What is your spiritual state of the union?
Paul is talking about the Armor of God. We need the full armor of God to combat the schemes of the Devil and the dark forces of evil. What are we doing to maintain and keep that armor polished and clean? Why is it important to have the full armor of God?
In a "state of the union" address, a president goes through the different areas of a country and gives summary of the current state of those areas. How do they look now and what will they look like in the future? What would it look like if we did the same to our spiritual lives? How does your prayer life look? What about your study of Scripture?
Historical evidence proves the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.
If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.
Questions to ponder:
(1) How thoroughly would you investigate a matter if you were going to base your life on it?
(2) What would it take for you to abandon, or radically rethink, your most cherished beliefs?
(3) How would you convince a nonbeliever that Christ's resurrection is an actual historical event and not just a "story" from the Bible?
In Communion, we stand against Satan.
When are you at your weakest? That's when Satan ups the intensity of temptation.
How do we respond to temptation? 1) Be filled with the Holy Spirit; 2) Be filled with Scripture; 3) Be surrounded with the body of Christ.
What will you do this week to respond to temptation? How will you be filled?
Choosing to turn to God changes how we live.
What can you commit to changing in your life today? How can you prove that you have changed for God? What will you do to make that change visible to the people around you?
Discerning God’s call brings active rest.
Rest is inter-generational blessing.
The church is a setting for inter-generational blessings. Who will you bless this week?
Both attitude and location offer rest.
Where is your place that offers you rest in Jesus? How will you go there this week?
Confession releases our burdens.
Confession releases your burdens and lets you be carried by God. In confessions, sin is brought to the light, where it cannot exist. What is the Lord telling you to confess today?
Music ushers us toward God.
Music is a deep part of who we are. It engages all of our brain which is why we have deep memories associated with music.
What songs transform your life? Do your songs help transform who you are and where you are going?
We rest when we listen well!
To be yoked with Christ is to listen well: give full attention to Christ. When we listen well, we can rest because we heard and understood.
What would happen if we had a time and place where we expect to find God? (Like a calendar appointment.)
God's promise invites rest!
How will you find God's promise of rest this week?
We need to rely on the promises of God, not of the world. The promises of God give us security and hope for the future.
Micah 6:8; Matthew 22:39
What does a community of justice look like?
Amos Muhagachi, a bishop in Tanzania Mennonite Church who is studying at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, shares his experiences.
Life by the Spirit overcomes the sinful nature.
There are two Kingdoms: God's and Satan's; Light and Dark. What kingdom will you choose: God's or Satan's? How will you choose God's Kingdom this week? Nail your sinful natures to the Cross. Let them go. Make a commitment to following Jesus.
Building Bridges in Japan
Cam and Ayami are missionaries in Ishinomaki, Japan. They were working in disaster relief to help those affected by the tsunami. God has laid it on their hearts to continue to work in the area with Be-One Tohoku Aid. Ayami has been ministering to young ladies in Ishinomaki as well as helping to handle day to day activities with Be-one. Cam will be attending language school and working with youth and young adults. They are helping with and attending a house church in Ishinomaki. Please pray that God would continue to move in the hearts of the Japanese people.
Today, they join us for a special time of sharing how the Lord is working in their ministry in Japan.
For more information and how you can help support them in their ministry, visit www.cten.org/camhartman.
God offers contentment.
Content is being satisfied with what God has given us and satisfied with where God is taking us. How can we claim joyful contentment? Society offers us the false promise of contentment but Jesus offers full contentment.
How can we embrace a new attitude of being content? What has your mind been focused on? Content Christians radiate love to all - building bridges with the community around us.
Christ is Risen! We live, we dance, we sing, we proclaim: Christ is Risen!
Restoration is being whole, being one with Jesus. Because of Jesus, our relationship with God is now restored.
Satan works at breaking us apart; Christ restores us and makes us whole again.
God offers a future beyond our comprehension. Will you accept?
Would you know Christ if you saw Him?
This is a dramatic skid from Kevin Yoder and Brent Eash for Palm Sunday. Would you know Jesus if you saw Him on the street? What would you do? How will you deliberately look for Christ this week?
God's breath brings vitality and purpose.
Are you challenging yourself to breathe in the Word of God? Don't live in the past: be free: breathe deeply.
Satan breaks us down, breaks us up: God puts us back together again.
As God opens our eyes and hearts, we see clearly!
1 Samuel 16:1-13.
Challenge: God looks at our hearts. What does He see?
God invites us to see something new and step out with faith. If we want to see something new, we need to listen to God.
Excuses keep us from seeing what God has for us. What excuses are you making? How can you release them?
How can we see into the heart of someone? First, allow others to see your heart (vulnerability). Then, pray for them.
God restores us with sight: sight strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
God quenches our thirst so we can live.
God is present when we are thirsty, dried up, and empty. Where will you see God being present this week?
Satan comes into our lives and breaks us apart. God puts us back together.
When we are thirsty, what do we do? Find water and drink. What do we do when we are thirsty for God?
Jesus is the Living Water. He is the One that satisfies our thirst. When we are in tough places, God offers us Jesus - Living Water.