Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 12.13.11.
Series: My Christmas Playlist
This Week: So This Is Christmas
TUESDAY — Mighty God, Empower Me!
Big Point: Our Mighty God empowers us to serve others and tell people about Him.
Evidence of the power of Jesus:
• His Miracles
• His Victory over
• His Death
• His Resurrection
Saying that Jesus is powerful or mighty loses some of its potency when we consider how often we use these words. Consider how often we call someone a powerful leader. We might say a nation has a mighty army or that an athlete is a power hitter or a power forward. We congratulate someone on a powerful speech and drive away in our vehicle with its powerful engine. But Jesus has the power over all creation. Jesus has the power over all angels and spiritual beings. Jesus has supreme authority. Jesus was clear about his identity—Jesus is God. We kneel before him along with all of heaven and earth.
For us, this means two huge things: Jesus is who he says he is and he can do what he promised to do. Jesus promised to send his Spirit to be with us, to guide and to transform us. He promised to give us what we need and to prepare a place for us where he is. Jesus promised to always be with us. Jesus will also give us the strength and the power to tell the world about him. (See John 16:13, Matthew 6:33, John 14:3, Matthew 28:20 to read more about these promises.) Adapted from “Mighty God” by Bruce Goettsche.
READ…What does the Bible say?
1 Peter 4:10 (New Living Translation)
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
Acts 1:8 (New Living Translation)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
THINK…Find the answers
What does God give each of us according to 1 Peter 4:10? Why do you believe God gives these things to us?
In Acts 1:8, what are we told that we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and what should we do when we receive it? Where should we be His witnesses?
LIVE…What will you do now?
What spiritual gifts has God given you? Which spiritual gifts would you like to develop more?
Not sure what your spiritual gifts are?
Take an online Spiritual Gifts class. Go to cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected tab.”
CedarCreek’s mission statement relates to Acts 1:8 for a reason. How familiar are you with our mission statement? Take a moment to write it here (stuck? go to CedarCreek. tv homepage).
God gives us opportunities every day to serve others and to be His witnesses. Make a quick list of who you may possibly see today. What will you do and what opportunities will you have to be a witness? Review this list with God and ask for the Holy Spirit to give you the power to follow through and be a witness.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge in sharing your faith? Are you having a hard time believing our Mighty God can empower you? If so, explain why?
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to empower you to remain committed to serving others and telling the world about Him. Pray to let go of your own strength, to be transformed by God’s power, and to be used for God’s purpose.
DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Nehemiah 1-4
1:3 “the wall of Jerusalem is broken down…” The opposition had successfully thwarted the Jews’ attempts to reestablish Jerusalem as a distinctively Jewish city capable of withstanding its enemies’ assaults.
1:4 “sat down and wept…mourned for many days…” Although Nehemiah was neither a prophet nor a priest, he had a deep sense of Jerusalem’s significance to God and was greatly distressed that affairs there had not advanced the cause and glory of God.
1:5 “awesome God who keeps his covenant…” After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God kept His promise to restore His people to the Promised Land.
1:8 “remember…” Not a reminder to God as if He had forgotten, but a plea to activate His Word.
2:2 “I was very much afraid…” Nehemiah feared that his countenance, his explanation, or his request would anger the king and lead to his death.
2:7 “may I have letters…” Official letters transferred a portion of the king’s authority to Nehemiah. In this context, he needed to pass through the lands of Judah’s enemies who could harm him or prevent him from rebuilding Jerusalem.
2:20 “the God of heaven…” Not only did Nehemiah have the king’s permission and was not rebelling, but he had God’s protection.
4:4, 5 Nehemiah’s dependence on his sovereign God is never more evident than in his prayer.
4:10 “so much rubble…” The prior destruction of the city left many ruins that had to be cleared away before any significant progress could be made on the rebuilding of the walls.