If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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God is intimately involved in His creation. He is not one who starts the ball rolling and then withdraws, His great desire is to go through life with us, the ones He delights in. The way God works with us is overwhelmingly in love. God is Love. This is an amazing statement and it is in seeing how He loves that we understand what love is.
Everyone proclaims love, but who shows it? We live in a world where words are cheap, but God has shown His love at significant cost. He loves us not because we are useful to His purposes, but because He loves us. He is overjoyed when in response to His love, we show that same kind of love to other’s of His children.
Deuteronomy 7v7-11 7 "The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!8 Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
It is a great comfort to discover that God knows us, He knows our situation, and He is willing to act to look after us. We can be so caught up with our problems that we have no space in our lives for God, but He is able to rescue us from every issue that we struggle with. The extent of His knowledge is far greater than we give Him credit for. He knows everything, and most importantly, He loves us and accepts us for who we are, knowing the full extent of what that means. Psalm 139:1-16
Psalm 139 1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.
5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
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.
God’s care is a foundation for life. It brings us freedom to stretch out and take risks in faith, knowing that as we go trusting Him, He will pick up the consequences. Because He cares we have the freedom to really live!
Matthew 6:28-34 28 "And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing,29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
God is approachable! Look at Jesus, He never turned anyone away, even when it would seem there was urgent business, or He was tired, or the people coming to Him seemed repugnant. Jesus ‘is the image of the invisible God’. (Colossians 1:15 NIV) If Jesus is approachable, then so is the Father.
Many have a hard time believing God is approachable. For years I held two completely contradictory views of God. There was the view of my preconceived notions. Then the view as I experienced Him dealing with my successes and failures. The two views were completely iat odds. When things went wrong I would anticipate a harsh response. From God however, I received only gentleness. He would reassure me, help me learn from my mistakes and move on. It took time to learn that the God who I met was the real God.
Mark 6:31-36 31 Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.
32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them.34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late.36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat."
The Lord is completely trustworthy; He is holy; We know He will never compromise with evil. He will never look to His own self interest. We are secure in these facts! Our problem is, we are not holy, and that puts us at odds with God. The good news is that the Lord Himself dealt with the separation caused by our evil so we can approach Him.
Isaiah 6:1-7 1 It was in the year King Uzziah died* that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.3 They were calling out to each other,
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven's Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!"
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven's Armies." 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.7 He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
Everyone wants justice and righteousness though we live contrary to it themselves! Even as children we live contrary to them. One of our concerns is for God to demonstrate these values in the world. .
God is both righteous and just. His righteousness and justice go beyond the superficial. We want to see justice and righteousness everywhere, except with ourselves. There, we want mercy! The Lord loves and values everyone. We are his children, so his righteousness and justice are tempered by mercy for all.
Psalm 68:1-6 1 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives.
2 Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
3 But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God's presence. Let them be filled with joy.
4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.
His name is the LORD— rejoice in his presence!
5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
We are God’s children. He loves us and hurts to see us fail. He loves us and will have mercy on us. Jeremiah 31 shows the Lord’s heart and His desire to show compassion.
Jeremiah 31:18-20 18 I have heard Israel* saying, 'You disciplined me severely, like a calf that needs training for the yoke. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God. 19 I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.'
20 "Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?" says the LORD. "I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That's why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.
Grace is the power of God seen in our lives. If we are filled with God, then God’s goodness and grace is what comes out when we are squeezed! Grace is given to us not because we deserve it, or because we work for it, but as a gift from our gracious God. When the Lord’s grace is coming through, He is making a real difference in our lives. Ephesians 2:4-10
Ephesians 2:4-10 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
We know that we are safe with God mostly because we can see Jesus, whom He has sent, and Jesus is very evidently a trustworthy person.
People live with a fear of the unknown, and for many God is unknown. God is trustworthy. As we learn to trust Him, we discover He takes us into an adventure that we were created for. As we trust Him we can take the risks in life that lead to life to the full.
John 10:25-30 25 Jesus replied, "I have already told you, and you don't believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father's name.26 But you don't believe me because you are not my sheep.27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.* No one can snatch them from the Father's hand.30 The Father and I are one."
How much is enough? Can we ever be satisfied? Why would we want more? These are questions that expose our desires and insecurities. They often show us how influenced we are by our societies view of what we should desire. Our heavenly Father is the one who created us. He knows, what is actually going to satisfy us and keep us. This can be very different to our thoughts, but is only ever seen with hind sight. We trust Him; He provides for us, and suddenly we see that He was enough for us all along.
Hebrews 13: 5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
"I will never fail you. I will never abandon you."*
6 So we can say with confidence,
"The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?"*
7 Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.
God desires to encourage us forwards in life; He desires us to grow and develop. At times this can mean challenging our comfortable status quo or challenging our wrong behaviour or perceptions.
Mostly God uses subtle methods to break into our lives, a passage in the Bible, or teaching through another person or circumstances in life. In the examples below God breaks into life dramatically. This is not normal, but illustrates the manner in which He desires to engage with us for our development. We take the example of God meeting Abraham. At this point he has not had the child God promised him. Genesis 17v1-2.
Genesis 17v1-2 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am El-Shaddai—'God Almighty.' Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants."
WHAT IS GOD LIKE?