START WITH PRAYER ASKING THE LORD TO HELP THE GROUP TO BE OPEN TO WHAT THE LORD WOULD SAY TO THEM.
READ PSALM 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (NIV)
* This past Sunday, we talked about the refuge that God gave to Elijah after he confronted King Ahab and Queen Jezebel about all of the idolatry they had brought into the Temple. Ahab and Jezebel would have killed Elijah without any problem as they had many of the other prophets of the Lord. So God protecting Elijah, giving him refuge. When you think of a refuge, what do you think of?
* What do you think it means when it says that God is an ever-present help in trouble?
* How does He help?
* On Sunday, we spoke about how the Lord gave refuge to Elijah. He sent him to a widow who had no food because there was a drought. The Lord allowed Elijah to make the oil and flour to be reproduced every day without running out. The Lord also commanded the widow to cook for Elijah with the flour and oil. So when the Lord sent Elijah to a refuge, it was a place where Elijah was a servant to the widow and she was a servant to him. How does it affect our spiritual growth when we actively serve others for the Lord?
* What happens to our spiritual growth if we do not develop a servant's heart and ways?
* God protected Elijah from Ahab and Jezebel by hiding him in a place where he was called to serve this widow. Later the widow's son died and she blamed Elijah. Now, Elijah is called upon by the Lord to bring her son back to life. He was serving her, but now, she was no longer serving him. This was a new level of serving. At first, Elijah was to serve someone who was also helping him, but now God wanted him to serve someone who was angry with him. How does it affect our spiritual growth to serve those who are not going to reciprocate?
* God was giving Elijah refuge by giving him a place to grow so that he could go back and face Ahab, Jezebel, and the whole nation who hated Elijah. Usually we think of a refuge as a place to hide until the problem goes away, but God doesn't want us to hide from our problems. Instead, He will give us refuge from a problem only to use another difficult situation to make us stronger so that we can deal with the bigger problem. When you ask God to be your refuge from a problem, are you looking to hide while He solves your problem or are you looking for a place to get stronger to be able to deal with that problem? Why or why not?
* Is it possible that some of the difficulties you are facing today in one area of your life are to prepare you and strengthen you with power and wisdom for other areas of your life?
* If this is true, how should it change the perspective of your current issue?
* Why do you think the Lord uses servanthood to prepare us for these greater battles and victories?
* Do you have a servant's heart? Do you have a servant's heart even when the person you are called to serve is angry with you or unappreciative?
* There is a Memorial Service this Saturday at noon at the church for Ms. Paggay's son, Melvin. You will remember that we prayed for her about a month ago or so. This family has been coming to the church for some time after relocating here from New Orleans when the hurricane hit a few years ago.
* We are in need to crisis care kits. We will be sending out emails, texts, and facebook posts with all of the items that are to go into the kits.
*There is a Women's Ministry Council meeting this Sunday right after church in the Teacher's Lounge
*There is a Finance Committee Meeting this Sunday at 3pm follow by Church Board Meeting at 4pm.
* There is a volunteer workday at the church on Saturday, April 16th from 9am-2pm.
* We are looking for new Lifeline facilitators to start new Lifelines. This is imperative for people to have the spiritual support they need. Please pray about this and speak to your Lifeline facilitator who will then speak to me (Pastor Lee).
*There is a Lifeline Facilitator meeting on Sunday, April 17th @ 6pm. We will meet at McAllister's.
*There is a Parent Meeting for those who have children up to the age of 11 right after church in the sanctuary on Sunday, April 24th.
* There is a Meet and Greet for people who are new to the church in the overflow of the sanctuary right after church on April 24th. This meeting will be about ten minutes only. There will be refreshments.
*There is a Ministry Director Meeting on Sunday, April 24th @ 6pm at the church with Pastor Lee.
*Decision America Rally: All who would like to attend the Franklin Graham Decision America Rally on Tuesday, April 26th, please sign up on your Connection Card. We will be leaving early that morning traveling to Austin for a prayer rally for the nation on the steps of the State Capitol led by Franklin Graham. The Franklin Graham Association is praying for 40,000 in attendance and we want to take any who are able to go on that day for this time of prayer.