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Ephesus 
Message #4

Paul's Prayer

January 24-25, 2015
Pastor Jay Foulk

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Growth Group Homework

For the week of January 25, 2015


QUICK REVIEW

Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

 

MY STORY

1.  All of us desire to have a few people who not only know about us, but also know, love, and accept us for who we are and who God has made us to be.  There are a variety of reasons that cause this to happen.  List as many you can think of.

 

How might your answers to the above question be similar to what it takes to know God and not just know “about” God?

 

2.  The more time we spend with someone, the better we get to know them.  For example, if we listed the character qualities of those closest to us, chances are you would be able to think back on your time with them and see how your understanding of who they are has grown.  The same is true in how we grow in knowing God.  As you look at the characteristics of God below, which, if any, have you seen grow or change in your own understanding and appreciation of who God is?

 

¨     Love                  o   Kindness

¨     Grace                o    Justice

¨     Forgiveness       o    Other:

 

DIGGING DEEPER
1.  Knowing and understanding God’s ultimate power in our life and our world makes a big difference in how we live out the hope we have in following him.  When we can’t see God’s power in a situation, we can easily become pessimistic or shortsighted.  How does 2 Kings 6:8-17 encourage you to remember that God’s power is active beyond what we know?    

2 Kings 6:8-17
Elisha Traps Blinded Arameans

8 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”
9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.
11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. [NIV]

 

How would you describe your own awareness of God’s power in our world? (select any that apply)

¨     I’m always thinking about it

¨     I need to be reminded

¨     I experience it often

¨     I experience it on occasion

¨     I don’t understand it

¨     It gives me confidence

¨     Other

 

2.  Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians (and us) is that we would know God (Ephesians 1:17-19).  How does Proverbs 2:1-11 explain what it takes for us to gain that kind of spiritual insight and wisdom?                        

Ephesians 1:17-19

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength [NIV]

Proverbs 2:1-11
Moral Benefits of Wisdom

2:1 My son, if you accept my words
     and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
     and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
     and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you. [NIV]

                 

How might putting the following verses into action add to how we can know God better? 
     

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart,
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting. [NIV]

Hebrews 10:24-25
                      
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [NIV]

                                           

Which of the verses you read above is the best reminder for you on how to know God better?

 

3.  As followers of Jesus, we have the hope that we will be with God in eternity and that we can help others do the same.  How do the following verses affirm the hope we have here on earth as we live our lives for Jesus? 
                  

Philippians 1:6

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. [NIV]

2 Corinthians 4:16-17

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. [NIV]

2 Corinthians 5:17
                  
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! [NIV]

 

 

TAKING IT HOME

Looking back over this week’s sermon and homework, what’s the most important thing to remember?

 

 

 


Prayer Requests:

 

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The “Amazing Race To Serve” event is just two weeks away:  Saturday, February 7!  It will be part race, part party and all FUN for everyone, from the adrenaline junkie to the couch potato, and everyone in between.  If you haven’t already, start making your plans to be part of a team, support a team, or just cheer a team on! 

 

You can sign up, make a donation, or get more information online at amazingracetoserve.com

 

All money raised will go to our next Weekend of Service, scheduled for April 25-26, 2015.