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FRIDAY— How We Can Change, Part II
Big Point: Pray. Pray again. Pray more. Wait for God to show up.
Yesterday, we started looking at why prayer is what God uses to change us. Remember, in order for us to be changed permanently and deeply, we must stop relying on our own efforts. By prayer, we invite God to drive the process of change in our hearts and behavior. He will lovingly reach in and reshape the core of who we are. Tim Keller urges us to turn toward God in prayer and allow prayer to be the catalyst by which we humble ourselves to God and ask Him to do in us what we are unable to do for ourselves.
Too many of us wrongly believe that prayer is passive because when we pray and change isn’t instantaneous, we see it as a failure. But that is wrong. Instead, by focusing on God rather than ourselves, God uses prayer to change our heart from one of stone to one of flesh, a little at a time, so that we can comprehend and embrace the beautiful changes He makes in us. So, the urgent call for your life is to pray. Then, pray more.
READ, THINK and LIVE… Read and apply the Bible.
The Apostle Paul writes to believers about the process of spiritual formation and identifies the method by which God transforms us. These verses are a good summary for all that we’ve studied this week.
Question: God starts the transformation process by changing the way that we ___________________. Why does He start there first?
What has God revealed to you this week?
What has God called you to start doing or stop doing so that He can continue the process of changing and transforming you inside and out?
Romans 12:1-2 (New Living Translation)
1 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. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then, you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Finish this week’s study with a prayer like this: Dear God, you know me better than I know myself—the areas of my life I still hold onto instead of giving to you to transform. I know that You love me and want what’s best for my life. So God, show me the truth about myself. Send people into my life that point out where I need to turn toward You instead of myself. Amen.
Questions for Discussion— Try these in a group, with friends or at the dinner table.
- What are some of your memories of 2014? What did you celebrate in your life? Where did you struggle?
- As we head into 2015, where do you think God wants to work in your life over the coming year? What are some clues that you need God to transform you in that area of your life?
- Pastor Tim Keller compares sin to a crouching animal, waiting to strike. When sin strikes, it remains a presence and weakens us. What are some signs that we are leaving ourselves open to being overcome by sin?
- Prayer is our main attack on sin! Prayer rebuilds the framework of our heart and turns us toward God. What do you need to pray about more often? How can you build prayer into a regular practice? How can those in your circle of influence hold you accountable?
Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:
Click below to watch a video from Hans and Freda to help get you in shape for the New Year!
Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.
January 2015 Memory Verse
1 Timothy 4:8 (New Living Translation)
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
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- Next Weekend: Join us for the start of our new series, Get In Shape!
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Tim Keller “What It Takes to Change Ourselves”
Catalyst 2014, Session 3
This week’s Living It Out written by:
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