GET ACQUAINTED: Where is the furthest place you’ve ever gone in the world? What is the furthest place you still wish to go?
SCRIPTURE: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28-29 )
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:3-5 )
Open your gathering with prayer. This is only a guide. Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.
OBSERVATION: God’s plan for history is to gather a family that will love and live with Him forever. We’re called: (1) to be loved, (2) to belong, (3) to become, (4) to bless and (5) to go. This 5th calling means that we’re sent to bring others into God’s family. God wants us to: (1) pray that people will say yes to God, (2) give to help others go, (3) step out in faith, and (4) go where I can go now. We should pray for faith that God can use us and pray that God will keep us from being distracted.
- “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ) Read Romans 10:13-15 . What does each verse say about how we’re called to be sent?
- In the big picture, God created the universe and man with the purpose of gathering a family to Himself. Look again the two prior verses above. What role does each have in reconciling others to God?
- “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ) “It will all happen as I have planned. It will become about according to my purposes … I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world.” (Isaiah 14:24 & 26) [NLT] The foot of the cross is level – it is for all nations, all people. Read Acts 1:8 and Isaiah 14:14 & 26 above. How will God work through His people to reach all tribes and people groups? How would you like to be involved?
- “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 ) There are many different ways of telling others about the Good News of Jesus. How do you think you can be most impactful on others for Christ? Are there ways of sharing God that you would like to try but have been hesitant to use or try?
- “Jesus said to his followers, “There are many people to harvest but only a few workers to help harvest them. Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38 ) [NCV] A major step in living out your calling is to pray that people will say “Yes!” to God. Who will you make a commitment to pray for in your Jerusalem, your Judea, your Samaria, and to the ends of the earth?
Going Deeper: “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5 ) Look at this verse in other translations and discuss what the different versions/paraphrases bring to your understanding of this passage. How did you come to know Christ? How will you work to bring others to Him?
Prayer: “Dear God, what we’ve talked about today and in the sermon is really the subject dearest to Your own heart. You want people in Your family. You know everything about us and You want us to know You. It’s the reason You created the universe. It’s the reason You sent Your Son to die for us, it’s the reason You have never made anybody that You don’t love. You never made anybody that You didn’t have a plan and purpose for their life. So, I pray two things. First, that you would keep us from being distracted by things that really don’t matter. That we wouldn’t waste our lives on stuff that isn’t going to last. And second, give us the faith and give us the courage to pray the most dangerous prayer in the world: Use me. Amen!”