1. The Work of God
“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” -John 5:17
God reveals himself as the Creator and as someone who is actively working. We’re told in Genesis that God has made you in his image. You are also a worker and have the ability to create, repair, and produce things in this world. Have you ever thought that God has some specific work for you to accomplish?
Read Ephesians 2:10.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been created in Christ Jesus for a purpose. You matter. Your work matters. God has prepared work in advance that he created you to accomplish.
We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. -J.I. Packer, Knowing God
God has revealed who he is through his word and through Jesus Christ. In doing so, he has revealed his heart, his character, his plans, and his purposes. The more we know God, the more we understand the work that he is inviting us to be a part of, and are better equipped to answer the question, What shall I do with my life?
Reflection: Jesus says, “I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me.”
How excited are you about God having a plan and purpose for your life?
How strong is your desire to do God’s will/work?
Does your will/work compete with God’s?
What is keeping you from engaging in the work God has prepared in advance for you?
2. Knowing Yourself
"Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You." -Augustine
Augustine wrote this prayer with the understanding that in order to grow as a Christian, he would need to learn truth about himself and truth about God. John Calvin picks up on this idea in his writings and refers to it as “double knowledge” – knowing God and knowing ourselves.
How well do you know yourself?
Do you know what your skills and abilities are?
Do you know what energizes you?
What are you passionate about?
How well do you know your personality?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you know that God has created you for a purpose?
Do you know that God has created you with gifts?
God desires you to know who he is and at the same time discover how and why he created you!
Read 1 Corinthians 12.
Pay attention to the variety of gifts and abilities and how they all work together as one body.
Reflection: Where do you sense God wanting to use you and your abilities at Living Word and in the community of York?
3. Knowing Your Neighbor
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” -Luke 10:29
Who are we are responsible to help, heal, bless, encourage, provide for, defend, support, love, serve, befriend, etc.?
Who is my neighbor?
This question was asked by a man who was an expert in the religious law of Jesus’ time. He wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. He knew he was supposed to “love God and love your neighbor as yourself” but wanted to find out more specifically WHO his neighbor is. Jesus replies with a story…
Read Luke 10:25-37.
Who is your neighbor?
What are the qualities of a good neighbor?
Are you a good neighbor?
What next steps can you take to be a good neighbor?
Prayer: Lord, I want to know you more, and I desire to know more about how you have created and equipped me for your purposes. Please give me eyes of compassion to see the people you want me to bless with the resources and gifts you have given me.
4. Knowing the Next Best Step
The Apostle Paul had grown in knowing God. He had grown in knowing himself. He knew how God had wired him. He knew his gifts, strengths, and weaknesses. He also knew the people that God had called him to serve. But at one point in his ministry, he didn’t know specifically where God wanted him to go next.
Have you ever tried to help someone or work somewhere only to have the opportunity taken away from you?
What should you do in those moments?
Read Acts 16:6-10.
This is an interesting passage, because we see Paul and his companions traveling from place to place in order to do good work and share the good news of Jesus. But, for whatever reason, God kept closing the doors until he finally revealed where he wanted them to go.
One principle we can learn from this passage is that we should not sit still with our knowledge of God, self, and neighbor. As you take steps of faith, trust that God is with you directing your steps.
A ship in motion is easier to steer.
Reflection: Read and pray through Proverbs 16:9.
What is the next best step of faith you can take this week toward the people and work God is inviting you into?
- Songs We Sing
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