God’s Kingdom Wave!
(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
This morning/evening we are accomplishing two things - kicking off our Botox Church series that will cover 1 Corinthians 1-4, and kicking off our Move prayer focus. We hope that you will be engaged with both. The Botox Church series will encourage you to systematically move through scripture in our study. The Move focus will encourage you to engage in prayer over the next seven weeks.
As we think about prayer, answer the following questions.
What are the top five things you think people talk to God about?
Do you have one particular issue that you keep bringing to God?
Do you ever struggle with knowing what to say in prayer? (Romans 8:26)
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Break down the text with the following questions:
- Who is Sosthenes? Check out Acts 18:1-17
- Based on Acts 18 what kind of city was Corinth?
- What are the issues for which the Corinthians should be grateful?(see v.4-9)
Note v.2 “...together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ- their Lord and ours.”:
Can you remember the first time you called on the name of the Lord? Were you a believer or seeking after God?
How many times since then have you called on the name of the Lord?
The construction of this phrase is not only getting at the idea of one’s initial calling on God, but the ongoing calling on God that all Christ followers engage in. It is a continuous dialogue that has a starting point, but has no end in sight.
Who is Paul referring to in this verse?
He is referencing all those (big group) everywhere (in other words anywhere) who are calling on the Lord Jesus Christ. I love the last four words, “their Lord and ours.” The “their” and the “all those” are Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, male and female.
Big Idea: Prayer is God’s Kingdom Wave.
On Saturday/Sunday I likened prayer to a wave in a stadium. Ever been at a sports event when successive groups of spectators briefly stand, yell, and raise their arms? The result is a wave of standing spectators that travels through the crowd, even though individual spectators never move away from their seats. This is a picture of “together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...” In God’s stadium Christ followers from all over the planet rise to their feet or fall to their knees to pray, calling on God.
Corinth was part of that wave and… boy, oh boy!... did they ever have things to talk to God about. As a group take the next several minutes and finger through the pages of 1 Corinthians and list what you think were items on their prayer list. This exercise will serve as a good review or introduction into the book of 1 Corinthians.
To get you started, let me suggest that, no doubt, part of their prayer wave involved praise. As you read v.4-9 you can see that they had much to be grateful for and it had a lot to do with God’s character, faithfulness and generosity! If you were with us on Saturday or Sunday you will have seen the list we developed. The reason we are calling this series Botox Church is because some of the Corinthians were guilty of “injecting” into the Gospel so-called truths to make it more palatable to that particular culture. Certainly this would have been another issue to pray into.
As you make your list, the obvious conclusion is that they desperately needed God to move! Whether it is their list or ours, whether 2000 years ago or in the present day, the one thing we all have in common is that we want God to move, His Kingdom to come, His power to be displayed, His will to be done! Move! It is not that we are ordering God around, but simply wanting more of God. We want Him to move and do what only God can do. We want Him to move and do what for us seems impossible on a human level.
God wants us to be part of His kingdom wave. Some (not all) of the Corinthians were petitioning God on behalf of their church, their city and no doubt the Roman Empire. Today His wave continues, the needs continue to present themselves and the church continues to have the opportunity to enter and invite God to Move!
How can I get involved in God’s Kingdom Wave?
As a small group or an individual, use the weekly tools that will help you to pray into each week’s theme. Go to our website (http://bethelkingston.com) and you will see the Move slide. Just follow the instructions and you will be able to download the tool for that week. Another option is that you can pick up the Move tool in the foyer each week.
Let’s choose to be part of “all those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord.”
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org