Week 13:  The New Norm

Scripture:  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. Luke 5:37

Wine skins on new bottles have to be pliable and moveable so that when the new wine is poured into it, it can expand. You cannot use old bottles and old wine skins because they are rigid, unpliable and unable to expand with new wine.  

How does this relate to what God is trying to do in our lives?  How does being rigid and unpliable prevent God from placing us in spiritual dimensions that he desires for us?


Encouragement:   The process by which we are changed 

It is at the altar, that that we find ourselves lingering in the presence and anointing of God. It is during those times of lingering where we feel his healing touch, his mercy and grace, and his unconditional love for us. 

Tell about a time at church when there was a lingering in the spirit.  Why do you think it was so easy to move into that spiritual dimension of lingering and how were you changed because of it?


Next Steps:  Speaking words that change the paradigm shift

It’s very important that we as people of God start speaking words that change the paradigm shift from “this is how it used to be” to “this is the new dimension that God has placed us in now”.  We are never going to be able to go back to the way it used to be.  God has shifted and repositioned his church for what he is wanting to accomplish in these end times.  

How can we effectively use our words and our actions to help make this paradigm shift happen in our church? What will it take for our church culture to align with where God has repositioned us this year?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  God is moving our church into a new norm in which we will never be the same again.  Let’s help each other to move into that dimension because revival is upon us.


Week 12:  An All-Powerful God Looking for Faith

Scripture:  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:6-8

There will come a time in each of our spiritual journeys when God does not seem to be answering our prayers, where he is not giving us our miracle.  But then he comes speedily to do a work because he does not want us to suffer even one moment longer than need be.

How does this passage of scripture give you comfort during the times in which you are suffering? How is your faith made stronger knowing that the same God who bears long with us is also the same God who comes speedily to bring us deliverance and healing?


Next Steps:  We can become so accustomed to the journey that we think this is how is always going to be.

We can become so accustomed to living with our problems that we can lose faith that our healing or deliverance will come.  And then when God finally does show up to do a work in us, He finds our faith is in another dimension and that we’ve already moved on to living with our problem or situation instead of still believing for our miracle.  

Why do you think its so easy for us as Christians to fall into the mindset that this is how it is always going to be instead of having faith that He is going to heal or deliver us? How can we keep our faith strong during those times when He bears long with us so that we can receive our miracle?


Encouragement:   God is always right there beside us.

We know that it is through our trials that Christian character is built within us and that our faith and hope become stronger in Him.  We know that God is right there beside us in the nighttime when we cry and that he is also right there beside us in the daytime when the journey seems long.  

Tell about a time during a trail when you knew God was right there beside you, bearing long with you. Looking back on that experience, how did your faith and hope become stronger in Him?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Today is the day for miracles to happen. 


Week 11:  The Acts of Angels

Encouragement:   There are only three angels mentioned by name in the Bible

All three angels were given their name because of what they represent and for what they bring to our spiritual journey.  We are to identify and understand their nature as well as how each one equips us spiritually.

  • Lucifer represents worship and praise to God
  • Gabriel represents a Word from God/direction from God
  • Michael represents a warrior of prayer

How does each of these help you to be victorious in your walk with God? How do they equip you for the long haul of your faith journey?


Scripture:  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14 (NKJV)

We cannot do life on our own; we will need help from the angels. They are sent for us, to help us fight and to prevail and to conquer.  

How does knowing that the angels are sent “for us” instead of “to us” change your view of the role angles have in our lives? How will this help you to be more aware of the angels that God has surrounded us with?


Next Steps:  Don’t surrender your worship

We are to bless the Lord at all times, and we are to let his praise continually be in our mouth.

How has this year taken a toll on your worship, prayer time, and time spent in the word of God? What steps can you start taking to put your faith journey back to where it should be?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Ask God to send his ministering angels for each one in your group.


Week 10:  Adjust Your Focus

Scripture:  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:2

The Lord created the earth that we are standing on. He took some dirt from that same Earth to make us and he took air from that same earth and breathed it into our lungs so that we can breathe. That same Lord is the one that we should be dependent on for our strength and our help.

Describe what it means to you to know that your help comes from the Lord. Why do you think the author clarified that statement with, “the Lord, which made heaven and earth”?


Encouragement:   It’s so easy to be focused on our problems but we need to keep our focus on Jesus, who is the one who can solve those problems. 

If our focus is on the Lord, then we know that the Lord can take care of our problems. He is the very one who can solve whatever issue we are facing. 

Tell about a time when you purposefully changed your focus to be on Jesus instead of your problem.  How did your change in focus help define your response to that problem? 


Next Steps:  God has all power in Heaven and in Earth

We know that God has all power in Heaven and in Earth and yet too many times we use the below three questions to talk ourselves out of trusting in God. 

  1. Why hasn’t he yet?
  2. Why doesn’t he?
  3. Why didn’t he?

Why do you think we are so quick to ask those questions when we know that he is all powerful and holds all things in his hands? What questions/statements can we use instead that will lift our faith and trust in Him?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Together we can adjust our focus back on the God who created us. 


Week 9:  I Want to Be Filled

Scripture:  And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.   2 Chronicles 7:3

For the children of Israel, it was business as usual.  They had brought their offerings and their sacrifices and were expecting to return home, just as every time before. But on this particular day, fire come down and filled the temple.  


Why do you think the children of Israel felt compelled to bow down and worship the Lord when they saw the fire come down?  What is it about God’s glory that causes people to want to bow down in praise and worship?



Encouragement:   When the fire comes down, you don’t have to force it

When the fire comes down, we don’t have to force our worship.  We don’t have to be told to stand or to bow down.  The Holy Ghost inside of us automatically responds to that fire just as the children of Israel responded on that particular day.  


Tell about a time when the fire of the Holy Ghost came down and your spirit automatically responded to it.  How did the atmosphere change at that exact moment?  



Next Steps:  If you’re not hungry for God, you are too full of yourself

Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. And when our body gets filled with the fire and the glory of the Holy Ghost, there are some things that just can’t get in. When we are filled with Him, there’s no space for the devil. There’s no space for things like depression or loneliness or anxiety.


What are some things that we allow our mind/body to be filled with that takes up the space of where God’s glory should be? What can we do to become empty of those things so that we can become full of God’s glory?



Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s pray for each of our lives to become full of the Holy Ghost and His glory.  



Week 8:  Don’t Lose Sight of Eternity

Scripture:  Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

Sin plants death in our hearts but it is God who plants eternity in our hearts. There is something inside each of us that is pulling us into eternity.  

What does it mean to have eternity planted in our hearts? Why is faith so important when we cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end? 


Encouragement:   We live in an age where we are experts in temporal areas and novices in the eternal areas

Anything that’s not connected to God is temporal.  If you can light it with a match, it will not take you to glory. We must grab on to the eternal.   

Why do you think we put so much focus on the temporal even though we know our focus should be more on the eternal? What paradigm shift from the temporal to the eternal takes place inside of us when we get into God’s presence?


Next Steps:  We need to keep eternity in front of us

It is so easy to get caught up in the current of life and the chaos it ensues that we can lose focus on eternity.  But with proper focus and perspective, we can weather the storms of life with a hope that is beyond this world.   

What can we do to keep eternity in front of us?  How does keeping this perspective help us weather the storms of life and give us hope beyond this world? 


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Micro Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  We need the encouragement and prayers of each other.


Week 7:  One Nation Under God

Encouragement:

Why are we blessed as a nation?


Scripture:  Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice:  but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

What does biblical conviction mean to you?

What is morality and where does it come from?


Next Steps:

Encourage others to vote.


Prayer:

Pray for other's needs and pray for our country.


Week 6:  I Belong to God

Scripture:  Ephesians 1:17 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

It is wonderful to experience God’s grace, His peace, His hope, and His love for us.  This is what His redemption plan is all about.  He redeemed us back with His own blood so that we could have a relationship with him. 

What does it mean to be redeemed through His blood?  How did the cross make it possible for our sins to be forgiven through His grace?


Encouragement:   We belong to God and not ourselves 

One of the most important things to remember is that we belong to God.  We are not our own. We have been bought with a price.  We were purchased with His own blood as part of the redemption story.  

What does it mean to belong to God? How comforting is it to know that we belong to Him? 


Next Steps:  God has a plan for our life, not just for our salvation

If we are going to embrace God as our master, we are going to have to humble ourselves and relinquish control of our life and our circumstances.  When we are saved, it’s no longer about us, it’s about what we can do to help others and to help move His kingdom forward. 

What area of your life or your circumstances do you need to relinquish control of?  What steps do you need to take to align your plans with God’s plans for your life? 


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  By being there for each other, we help move God’s kingdom forward. 


Week 5:  God Expects Me to Love Everyone

Scripture: Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

We cannot love on our own.  It takes the power of the Holy Ghost to wash over us.  It is the Holy Ghost that transforms hearts It is the Holy Ghost that allows us to let go of past wounds and hurts so that love can begin to flow out of us.  

In what ways does "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts" give new meaning to how we should love others?  How does the Holy Ghost transform our lives so that we can love others?


Encouragement:   When you get your relationship with God right you are able to love right
When we understand how much God loves us, it will compel us to love others.  It moves us to action; it requires us to do something. When we are full of the Holy Ghost, we are able to operate in that love and powerful things begin to happen. 

What moment in your life can you look back on as a time when you were able to show love to someone because of the transforming power of the Holy Ghost that worked through you?  


Next Steps:  God is love
One of the key components of wonder is to understand and experience love.  More than any of our yearnings, love is desired by all, squandered by many, and yet distorted by most of us.  But when we begin to show love, something powerful begins to happen. 

Think about your own relationships.  What is love requiring of you? What is love telling you to do because it is the loving thing to do? 


Prayer: 
As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the church who doesn’t just talk about love but lives it out as well.     


Week 4:  Everything Is Possible With God

Encouragement:  If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. 

We have a propensity (tendency) to pray low-risk miracle prayers. We pray for small things instead of asking God or the supernatural in our lives.  God wants us to believe for the impossible that requires His divine intervention so that He can get the glory.  

Tell about a time in which you prayed an impossible prayer. How did God come through for you?


Next Steps:  You wouldn’t need God if you could manage your own problems. 

The most difficult time is when you see God perform miracles for others and you need a miracle for yourself.  Unbelief can set in and you can start to believe the lie of, “God said it, but he can’t do it”.  Now is the hour to stand up and declare, “God, I need your divine power and intervention in my life.”.

What do you need God to do that seems impossible to you? What unbelief do you need to get rid of so that you can ask God for the impossible?


Scripture: Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. 

It’s not our job to perform the miracle. It’s our job to believe in the miracle. It’s our job to stand on the promises of God’s word.  

What is this scripture teaching you about trusting God for the outcome of your impossible situation? How is your faith made stronger because of this promise?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the body of Christ who believes together for the impossible! 



Week 3:  The Whole World Needs Jesus

Scripture:  Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest

The hardest part for us as Christians is to become connected with the harvest. Connecting saved people with lost people. Connecting with those that need to know, need to be influenced, and need to be prayed over. Connecting those who have the truth with those who do not have the truth. 

In what ways can we connect more with the harvest that God has placed in our daily lives? How should this scripture change the way we pray for lost souls


Encouragement:  If you lost your child you wouldn’t stop until you found them.  If this is true about the physical body, why wouldn’t we do it for the eternal soul?

Others need to hear how God saved us when we were lost. They need to know how God in His great mercy rescued us. They need to know that we have fought battles just like them.

What is your faith story?  At what point in your journey did God shift/transform your life? 



Next Steps:  The Gospel came to you trying to get to someone else

We are all conduits of God’s story.  There’s someone in each of our lives that needs to know that someone cares enough and loves enough to tell them what they need to hear. There’s someone out there that their world is in turmoil and they need to know that there is someone bigger than their problems.


Tell about a time when you connected on a spiritual level with someone who needed Jesus.  How will you let God use you this week in order to make that kind of connection again with someone else?



Prayer: 

As we end today’s lesson, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the body of believers who offers support and encouragement knowing that there is power when two or three agree together in His name. 


Week 2:  Only the Church Will Last Forever

Scripture:  Living for the eternal and not the here and now

Satan wants us to focus on the “here and now” because he knows his future is dismal. Jesus on the other hand wants us to focus on the “eternal” because the future of the church is amazing. He wants us to realize how just frail this life really is so that we will keep our focus on what He has in store for us in the eternal.
1 Corinthians 15:19 states: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Describe a person you know who only lived for the “here and now’. How miserable was that person? How do you think their life would have ended up if they had chosen to live for the eternal instead?


Encouragement: There are benefits to being a part of the church

There are many benefits to being a part of the church. The church offers community, a support system, encouragement, power, learning and growing, security, and exponential capacities to be able to reach our world with the Gospel of Christ. These benefits help the church to stay strong.

Think about a time in which you were hurting or experiencing a painful situation. How did the church body come together to show you community, support, and encouragement that helped you get through your situation?


Next Steps: Reasons people give for not wanting to be a part of the church

Not willing to be accountable to the body of Christ, unwilling to let go of their self-will and their selfish ways, unwilling to let go of pride, being too comfortable with their current lifestyle, and wanting to stay in control are some of the areas that prevent people from wanting to be a part of the church. As believers in the body of Christ we can also be deceived in these same areas.  

What area in your life are you struggling with that is preventing you from being completely all in the church? What would it take for you to let go of these deceptions? How can the body of Christ help you in taking that next step of letting go?


Prayer:

As we end today’s lesson, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs. Let’s be the body of believers who offers support and encouragement knowing that there is power when two or three agree together in His name.


Week 1:  It's All About God

Encouragement:  It’s a change in listening not just a change in feelings

We can get so caught up in the buzz and the hype of life in all its emotions and feelings that we lose the ability to hear the voice of God. We can get in such a hurry that we stop listening to what God is speaking into our lives.  When we are still, we can hear what God is trying to tell us.

Tell about a time when you were spiritually in tune with God.  How did you know He was speaking to you?  How does this encourage you to spend more time being still and listening to God?


Scripture:  It's about losing yourself not finding yourself.

The more obsessed we are with ourselves, the more we neglect our souls. A life without God simply has no choice but to fall apart. We were made for God.  Matthew 16:25 states, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it."

How can we prevent getting so caught up in ourselves and what this world has to offer that we neglect our souls?


Prayer:  Before moving on to Next Steps, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and to pray for each other’s needs.


Next Steps:  It's about obeying God not just loving God

Once you begin your walk with God, you begin a lifelong journey of obeying Christ and following His commandments.  It will require sacrifice, paying a cost, carrying the cross, dealing with temptation, being totally committed and even dealing with persecution.  

If you want easy and convenience you don’t want Jesus.  Take a moment to think about what God has been asking you to do? What will it take for you to say, “Yes”?