?
Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to be Your hands and feet.
Luke 2:48–49 NKJV, emphasis added: “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.’ And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’”
Jesus was a man on a mission. As early as 12 years old, Jesus talked about being on mission: “I must be about My Father’s business.”
We, too, must realize that we are on a mission. When we understand that, our perspective changes, much like the difference in perspective between taking a vacation and going on a business trip. On a vacation you feel like you must take advantage of seeing the sights and want to be served. But many business trips are focussed solely on meeting with people and accomplishing the goal.
Have you ever visited a vacation destination but were so busy working that you did not participate in the vacation activities? How did your perspective affect your time there?
Jesus said, “I must” in response to the following:
John 4:34 NLT, emphasis added: “Then Jesus explained: ‘My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.’”
How do you feel when you help someone? Share with the group.
John 5:19 NLT, emphasis added: “So Jesus explained, ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.’”
Acts 10:38 NLT, emphasis added: “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
As believers, we imitate the Son. Have you ever come away from a time of ministry and it dawned on you that just did what Jesus did in the Bible? Share with the group.
John 9:4–5 NLT, emphasis added: “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
In this life, we all have only a limited time to minister, but often we do not seem to sense the urgency. Why do you think this happens? What do you consider the task you most need to quickly carry out? What steps could you take to get started on fulfilling it?
Recognize that each of us has an assignment from heaven to accomplish while on earth.
Focus on denying yourself this week and looking for a person to help. Pick two people, one to pray for and another that you will get involved and actually help. Consider enlisting others to help. When in doubt, Do the revealed word of God, and God will show you the concealed will of God.
Be ready to serve our community. Close in prayer, asking for any specific prayer requests.
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