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Apr 3, 2016
Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Life
"2016_04_03_PaulusBruce.mp3" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
 

AWAKENING TO LIFE

 “Now this is living!”

 

You know the way, and home is where you always belong. Be prepared in the years ahead for a life that’s different from anything you thought possible when you made a U-turn on the road and asked the Father for help. The awakening to life brings with it unexpected influence and opportunities. How can this be? It’s because Jesus is alive in you, and that changes just about everything. Now you can bring love to where there is hate. You can bring purpose to where there is confusion. You can bring hope to where there is despair. And that is living! So find your place in the community of other grateful sons and daughters of the Father. Connect with them, learn from them, and work alongside them to make a difference for good in marriages, homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.

 

Opening Thought and Discussion

  1. What changes have you already seen in yourself during the process of returning to God? What changes do you hope to see for yourself in your future?

 

Bible Discussion

Read Luke 15:22–24.  You’ve already read these verses, but this Time focus on the reason in verse 24 that the father gives for the celebration. (Also see verse 32.)

  1. In what sense was the son “dead” and “lost”? In what sense is he now “alive” and “found”?
Life Application Discussion
 
3. Do you worship regularly as part of a church family? If so, describe the worship at your church. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, what might it take for you to find a church and consistently join in the worship?
 
4.  Do you have a regular devotional time of Bible reading, reflection, and prayer? If so, describe your private devotional practice. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, how could you begin to make this a habit in your life?
 
5.  Are you part of a small group of people who want to live in the love of God and meet together regularly? If so, tell about your small group and how it functions. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, how could you find a small group that fits your needs during this season of your life?
 
6. Do you engage in some kind of ministry or service (however informal) that seeks to bless others? If so, explain this ministry. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, what kind of ministry do you think God has equipped you to be involved with in order to bring his blessing into the lives of others?
 
Pray the following prayer:
God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.

Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

Thank the Lord for drawing you near when you felt separated from him. Ask his help to remain close to him for your whole life long—and throughout all eternity!

 

 

WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Apr 3, 2016Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Life
    Apr 3, 2016
    Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Life
    "2016_04_03_PaulusBruce.mp3" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
     

    AWAKENING TO LIFE

     “Now this is living!”

     

    You know the way, and home is where you always belong. Be prepared in the years ahead for a life that’s different from anything you thought possible when you made a U-turn on the road and asked the Father for help. The awakening to life brings with it unexpected influence and opportunities. How can this be? It’s because Jesus is alive in you, and that changes just about everything. Now you can bring love to where there is hate. You can bring purpose to where there is confusion. You can bring hope to where there is despair. And that is living! So find your place in the community of other grateful sons and daughters of the Father. Connect with them, learn from them, and work alongside them to make a difference for good in marriages, homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.

     

    Opening Thought and Discussion

    1. What changes have you already seen in yourself during the process of returning to God? What changes do you hope to see for yourself in your future?

     

    Bible Discussion

    Read Luke 15:22–24.  You’ve already read these verses, but this Time focus on the reason in verse 24 that the father gives for the celebration. (Also see verse 32.)

    1. In what sense was the son “dead” and “lost”? In what sense is he now “alive” and “found”?
    Life Application Discussion
     
    3. Do you worship regularly as part of a church family? If so, describe the worship at your church. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, what might it take for you to find a church and consistently join in the worship?
     
    4.  Do you have a regular devotional time of Bible reading, reflection, and prayer? If so, describe your private devotional practice. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, how could you begin to make this a habit in your life?
     
    5.  Are you part of a small group of people who want to live in the love of God and meet together regularly? If so, tell about your small group and how it functions. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, how could you find a small group that fits your needs during this season of your life?
     
    6. Do you engage in some kind of ministry or service (however informal) that seeks to bless others? If so, explain this ministry. How does it help to sustain you in your new life with God? If not, what kind of ministry do you think God has equipped you to be involved with in order to bring his blessing into the lives of others?
     
    Pray the following prayer:
    God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.

    Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

    Thank the Lord for drawing you near when you felt separated from him. Ask his help to remain close to him for your whole life long—and throughout all eternity!

     

     

  • Mar 13, 2016Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Love
    Mar 13, 2016
    Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Love
    "Bruce Paulus - Awakening To Love" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
     
    AWAKENING TO LOVE
    “God loves me deeply after all.”

    We experience the irresistible love of God in Jesus when we finally return home to our Father. The grace he offers to every one of us is something we can’t find anywhere else. It’s almost shocking. It’s overwhelming. It is continually amazing. And it is what we truly long for and were made to experience. As we awaken to God’s love in our lives, some of the choices that seemed impossible before gradually become possible. Trusting God through the ups and downs of life becomes possible. Becoming more like his Son, Jesus Christ, becomes possible—and our deepest desire. And there’s more: Believing in his faithful care for us and those we love makes absolute sense, infusing our days with God’s peace. Knowing that not only does he love us but he loves everyone in the world just as deeply compels us to share the good news of Jesus with others. That’s the wonder of God’s deep love for you and me. It has the power to heal us, change us, energize our hopes and dreams, and motivate us to serve him with our whole lives. So from this day forward, live boldly in his love. Never let doubt and discouragement take away what you know to be true!

     

    Opening Thought and Discussion

    1. What did you learn from Dave and Jon about the new identity that the father in Jesus’s parable gave to the son?

     

    Bible Discussion

     Read Luke 15:20–24, the portion of Jesus’s story where we observe the father’s over-the-top expression of love for his son.

    1. What does the father’s reaction toward his son tell you about God’s attitude toward you when you repent and turn to him?

    Life Application Discussion

     3. Tell about a way in which shame or guilt feelings have lingered in you even after you knew that you were forgiven and accepted by God. How has that leftover feeling of unworthiness affected your life?

    1. If we have turned to God in repentance and received his acceptance, how can we help each other learn to accept our new identity as fully loved
    2. children of God?
    3. Once we have accepted our identity as God’s children, what are some ways in which our lives can be different and more fulfilling?
    Pray the following prayer:
    God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.   Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.
     

    AWAKENING TO LOVE                                                                  “God loves me deeply after all.”

    We experience the irresistible love of God in Jesus when we finally return home to our Father. The grace he offers to every one of us is something we can’t find anywhere else. It’s almost shocking. It’s overwhelming. It is continually amazing. And it is what we truly long for and were made to experience. As we awaken to God’s love in our lives, some of the choices that seemed impossible before gradually become possible. Trusting God through the ups and downs of life becomes possible. Becoming more like his Son, Jesus Christ, becomes possible—and our deepest desire. And there’s more: Believing in his faithful care for us and those we love makes absolute sense, infusing our days with God’s peace. Knowing that not only does he love us but he loves everyone in the world just as deeply compels us to share the good news of Jesus with others. That’s the wonder of God’s deep love for you and me. It has the power to heal us, change us, energize our hopes and dreams, and motivate us to serve him with our whole lives. So from this day forward, live boldly in his love. Never let doubt and discouragement take away what you know to be true!

     

    Opening Thought and Discussion

    1. What did you learn from Dave and Jon about the new identity that the father in Jesus’s parable gave to the son?

     

    Bible Discussion
    Read Luke 15:20–24, the portion of Jesus’s story where we observe the father’s over-the-top expression of love for his son.
    1. What does the father’s reaction toward his son tell you about God’s attitude toward you when you repent and turn to him?
    Life Application Discussion
    3. Tell about a way in which shame or guilt feelings have lingered in you even after you knew that you were forgiven and accepted by God. How has that leftover feeling of unworthiness affected your life?
     
    4.  If we have turned to God in repentance and received his acceptance, how can we help each other learn to accept our new identity as fully loved children of God?
     
    5.  Once we have accepted our identity as God's children, what are some ways in which our lives can be different and more fulfilling?

     

    Pray the following prayer:

     God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.
     

     

     

  • Mar 6, 2016Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Help
    Mar 6, 2016
    Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Help
    "Bruce Paulus - Finding Your Way Back To God - III" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
     
     

    AWAKENING TO HELP

    “I can’t do this on my own.”

    Until we admit that we are powerless on our own to find fulfillment in this life, we will never truly find our way back to God. But once we recognize our need for help, we have already made the turn that leads us home to our heavenly Father. If you’re like every other person, you’ll try to go it on your own many times in the years to come. You’ll even try to please and serve God on your own—and that won’t work either. You and I can’t do it on our own, and that is very good to know. Let your awakening to your need for help continue to shape your choices in the years ahead. Help has a name. His name is Jesus. And he will never leave you. Every time you turn away from self-centeredness and pride, he will be there to rescue, strengthen, and guide you on your journey with him.

    Bible Discussion

    Read Luke 15:14–20.

    This part of Jesus’s story shows how the son humbled himself and went looking for the help he needed to start over again.

    1. When the son realized he needed some help, who did he think of, and why?
    2. What kind of reaction did the young man expect from his father? What kind of reaction did he actually get?
    3. What does the reaction by this father (representing God) teach you having the confidence to return to God?

    Life Application Discussion

    1. Would you say you are at a point of admitting you need help to lead a life different from the one you have? Why or why not?
    2. What sort of response do you expect to receive from God if you come to him and ask him to accept you through grace?

    Pray the following prayer:

    God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.

    Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

    As you continue to pray, tell God about your desires to move beyond the failures of your past and to begin a new life with him.

  • Feb 28, 2016Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Regret
    Feb 28, 2016
    Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Regret
    "Bruce Paulus - Finding Your Way Back To God - II" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
     

    AWAKENING TO REGRET

    “I wish I could start over."

    Bible Discussion

    Read Luke 15:11–19, showing how the son’s choices brought him to a very different

    place from what he had sought.

    1. What regrets do you think the son felt when he was alone and had to toil at

    the lowest of low jobs just to stay alive?

    2. How did his regrets lead him to attempt a “do-over” in his life?

    3. By the time he made his decision to return home, how had his longings

    changed since the time when he had asked his dad for his inheritance?

     

    Life Application Discussion

    4. By the time he made his decision to return home, how had his longings

    changed since the time when he had asked his dad for his inheritance?

    5. How do you wish you could start over in your life? How do you think your life

    would be different if you could do it?

    6. Do you feel you’re ready now for a change that would bring you closer to

    God? If so, what’s the next step? If not, what’s holding you back?

    7. Pray the following prayer:

     

    God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.

    Awaken in me the possibility that with you I could start over again.

    Then continue your prayer time by talking to God about the need you feel to

    move past the place where you’ve gotten stuck and to begin again with him.

     
    God, if you are real, make yourself real to me.
     
     
  • Jan 24, 2016Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Longing
    Jan 24, 2016
    Bruce Paulus – Awakening To Longing
    "Bruce Paulus - Finding Your Way Back To God - I" from Christian Fellowship Church's Podcast by Christian Fellowship Church. Genre: Podcast.
     

    AWAKENING TO LONGING

     

     “There’s got to be more.

     

    We all have a longing to love and be loved in return, to find purpose for our days, and to make sense out of life when life doesn’t seem to make any sense. That longing is from God, and when you allow that strong desire for more to draw you nearer to him, he will fulfill your longings. God knows your needs and desires even better thanyou do, and he has a life of meaning and purpose in mind for you. The “more” you need most can only be found as you continually bring your life back to your heavenly Father. Let your longings for more—no matter how intense—draw you closer to him instead of pushing you away from him.  Have you ever felt like you “lost” God somewhere along the course of your life (or perhaps never found him in the first place)? If so, describe the sense of separation you have felt and why you continue to want to find him.  What is your greatest longing? In other words, when you think of something you wish you had in your life but don’t, or wish you understood about your life but can’t, what is it?

     

     

    Bible Discussion

     

    Read Luke 15:11–32, the story of the lost son—the story we will be focusing on

    throughout this study.

     

    1. Who do you think the three key figures in the story—the father and the two sons—represent?

     

    1. When the younger son decided to ask for his inheritance and leave home, what do you think he was longing for?

     

    Life Application Discussion

     

    1. Finding Your Way Back to God says that all of us have the feeling that “there’s

    got to be more” to life. Specifically, there are at least three areas of life where

    all of us have legitimate longings: (a) to find love, (b) to find a purpose for

    life, and (c) to find meaning in our suffering. Describe a way in which you

    have a longing or desire in one of those three areas.

     

    1. Have you ever had one of your major desires fulfilled but then found that the

    fulfillment wasn’t enough—you were left with more longing and

    dissatisfaction? If so, describe the experience.

     

    1. In what ways are your dissatisfactions and desires pushing you away from

    God? In what ways are they motivating you to seek God?