College family, are you well in the Lord's grace? Praying your days are filled with God's wisdom, joy, and provision. Young adult family, is the week coming to a blessed finish with the Lord's enduring help? Keep pressing-on as God's plans unfold for you each new day.
It was brought to my attention last week that as a young adult family, we need to nurture greater community amongst us, in knowing each other better and what the Lord is doing in our lives. Know that I am always listening to your hearts, and desire to put into practice what will flourish this precious group for the Lord!
Therefore, we'll have a "TESTIMONY NIGHT" alongside our Bible reflection. I'd love to hear how God rescued your life from the miry pit, and opened your eyes to behold His beauty and salvation. I'd love to hear the works of the LORD that awakened us all to trust in Jesus as our only great God and Savior! Let's get to know one another through these channels, and let the Spirit of God draw us to love the glory of Christ more and more, amen?
Our story is His story! Let us tell His story. Lord-willing, hope to see you soon tonight, pray for those who are far away, and enjoy the presence of the LORD in our midst!
Your Brother Chester
Young Adult (College/Post-Grad)Life group THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS Empowered by One and the Same Spirit [chapter 12] ONE AND THE SAME SPIRIT IMPARTS VARIETY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS (12:1-11) (Question #1) Another problem that was brewing among the Corinthian Christians was about spiritual gifts – some may have thought that one gift was superior against another, or that the spiritual gifts could be used whichever way desired, even to accurse Jesus or deny His Lordship (verse 1-3). But no one can use the spiritual gifts this way because they are sourced in the Holy Spirit (verse 1-3). In the same way, there are many varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit (verse 4-5). What matters in the end in not which gift you have, but from who your gift is sourced in and is empowered by (verse 6). All gifts manifest the Spirit of God and are given for the common good (verse 7). What kind of varieties of gifts are there (verse 8-10)? Why does God give different gifts to different people (verse 11)? [*REFLECT #1] A spiritual gift is an unnatural ability that produces spiritual results. When we are able to say and do things that are beyond our nature in blessing others with the gospel, building them up, and pointing them to Christ, this is a spiritual gift! The apostle Paul describes the utterance of the gifts – which means the gift comes by something we say – through a text, a phone call, a message, a prayer, and much more. The apostle Paul also describes the gifts that come by signs or action over utterance, such as healing and miracles. *Have you discerned with the Holy Spirit your spiritual gift? When is a time God spoke an utterance to you, or when has God given an utterance through you to someone else? When is a time when God did an unexplainable sign or action through your actions? When is a time you have been jealous over the gifts of others? Are spiritual gifts the same as natural talents? How have these experiences brought you closer to the source of all gifts – the one and same Spirit who gives to each as He wills? Is it really about which spiritual gift you have, or about the source and stewardship of each spiritual gift? ONE AND THE SAME SPIRIT BAPTIZES MANY MEMBERS INTO ONE BODY (12:12-31) (Question #2) Next, the apostle Paul addresses another recurring issue – divisions between members of the Corinthian church. By illustrating the church as a body with members of the church likened to different parts of the body, we see how a church built on sound doctrine cannot ever be divided or members independent of each other. Although our body has many parts yet stay together as one body, how does this illustrate Christ’s body and its members (verse 12-13)? Are all the parts of Christ’s body equally important and belong to each other (verse 14-16)? Why did God not make every part of the body the same (verse 17-20)? What can different parts of the body never say to each other (verse 21)? How do we care for the weaker and less honorable parts of Christ’s body (verse 22-26)? As members of Christ’s body, what are some different roles and gifts the LORD has appointed to different people (verse 27-31)? [*REFLECT #2] You are the body of Christ, and individually, you are members of it. Christ’s body is His local church. How can we, as the church and body of Christ, show our unity in one Spirit to all the different people in our church? How can you proactively nurture this church to make every person belong to the body and never say, “I have no need of you”? Personally, do you feel you belong to this church? Is there anyone you have cast aside as not needing in your life? How can we be part of growing a church that suffers together, rejoices together, grieves together, and worships together? What is your role in this body – have you discerned it? How are we earnestly desiring to work out the role that God has given us in this body? HOLY SPIRIT MOMENT (APPLY #1) Spend two minutes inviting and listening to the Holy Spirit to show you your spiritual gift and the body of Christ you are called to be a member to work out that gift for your joy and His glory. (APPLY #2) Write two ways you can bless Christ’s body with your spiritual gifts and nurture oneness in the Spirit. (1) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (2) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (APPLY #3) Share one of them with the group, and a first practical step you can take to accomplish it. (APPLY #4) Write a sentence-prayer for it: _________________________________________________________________________________________ (APPLY #5) Share spiritual life – How are you? What is one thing about Jesus that carried you through this week? What is one thing you prayed for today? How has God answered in prayer, or asked us to keep requesting in prayer?