Memory Verse: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Monday - The Confident Christian: Confidence By Confession
Confession frees us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. God wants to forgive us. He allowed his beloved Son to die just so He could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God will reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead, we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him. Confession doesn’t require an invitation or an altar. God wants to hear from you now. Take a moment to talk to God knowing that he wants to hear from you and forgive you.
Tuesday - The Confident Christian: Rejecting Temptation
True confession involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We wouldn’t be genuinely confessing our sins to God if we planned to commit them again and just wanted temporary forgiveness. What sin in your life is God calling you to not only confess, but turn away from? Pray for God’s forgiveness and ask him to help you resist the temptation to return to it.
Wednesday - The Confident Christian: Two Steps To Sharing
Step 1: Pray
Thursday - The Confident Christian: Sharing Using The Four Spiritual Laws
Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern your relationship with God:
Law #1 - God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
Law #2 - Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.
Law #3 - Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him, you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.
Law #4 - We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
Friday: Sharing With Confidence: How Will You Witness?
Take time to practice each method and decide which works best for you. You may also want to practice with family members using different scenarios. Try a few of the following….
Memory Verse: “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!” John 4: 35 NIV
Monday: John 4:34
The ‘food’ about which Jesus was speaking was His spiritual nourishment. It includes more than Bible study, prayer, and attending church. Spiritual nourishment also comes from doing God’s will and helping to bring His work of salvation to completion. We are nourished, not only by what we take in, but also by what we give out for God. How are some ways we can feel ‘spiritually fed’? Consider ways to work for God so that through you, His will can be done.
Tuesday: John 4:35
Sometimes Christians excuse themselves from witnessing by saying that their family or friends aren’t ready to believe. Jesus, however, makes it clear that around us a continual harvest waits to be reaped. Don’t let Jesus find you making excuses. Spend some time this week looking at those around you. Regardless of their outward appearance or attitude, reach out to them to share Jesus.
Wednesday: John 4:36-38
The wages Jesus offers are the joy of working for Him and seeing the harvest of believers. These wages come to sower and reaper alike because both find joy in seeing new believers come into Christ’s kingdom. The phrase ‘others have done the hard work’ may refer to the Old Testament prophets and to John the Baptist, who paved the way for the gospel. Make a list of old testament prophets and how they sowed seeds within the hearts of those around them. How did they impact Christianity as a whole? What can we do to continue the process of sowing and reaping?
(Consider working in teams to make Thursday and Fridays study a competition: each team will need a Bible and pen & paper to record their answers)
The Bible was originally written to those living in an agrarian society, familiar with farming techniques. Many parables involve the farming life. So, what are some of the key principles we learn from the Bible about sowing and reaping? Look up the following scripture references and record what you learn about sowing and reaping. Answers are at the end of Friday.
Share Jesus using your gifts and influences as the Body of Christ to change the world through the Holy Spirit.
Memory Verse: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Monday: Discovering your gift.
You are probably already using many of the gifts that God has given you. That is because they are things that we enjoy and are good at. When asked "How can I discover my spiritual gifts?" Dr Charles Stanley always replies by asking "What do you enjoy most about serving the Lord?" When we minister to others using our gifts, we receive spiritual energy and motivation of God and the Holy Spirit is able to works through us beyond our own understanding. This brings an extra measure of joy. The trouble comes when we start serving outside of our gifts. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If you are serving in an area that you feel is outside of your gift, you may be hindering someone else who is blessed in that area as well as missing opportunities that God may have for you to do something that you would receive a true blessing from. Over the course of the week, spend time in prayer asking God to show you your gifts and talents. Make a list of things you enjoy and are good at and use those things to point others to God. Utilize those gifts and allow God to grow them!
Tuesday: Using our gifts and talents - 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more "spiritual" than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. We can be divisive if we insist on using our gift our own way without being sensitive to others. We can read on to discover how the church is a body of believers, each having their own specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. What is your place in the body? Is your gift being used in a way that supports the functions of the other members of the body?
Wednesday: It is not for you to know! Acts 1:4-7
The disciples are told to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Confused and frustrated, the disciples wanted to know when Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. He tells them that God’s timing is not for them to know. How often do we ask God for things but then fail to have faith in His timing? We must make a commitment to wait for God’s timing. Waiting is a difficult thing, especially in our fast-paced society. God can answer a prayer by saying; yes, no, or wait. Wait does not mean no, it just means that the timing is not right. Is God telling you to wait? Read Psalms 27. David knew from experience what it meant to wait for the Lord. Instead of being angry about it, make use of your waiting times by discovering what God may be trying to teach you in them. Remember: God is worth the wait!
Thursday: Witnessing from here to yonder! Acts 1:8
This verse describes a series of ever-widening circles, like tossing pebbles into a pond. The gospel was to spread, geographically, from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria, and finally to the whole world. It would begin with the devout Jews in Jerusalem and Samaria, spread to the mixed race in Samaria, and finally be offered to the Gentiles in the uttermost parts of the earth. God's gospel has not reached its final destination if someone in your family, your workplace, your school, or your community hasn't heard about Jesus Christ. Make sure that you are contributing in some way to the ever-widening circle of God's loving message. Ask God to show you how to use your talents to start your own ripple effect.
Friday: What are you looking at? Acts 1:9-11
After 40 days with his disciples, Jesus returned to heaven. The two men in white apparel were angels who proclaimed to the disciples that one day Jesus would return in the same way he went-bodily and visibly. History is not haphazard or cyclical; it's moving towards a specific point-the return of Jesus to judge and rule over the earth. We should be ready for his sudden return, not by standing around "gazing up into Heaven," but by working hard to share the gospel so that others will be able to share in God's great blessings. Make a list of ways you can use your gifts and talents to show others God's love for them.
As you study this week’s passage, reflect back on the opportunities that God has given you to share Jesus. Ask Him to help you develop YOUR story so that you can share what God has done in your Life.
Review this Week’s MEMORY VERSE: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7 NIV
DISCUSS: What did I learn in the Sunday School lesson and sermon about “Sharing Our Story?”
Meditate upon (Mt 28:16-20; Phil 3:4-16; Acts 7:58-8:1,9:1-22) using 2PROAPT (on the back or at the bottom if online). Be still before Him and think about what you have just read; Listen to Him. In your own words, summarize what this passage is saying to YOU about the value of having a personal “God Story” to share.
Intimacy with God: Your Quiet Time –2PROAPT
Two key elements in having intimacy with God are prayer and the Word. We come to the Word of God not just to read it, but to understand what He is saying to us and to determine how He wants us to apply it to our lives; asking Him for the strength and will to apply it. Finally, writing it down and sharing it with another so that they might also learn.
Study a short passage (couple of paragraphs) using an acrostic called: 2PROAPT.
Riverview Family Devotion Guides
Family devotion guides are provided to help reinforce the "Big Idea" that is studied in Sunday School and presented in the Pastor's message each week.