Worship is More Important

Worship is More Important

 
 
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Worship is More Important

Key Point

Today, we are going to learn that worship is more important! Think of worship as our response to who God is and what he has done or is doing. As far as what is worship more important than, I will throw the question back to you and our listeners with a twist. Try and think of something more important than our response to who God is and what he has done?

About the Story

Last week, we heard the story of Jesus at a wedding and turning water into wine. After the wedding, he went to Capernaum and then to Jerusalem. It was nearly time for the Passover celebration, a celebration that looks back on an event that led to Israel leaving Egypt and no longer being slaves to the Egyptians. Jesus with his disciples goes to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.

What is more, important than worshipping God? Nothing is more important than our response to God! That is what worship is. People responding to who God is and what he has done in a way that makes him smile! Simply put, worship is more important.

Application

This story is a great reminder that worship is more important. Worshipping God was the primary purpose of the temple. The temple was the house of God, and the place people came to worship Him. 

Considering that it took 46 years building the temple, and millions of dollars in today’s money. Why would you do anything with it beyond it’s intended purpose? If it was that important to them in the first place, then why change what happens in the temple.

Notice how Jesus referred to his body as a temple? The apostle Paul who wrote lots of the New Testament, says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.”

As a Christian, my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. If the physical temple’s purpose was to be a place of worship, then considering that my physical body is a temple for the holy spirit, my purpose is to worship God!

Another letter that Paul wrote was to the Romans. In Romans Chapter 12, verse 1, he says, ‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.’

What is more, important than worshipping God? Nothing is more important than our response to God! That is what worship is. People responding to who God is and what he has done in a way that makes him smile! Simply put, worship is more important.

Discussion | Worship is More Important

Discussion | Worship is More Important

 
 
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Discussion | Worship is More Important

Worship is more important. Jesus goes to Jerusalem with his disciples to celebrate the Passover. Jesus sees people exchanging money or currency and selling animals for sacrifices. He then drives the animals out and tips over the tables. He is upset because they had made the temple a marketplace when it was supposed to be a place of worship!

The Jewish leaders question Jesus after hearing him say, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. He was referring to his body when he said, “this temple.”

Lesson

Worship is More Important

Questions

  1. Worship is our response to God, and it is more important than anything else. It requires us to be outward focused. As a result, it is impossible to worship and be completely self-focused. What are some things that could help you move your focus from self to God and help you respond to him well?
  2. We often think of music when we hear the word worship, yet as learned today, it so much more than music. How else do we worship? How else do we respond to who God and what he is doing or has done?
  3. As Christians, how would we live differently if we had the same passion for our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had for the temple building?

Growth Tip

It’s an interesting thought but practically what does it look like to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God? 

Look around you and see what God is doing. See what God is growing and bringing life too! It might be a movement or a cause, it could be the growth of a person, or it may be something that is being made beautiful. Look around; you will surprise yourself at what you see! Join him in his work. It could be volunteering, donating, praying, or inviting others to see and join in. 

See what God is doing and join in the best way you can!

Prayer Requests

At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.

Jesus Cares About Us

Jesus Cares About Us

 
 
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Jesus Cares About Us

Key Point

Today, we are going to hear about Jesus at a wedding! The critical lesson for us is that Jesus cares about us, even the little stuff.

About the Story

A little background for us. Jesus was not yet popular, with crowds continually wanting him to teach or heal. This story takes place at a wedding. He is with his mom and his disciples at this wedding.

Also, hear about Jon’s story of standing at the top of hill with his red and yellow banna seat bike with plans to go where he was not allowed to go!

God sees you and cares about you. Tell him about your situation!

Application

The lesson is this. Jesus cares about us, even the little stuff.

Mistakes get made all the time, and people get through it. The point is God loves us he cares about the things we are concerned with. It’s not to say he will always fix every single problem, but he cares about us!

He cares about us a lot and will help us out even if we do something harmful to ourselves or others. Jesus cares about us, even a kid on a banana seat bike with no helmet going down a treacherous bike path! 😉

Discussion Episode | Jesus Cares About Us

Discussion Episode | Jesus Cares About Us

 
 
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Discussion Episode | Jesus Cares About Us

Jesus cares about us, even the little stuff. In today’s story, we read about Jesus, his mom and his disciples at a wedding where they ran out of wine. So Jesus turned water into wine, and the wedding celebration continued.

Lesson

Jesus cares about us, even the little stuff.

Questions

  1. When life gets hard, we often forget to tell God about the situation. We struggle to fix the issue and spend our time worrying about it all. Why is our default to try to fix things on our own rather than going straight to God?
  2. There are a lot of reasons we can trust God with our problems. Go around the circle and name two or three reasons why we can trust God with every situation.
  3. What is impressive about this story is that Jesus had no intention to do anything about the problem of the wedding host running out of wine. Jesus’ mom, Mary, convinced Jesus to do something. And Jesus did something even though it brought more attention to himself than what God wanted at that time. This story tells me that we can press God for a response – for an answer to our prayers. What do you think of the idea of telling God a few times about your situation and asking him a few times to act?

Growth Tip

Today’s growth tip is simple. Tell God about the situation you are in right now and ask for his help! Your situation might be difficult, or it may be ordinary. Regardless of your situation, tell God and ask for help! 

Prayer Requests

At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.

Thank God for Healing

Thank God for Healing

 
 
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Thank God for Healing

Key Point

In today’s story, we are going to see how important it is to thank God for healing

About the Story

There is not a whole lot of background needed. Jesus and his disciples have been touring around Isreal. Jesus has become incredibly popular because of his teaching and the miracles he has performed. He has healed lots of people, commanded storms to calm and cast out demons. He is doing things that are beyond human ability, and so Jesus has become increasingly popular. People are following him to be healed and to learn from him!

Thank God for healing. It doesn’t matter if it is natural healing from a small cut or something miraculous. Thank God for healing.

Application

We need to go to God and thank him for his healing in our lives. I don’t think it needs to be miraculous for us to thank God for healing. 

When I get a cut on my hand, my body can heal itself. That is by design, God’s design, and so it is still his healing!  

The other day, I was agitated. Someone had done something to me that hurt me. I was mad and sad all at that same time. When I got to work, I read Colossians 3:13 during my quiet time with God. It said, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.” Well, I sunk low in my chair. I knew I was not being gracious or extending forgiveness. After my quiet time with God, I went to him, and we made things right between us. This person and I found healing in our relationship. My emotional and mental state improved significantly. God heals my emotional and mental state and my relationships too. 

We ought to be thanking God for all the healing that he so generously puts into our lives regardless if it could be described as miraculous or as part of the natural healing process. He is our creator and healer, and we can thank him for his generous healing.

Discussion | Thank God for Healing

Discussion | Thank God for Healing

 
 
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Discussion Episode | Thank God for Healing

In today’s story, we read about ten lepers who cried out to Jesus. They wanted Jesus to heal them. So Jesus looked at them and told them to show themselves to the priests. On the way, God healed the lepers. Only one of the ten came back to thank Jesus.

Lesson

Thank God for healing.

Questions

  1. What is something you want healing from? It could be physical, relational or mental and emotional. What is something you want healing from?
  2. If God told you to do something bizarre like show your cut to your mom and you will be healed before you get there, would you wrestle with doubt? Talk about why we sometimes wrestle with doubt!
  3. We have all experienced healing. You may not consider your healing as miraculous. God is no less involved in a minor cut than he is with a paralyzed woman instantly being able to walk. Why do we think God is only involved in the miraculous healings?

Growth Tip

I think there is an element of faith in our healing today regardless if it is miraculous or not! If a doctor gave you a prescription you either believe the doctor instructions will get you better or you don’t. You either follow the instructions or you don’t. 

Trust God’s instructions for healing!

Prayer Requests

At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.

Always Look to God

Always Look to God

 
 
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Always Look to God

Key Point

Here is what we want you to learn today; Always look to God! You know, with the Coronavirus still happening, I think this story will help us get some perspective. There are some huge questions. Like, why did God allow this to happen? How does God feel about everything that is going on? Is he taking a back seat, or is he on the front lines?  To be clear, I don’t think that this story will give us all the answers, but it will provide us with clues. 

About the Story

The nation of Israel has left, and they have been wandering in the wilderness for a long time now. Now just before this story takes place. The people have complained about no water, and Moses hits his staff twice on the rock, and water gushes out! After this, the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that the Israelites were approaching on the road through Atharim. So he attacked the Israelites and took some of them as prisoners. Then the people of Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will hand these people over to us, we will completely destroy all their towns.” The Lord heard the Israelites’ request and gave them victory over the Canaanites. The Israelites destroyed them and their towns, and the place has been called Hormah ever since.

No matter how unfortunate your circumstances might be. You can always look to God!

Application

There is so much for us to learn from this short story. Most importantly, Always look to God! In scripture, we see God’s love for humanity. Over and over again, God rescues people from a difficult or dangerous situation. But, in this story, we see God actually causing the difficulty. God sent the snakes, which at first glance seems to be the opposite of rescue.

This can be hard to make sense of and understand. Have you ever played with a friend who’s parents never corrected his or her behaviour? If you probably didn’t enjoy spending time with him or her.

We all need correction. Remember, Israel was complaining about God’s instruction. They were talking poorly of God and Moses. So God used the snakes to correct them. This seems kind of harsh, but imagine if Israel was left to complain and self-centred. I think it would have been cruel not to correct Israel. So, in a way, God’s correction for us is part of his compassion. He intervenes so that we don’t continue to hurt ourselves and others. Now when I say correction it is not to say that our freedom to choose has been taken away. He corrects the Israelites through reminders, encouragement, and sometimes difficult circumstances. 

At the beginning of the episode, Bradon noted that this story could help us gain some perspective on what is happening today, specifically with the Corona Virus.

Sometimes, bad things happen because of bad choices we or others make and sometimes bad things happen that seem to be completely unrelated to our behaviours. Like the Corona Virus, a tornado or family member gets sick.

I am not sure why God allowed this to happen, but what I do know regardless of why he allowed it to happen, my response will always be the same. I will always look to God! We can trust God because he has proven his Character to be loving, compassionate, and faithful, His Character is consistent. It does not change. 

We know from the stories in the bible and through our own life experiences, that God is not taking a back seat. God is experiencing all these world events and his heartaches with all the pain and difficulty he sees. Maybe we are asking the wrong question. Instead of why did God allow this to happen? Perhaps we should be asking, will I trust God during this situation? Each person will need to answer that question for themselves.

In this story, God did not take away the snakes but gave people a means to receive healing from snake bites. As we look to God, as we go to him, we will find healing and restoration in a lot of areas of our lives. What I can’t say to anyone is what God will heal you or anyone else of. Unlike this story, today, there is no bronze snake on a pole to look at so we can be healed.

The story around the Corona Virus is still unfolding. The very best thing you can do is to Always Look To God!

Discussion | Always Look To God

Discussion | Always Look To God

 
 
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Discussion Episode | Always Look to God

In this story, the Israelites complained about having to go to the Red Sea. They spoke poorly of God and Moses, their leader. God sent a snake plague. As a result of the snakes, the people repented. God did not take away the snakes like the people requested but healed them from snake bites. At God’s direction, Moses built a bronze snake and put it on a pole. The people were healed when they looked at the pole with the snake.

Lesson

Always Look to God.

Questions

  1. Bradon said, “God’s correction for us is part of his compassion.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
  2. Regardless of what is going on in life, you can always go to God. How do you feel knowing that you can go to the God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, creator of the universe, and will welcome you with love and compassion?
  3. What are the difficult things in life for you right now? Share these concerns with your group then reflect on this question. Will I trust God in this situation?

Growth Tip

Having a daily quiet time with God is incredible. Create a regular habit of spending time with God in prayer and bible reading.

When life gets hard, this habit of meeting with God becomes life-giving. There is literally nothing like spending time with the all-powerful creator of the universe.

Well, when you put it that way. It sounds like an obvious thing to do. I would suggest attaching it to a habit that already exists. Maybe a meal, a morning routine, or an after school or work snack.

That’s a great idea. Spend time with God. You won’t regret it.

Prayer Requests

At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.

Always Worship God Only

Always Worship God Only

 
 
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Always Worship God Only

Daniel 6

Key Point

Always worship God only. Now you may say to yourself well who or what else would I worship? Essentially worship is expressing how great God is. Now telling someone or others how great something or someone is good. Trouble comes when we fail to keep God number one in our worship. It’s not good when we express how much higher things or people are than God. Difficulties will arise when we forget to worship God altogether.

About the Story

Today we will hear the final story in the Daniel series. Daniel is now an older man, probably in his 80’s. Daniel is currently serving under King Darius. Darius liked Daniel, and it kind of sounds like they became friends before this story took place.  

Also, Darius made a lot of changes within the kingdom. He divided the empire into 120 provinces, each with a leader. Daniel and two others were in charge of these provincial leaders. Darius noticed how well Daniel did in his role and made plans to promote him to be in charge of the entire empire!

We need to put 10% of the effort of what we usually give to receive praise from others and put all that energy into worshipping God!

Application

Always worship God only. King Darius and his leaders could have avoided a lot of difficulties if they had never agreed to the law. The law stated that people could only worship and prayed to the king! 

You may not think that you are looking for others to worship you, and that is probably true, but I would like to challenge your thinking. We tend to want others to see the best in us, and so we share stories, images, or videos that show the world how great we are. When exchanging stories around the campfire, at work or school, we tend to leave out the fails and highlight the stories that show everyone how great we are. Or, maybe we are praised with the amount of knowledge we have, or how funny we can be, or how encouraging we are, or how successful we are, and then we work hard at those things people praise us for being.

In my opinion, we need to put 10% of the effort of what we usually give to receive praise from others and put all that energy into worshipping God! Imagine how different life would be. We would probably be a lot less cynical, angry, anxious, and a lot more at peace, confident in our relationship with God and place in this world!

Discussion Episode | Always Worship God Only

Discussion Episode | Always Worship God Only

 
 
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Discussion Episode | Always Worship God Only

Always worship God only. In today’s story, a bunch of King Darius’ leaders convince him to sign a law. This law will have people only worshipping and praying to the king for 30 days. Daniel continues to pray to God three times a day. Even though the king doesn’t want to, he has daniel thrown into a lion’s den. The next morning the king checks Daniel and praises God because Daniel is unharmed by the lions.

Lesson

Always Worship God Only.

Questions

  1. What social media platforms do you use?  Who do you highlight in your posts?
  2. How do you seek praise from others? Do you make people laugh, show your skills or smarts, be super kind and loving, make yourself pretty or handsome, tell stories? How do you seek praise from others?
  3. At the end of the story, King Darius announced to the world how great God is. This is a form of worship. What are some ways that you worship God that don’t include singing?

Growth Tip

Have you ever noticed on social media that nobody shows their whole self? You don’t ever see a picture on Instagram of a person who just woke up and looks awful or a selfie of a person with broccoli stuck in their teeth. People show photos and videos of themselves that tell the world how great they are. 

So here is my challenge to you, share photos, videos, and stories that express how great God. Maybe you are not even in the picture or post at all. Do it for a week and see how making posts like that makes you feel and then talk about it with friends or family.

Prayer Requests

At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.