Every person wants to be “all that they can be.” Everyone has dreams, goals and ambitions. We all want to feel like we have been successful in life and that we have accomplished all that we are capable of. Unfortunately, many people fail to consider how to become the person God intended for them to be. When we pursue our own agenda, based only on our own wisdom, we can end up completely missing out on the better plan for our life journey that God had in mind when He created us. In this series called THE GAP, Pastor G will help us clear several gaps that exist between who we are right now and the person God is really calling us to be. Week One’s message is called “Clearing The Sacrifice Gap!”
… [God] chose us in Him before the foundation of the world …~ Ephesians 1:4
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. ~ Genesis 1:1
… we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.~ Ephesians 2:10
Poiema (GREEK) ~ Workmanship (ENGLISH)
We are God’s poem, God’s poetry, God’s work of art, God’s song, God’s product.
“You and I were created by God, for God’s purposes, and until we recognize that and pursue
that purpose wholeheartedly life is never going to make any sense.” ~ Pastor G
THE HOLINESS GAP
The biggest GAP, it exists between sinful human beings and perfectly holy God. Jesus has already Cleared the Holiness Gap.
THE SACRIFICE GAP
Today let’s work on Clearing The Sacrifice Gap. This is where finding your true purpose in life really begins.
… the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2
… If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? ~ Mark 8:34-36
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~ Romans 12:1-2
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
~ Galatians 2:20
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:9
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Ephesians 1:4
1) When you read that God chose you before the foundation of the world, do you feel that your purpose on earth is a vital one? Why or why not?
READ: Ephesians 2:10
1) In what way have you discovered yourself to be “God’s workmanship?” What specific good works did God create you to accomplish through your relationship with Jesus? Are you living up to your full potential? Why or why not?
1) Pastor G said “You and I were created by God, for God’s purposes, and until we recognize that and pursue that purpose wholeheartedly life is never going to make any sense.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
2) Pastor G said “Jesus cleared the Holiness Gap for us… As the perfect Son of God, who also became a human being, He was the only one who could do that. Only He could represent BOTH God and humanity in this amazing act of reconciliation.” When someone tells you there are many different roads to heaven, and that one religion is as good as the next, how can you share the uniqueness of Jesus with them?
READ: Mark 8:34-36
1) What do you think Jesus means by this command to “deny yourself? In what ways have you “denied yourself” when it comes
to following Jesus?
2) What does Jesus mean when He tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him? Do we have to literally be crucified or is this a
metaphor of some kind? How do you know if you are carrying your own cross? What is your personal “cross to bear?”
3) Again Jesus exhorts us to lose our lives for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel. He says if we do that, that’s how we will save our lives. Do we actually have to die to fulfill this or can we “lose our lives” while still remaining alive and breathing?
READ: Romans 12:1-2 and Galatians 2:20
1) What does it really mean to be a “living and holy sacrifice?”
2) In what way was Paul “crucified with Christ” at this point in his life? He says it is no longer he that lives but instead Christ is the one living in Him and through Him. Is that also true in your life? Have you been crucified with Christ? When we look at you do we see you doing the living or is it Christ living in you and through you that we see? Why?