Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on January 8, 2017:
- SUNDAY: Hebrews 1-2,
- MONDAY: Hebrews 3-4,
- TUESDAY: Hebrews 5,
- WEDNESDAY: Hebrews 6,
- THURSDAY: Hebrews 10,
- FRIDAY: Ephesians 4,
- SATURDAY: 1 Corinthians 3,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: New Year's Day Sermon Title: New Beginnings and Endings…Three Radical Decisions
Delivered On: January 1, 2017
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity… ([bible]Ephesians 5:15-16[/bible])
Thank God for five good gifts from 2016. Ask for God’s help in one area you believe you will face a challenge in 2017. Pray for the power of God’s Holy Spirit to fill you in fresh new ways in the New Year!
Out With the Old - Identify one or two things you did over the past year that took a lot of time but did not bear much fruit or bring real and lasting joy. Commit to cut this out of your schedule and life in 2017. Ask God to give you power to make a real change. Also, find one committed Christian friend to pray for you and ask how you are doing in this area of your life over the coming months.
Small Group Discussion
Tell about one amazing joy you experienced in 2016 and explain how you saw God’s love and grace enter your life through this experience.
If you could snap your fingers and change one habit or behavior in your life as you enter the New Year, what would it be? How can your group members pray for you and encourage you to take steps to experience change in this area?
Read: Ephesians 5:15-20 What are some of the biggest time-wasters our world and culture offer us? Why do you think the apostle Paul warns that “the days are evil”?
If we were truly trying to “make the most of every opportunity” through the course of our day, what are some of the ways our life would look different? How does “understanding what the Lord’s will is” help us make better choices with how we spend our time?
What is one thing you need to do less of in the New Year and how will you make a shift in this area of your life? What is one thing you need to do more of in the New Year and what action will you begin taking immediately?
Read: Psalm 51:1-12 What does David acknowledge about himself and his brokenness? What do you learn about the heart of God from this prayer of David?
What dangers do we face when we refuse to confess our sin and repent of our rebellious actions? How do we experience freedom and hope when we repent and turn from our sins?
If repentance sets us free and restores us to God (and it does), why do we often resist repenting and keep trying to hide our sin or justify our sinful actions?
Who is one person in your life who needs you to up your game in terms of speaking words of blessing and encouragement? How will you make blessing more a part of your daily life in relation to this person in the New Year?