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Beyond Discipleship Discussion Groups

Beyond Flier 2015

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TODAY: A Graduation Day Message

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You may have graduated, but life’s lessons are just beginning. Learn to listen to God’s voice to guide you through life. To whose voice do you listen? “Today” hear the Lord’s voice and don’t harden your heart. Trust that you are under his care. “Today” hear his voice and trust God rather than test him.

Hebrews 3:12-14 Be careful…. None of you should have a bad heart that does not believe. It will lead you away from God. Tell each other (this) every day, while it is still “today.” Then none of you will stop listening (to God). And sin will not make any of you think what is wrong. Because we will have some of what Christ gives us if we believe to the end.

The bad heart means “the mind that stops believing in God.” The “Today” in Hebrews is the same as in Psalm 95:7. Today, if you hear his voice, do not begin to think that your dream will not or cannot happen. It might take longer than you want, but while you wait trust God rather than test him. He goes ahead of you to prepare the place for you. If you get there too fast, you may not be ready for it or it may not be ready for you.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, don’t be so hard. Let the Lord’s light be seen in you. Let the Lord use your life to speak to a dying and sin sick world. You don’t know that the places he takes you to aren’t to show somebody that his son, Jesus, is alive and saves from sin. Today, hear his voice and let the Lord guide you in setting realistic long-term and short-term goals that will move you toward your destiny.

For full message go to http://www.barbaraafbrehon.com/graduation-day-message/

PRODUCE PEACE, QUIETNESS, AND CONFIDENCE

What kind of fruit is growing in your field?

What kind of fruit is growing in your field?

The Lord’s righteousness lives in fertile fields. We know that a field has to be worked in order to produce a crop. If what you are producing is not peaceful, reevaluate what you are doing. The choices we make reveal our core, the seed of who we think we are. Isaiah says the fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Continually work for inner peace God’s way, in righteousness.

(Thoughts from reading seven different versions of Isaiah 32:16-17)

POINT TO PONDER:  If you want peace, work for it. What do you believe about attaining inner peace?

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TRANSFORMED

ThinkingI need to transform my thinking. Ezekiel 47:14 is a reminder that God keeps his promises. He promised land to the Israelites’ ancestors, therefore it is their inheritance. Verse 22 alerts me that the foreigners residing among the Israelites were to be considered native-born. It specifically addressed those who “bore children among you.” Lord, how could I consider who has a right to live where they live?

Further study leads to Acts 11:18 and Ephesians 3:6. Acts reminds me that Gentiles can repent and that repentance leads to life. Ephesians helps me to know that Gentiles are heirs with the Israelites and share the promises of God in Christ. I am not an Israelite, yet I have inherited the promises of God. Transformed inheritance… God’s word must be my standard yesterday, today, and forever. I must adjust my thinking to align with the Word.

POINT TO PONDER:

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

What are your thoughts?

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FULL JOY

The ultimate degree of joy is full joy. So, I guess what we experience most times is partial joy or less than full joy. That’s not JOYbecause there are variations in Jesus’ joy, but because there are differences within us. Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17:13. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

Point to Ponder: How much more joy can you have?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… scroll down to post a reply.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

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MINISTRY AS A METAPHOR: Vessel of Mercy

We are God’s objects involved in what God is doing.

We are God’s objects involved in what God is doing.

Romans 9:20-23 humbled me to view myself, my life, my ministry, my vessel as a metaphor for God’s mercy. While pondering that passage of Scripture, I kept spinning on the thought of being God’s vessel (KJV) or object (NIV) of mercy. I receive the benefit of his loving-kindness.

Vessels are containers. What is in me that makes me who I am? With what do I fill myself to become who I was intended to be?

We are lumps of clay molded for God’s pleasure and perfect will. Clay is a soft substance on the potter’s wheel that is turned continuously yet slowly, not rushed. The potter pushes and mashes it to transform it into its envisioned shape. Clay is shaped, molded, and heated or fired to become what the potter has in mind. Some vessels are treasured as collectors’ items while others have useful functions. Some pottery fits noble purposes and others serve common use, verse 21. Either way, they start out as a vision of the potter that has been twisted, hard-pressed, and fired.

What if God showed his wrath and made his power known so that those he created would recognize the riches of his glory? What if we see ourselves as vessels he prepared in advance for the work of ministry? What if we recognize ourselves as objects of his mercy?

In grammar, the object in a sentence receives action done to it. The object is involved in what the subject is doing. We are involved in what God is doing. We are spiritual beings created in God’s image. Nevertheless, we are objects created by God.

Praise the Lord that we are vessels of mercy. We never graduate from that slow and steady process of being molded, from growing. We are always evolving, always in a state of becoming. So that we can grow on, God forgives repentant hearts. We might be beaten up by life’s circumstances. However, we can choose to see ourselves as God’s metaphors molded for ministry to him and for him, vessels of his mercy.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

Point to Ponder: How are you being remolded or refined?

I’d like to hear from you.

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