Pastor Greg continues his series on clearing the gaps between who we are now and who God has created and called us to be. This week he teaches us the value of being action oriented people.
SIX SPECIFIC ACTION STEPS
1) Take a First Step!
A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and HARD WORK!
~ Colin Powell
All our dreams can come true, IF we have the courage to PURSUE them! ~ Walt Disney
God gives us the INSPIRATION but the PERSPIRATION has to come from us! ~ Pastor Greg Scott
2) It Is Okay To Help Yourself!
3) Run To Win!
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8
4) Remember You Are NEVER Running Alone!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
~ Hebrews 12:1-3
God provides the wind but man must raise the sails. ~ St. Augustine
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 1:13
Anazónnumi (GREEK) ~~ Prepare your minds for action (ENGLISH)
I gird up, I brace up (with a view to active exertion); a metaphor from the girding of the flowing tunic,
to prevent its hampering one in active work.
5) Don’t Dwell On The Past, Focus On The Future!
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14
6) Never Give Up!
Dioko (GREEK) ~~ Press on (ENGLISH)
to aggressively chase something, like a hunter pursuing a catch or prize; to pursue with all haste,
chasing after, and earnestly desiring to overtake what is ahead.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. ~ James 1:12
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1) What is the imperishable prize Paul says we are trying to win?
2) How do we “win” this “race” that we are in, according to Paul?
3) What does Paul mean that he runs in such a way that it is not without aim and that he boxes in a way that is not like beating the air?
4) Why does Paul feel he needs to “discipline my body and make it my slave?”
5) When Paul expresses concern about being “disqualified”himself after he has preached to others, what does he mean? How might Paul (or any of us) be disqualified? Disqualified by whom?
READ: Hebrews 12:1-3
1) Who is the “cloud of witnesses” the author of Hebrews is referring to? (HINT: This passage begins with the word “Therefore,”)
2) Why does this cloud of witnesses matter to us?
3) How do we lay aside encumbrances and sins that easily entangle us?
4) Why do you think the author includes the word “endurance” here? Why does he feel the Christian life is like an endurance race?
READ: 1 Peter 1:13-16
1) Why should we “prepare our minds for action” (“gird up the loins of our mind” some translations say)? (Hint: What is that therefore, there for?)
2) What does he mean “keep sober in spirit?” How do we do that?
3) How do we fix our hope on the grace Peter is talking about?
4) In verses 14-16 Peter talks about personal holiness. How is this related to the idea of “Clearing the Action Gap” in our lives? Why is personal holiness needed to clear the action gap?
READ: Philippians 3:12-14
1) Paul says he has not already attained “it.” What is the “it” he is referring to?
2) Paul says he wants to “press on” to lay hold of “that.” What is the “that” he wants to lay hold of? Why?
3) Whatever the “that” is, Paul says it is the same thing that Jesus laid hold of Paul for. How did Jesus do that?
4) Paul says he is “pressing on” toward his goal? What is his goal? Is it the same thing as the “that” we were discussing in question three or is it something else? How do you know?
READ: James 1:12
1) James talks about “persevering under trial” and about “passing the test.” He is writing about Christians. What trials and what tests do we have as Christ followers? James talks about enduring and passing the test. Is is possible to flunk the test? What happens to us in that case?
READ: James 1:23-25
1) James gives a word picture of a man looking in a mirror and then immediately forgetting his own face. Why does he use this metaphor? What point is he making in this passage? How would you explain it to a friend who had never read the Bible before?
READ: James 2:14-18
1) How does this passage fit in with the larger idea of Pastor Greg’s message about the necessity for Christian’s to “take action?”
2) Pastor Greg pointed out that, while “God helps those who help themselves” is an adage not specifically found in the Bible, properly understood, it is not in conflict with the Biblical message. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
3) Pastor Greg said that while God does indeed help those who cannot help themselves, He also helps those who take action, who help themselves, to multiply their efforts in help in others and making the world a better place. Is James essentially saying the same thing here in this passage? Why or why not?