The complexity of life

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Proverbs 14:12 NLT
[12] There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

The answers are in your pocket!

Psalm 119:105 NLT
[105] Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Voice
[16] All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right [17] so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.

Discover the delights along Gods path

Psalm 119:35 NIV
[35] Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Lifegroup Questions and Prayer:
1 – How does Gods word light our path?

2 – What habits can we develop to grow in wisdom?

3 – Are you building a relationship with a wise and loving God?

Let’s pray!

Always close

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Psalm 139:7-10 NLT
[7] I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! [8] If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. [9] If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, [10] even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

1 – He’s been with you since the beginning

Psalm 139:13-17 NLT
[13] You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. [14] Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. [15] You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. [16] You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [17] How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

2 – He will never leave you 

3 – Reach out to Jesus

Psalm 121:1-3 NLT
[1] I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? [2] My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! [3] He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Lifegroup Questions and Prayer:
1 – How do you feel knowing that God has always been close to you?
2 – What do we do when we don’t feel like He’s close?
3 – Are you reaching out to Jesus? Let’s pray!

Bounce back!

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1 Peter 5:10 NLT
[10] In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

1 – Restore you

2 – Support you

1 Thessalonians 3:8 NLT
[8] It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.

3 – Strengthen you 

Colossians 1:11 NLT
[11] We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy

4 – Place you on a firm foundation

Jesus: Lord And Samurai

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(Mark 10:42-44) Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (43) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (44) and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

(Mark 10:45) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

(John 10:17) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.

1. We Serve The Lord With A New Nature

(2 Peter 1:3) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2. We Serve With Joy And Strength

(Psalm 100:2) Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

(Nehemiah 8:10b) For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

3. We Serve With Purpose And Vision

(Romans 12:6a) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

4. We Are Touched By God (Anointed) To Serve

(Exodus 36:2) Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.

5. We Are Rewarded – Now And In Heaven.

(Mark 10:29-31) “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel (30) will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. (31) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

(Philippians 2:5-11) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (7) rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I can do it!

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Joshua 1:9, 11:16 NLT
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So Joshua took all that land, the hill-country and all the South, and all the land of Goshen, and the lowland and the Arabah, the hill-country of Israel and its lowland;

How to overcome fear with courage:

1. Know that God is with us

Romans 8:31 AMP
“What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

2. Step out even if you think you’re not ready

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 46-47 NLT
““Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!””

3. Understand that you will do even greater things!

John 14:12 NIV
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Lifegroup questions and prayer:

1. Do you regularly have fear in your life?
2. How can you overcome these fear with God’s power given in you?
3. Let’s pray about it together!

Developing A Praise ‘Muscle Memory’

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Muscle Memory: What Is It?

1 – Speak To Your Soul

(Psalm 103:1-5) Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (2) Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— (3) who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, (4) who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, (5) who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

(Psalm 103:6a) The Lord gives righteousness and justice

(Psalm 103:8a) The Lord is compassionate and merciful

(Psalm 103:11) His unfailing love …great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

(Psalm 103:12) He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

(Psalm 103:13) The Lord is like a father to his children.

2 – Give Thanks Always! 

(1 Thessalonians 5:18) Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

3 – Even In The Hard Times 

(Habakkuk 3:17-18) Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, (18) yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; (23) they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lifegroup Questions & Prayer
1. Are you committed to developing your praise muscle memory?
2. Are you able to praise God at all times?
3. Let’s pray to grow in this area.

In the presence of the Father

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Exodus 33:14 NIV
[14] The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

1 – There is rest and joy in His presence

Psalm 16:11 NIV
[11] You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

2 – He has your best interests at heart
(He’s on your side!)

Hebrews 12:5-6,12-13 Voice
[5] Indeed, you seem to have forgotten the proverb directed to you as children: My child, do not ignore the instruction that comes from the Lord, or lose heart when He steps in to correct you; [6] For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He corrects each one He takes as His own. [12] So lift up your hands that are dangling and brace your weakened knees. [13] Make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame in you won’t be put out of joint, but will heal.

3 – Come into His presence quickly, thanks to Jesus

Psalm 118:19-20 NLT
[19] Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the LORD. [20] These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there.

Lifegroup Questions and Prayer:
1 – What is the presence of God like?
2 – Why can we be confident to enter His presence?
3 – How can we experience His presence in our everyday lives? Let’s pray!

Moving forward with Jesus

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1 – Jesus is calling us onwards and upwards

Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
[12] I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. [13] No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

2 – Stay encouraged on the journey

Psalm 119:7-8 NLT
[7] As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! [8] I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!

3 – Keep the vision hot

Ephesians 3:20 AMPC
[20] Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.

Lifegroup Questions and Prayer:

1 – What is Jesus calling us to?

2 – Why is it important we stay encouraged on our growth journey (Especially when we experience failure)?

3 – Do you have vision for your life (relationships, career, leadership etc)?

Discuss, then pray!

God’s formula for success

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Psalm 112:1-3 NLT
[1] Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. [2] Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. [3] They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.

1 – What is true success?

Ecclesiastes 4:4 NLT
[4] Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless-like chasing the wind.

2 – True success comes from chasing the heart of Jesus

2 Chronicles 31:21 NLT
[21] In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

3 – Stay joyful and stick with the formula

2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT
[6] As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. [7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. [8] And now the prize awaits me-the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

Lifegroup Questions and Prayer:
1 – How is Gods definition of success different to the worlds?
2 – What is the key to being truly successful?
3 – Are you committed to sticking with Jesus and his ways?

The Wonder of Worship

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God is seeking Worshippers

(John 4:23-24) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (24) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Why is God seeking Worshippers

1. To bring Joy 

(Psalm 16:11) You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

(Philippians 4:4) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

(Psalm 100:2) Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

2. To help and Strengthen them

(2 Chronicles 16:9a) For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

(Matthew 16:18) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

(Exodus 17:11) As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

When / Where Do We Worship?

Worship in the desert

(Exodus 3:3-6) So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” (4) When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (5)“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (6) Then he said, “I am the God of your father, Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch fathers the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Worship in the prison

(Act 16:25-26) About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (26) Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Worship even in the midst of opposition

(Mark 14:3-6) While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. (4) Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? (5) It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. (6) “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.

Worship in the moment of revelation

(Matthew 27:54) When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

(Psalm 100:4) Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Life Group Questions and Prayer 

1 – Do you understand the power made available when we worship God?

2 – Do you experience His joy and His strength in worship?

3 – Let’s praise God right now in prayer.