MADE | Week 4

“For in him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28. Through Jesus, the universe was created and in Him all things hold together – the universe, the church, and us. Not only that, but He is so specific in how He has knit together the components of the universe, of His church, and of our very bodies, working together seamlessly to accomplish His purposes in the world, namely to draw His children to Himself.

Let us know how you liked this study! Email your comments to: waltw@thecrossing.net, hollyw@thecrossing.net, steveeasterwood@thecrossing.net, or ajf@thecrossing.net.


 

 READ
The Scripture
REFLECT
On The Question
RECORD
In Your Journal
Day 1Read Colossians 1:15-17 and Hebrews 1:2-3. Advances in technology over the centuries have been amazing. We’ve gone from hotly debating that the world was round and thinking that the universe revolved around the earth, to the discovery of millions of galaxies and the existence of billions of tiny particles that comprise every element of our bodies. How incredible that God designed it all from the very beginning? Every atom, proton, neutron, electron, and quark just as it should be. And Jesus is at the very center holding it all together. The world would have us believe that science and faith are at odds but in reality, it takes much more faith to believe that the existence of life in the universe is a completely random occurrence. Have you ever been in a situation where someone made you feel foolish or ignorant because of your faith in Jesus? What was that experience like? What was your response? What would your response be now after these last few weeks?
Day 2Read Psalm 139:13-16. Just as Jesus holds this universe together, you and I were knit together in a very specific way as well. Not only that, but our stories were written out before a single day came to be. Stop and think about that for a minute. Your entire life has already played out to God - nothing that has happened or will happen will catch Him off guard. He has intentionally created you and has written out your part to play in His story. What is your reaction that the same God who holds the universe together has knit you together? Praise Him today because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Day 3Read Genesis 15:1-6 and Galatians 3:6-9. The same God who holds the fabric of the universe together is weaving a story through generations. God, who hung the stars in place, told Abraham, “Look at the stars, so shall your descendants be.” We, as believers in Jesus, are Abraham’s descendants, children of the promise, sons and daughters of God. That is one story in the great story of redemption that God is writing in humanity, the story of love - calling His sons and daughters home to relationship with Him. How do you see your role as part of this story of redemption? How is God using you to call His children home?
Day 4Let’s revisit a Scripture from last week. Read Acts 17:24-28. God does not need us, but He wants us. He chooses us and writes us into His story. He places us in specific places and and times to draw men to Himself. You are a part of His plan to draw people to Him. It may feel incredibly intimidating! But when we look at verse 28, we realize that “in him we live and move and have our being.” Not only is Jesus holding the universe together, but He is holding us together as well. We make ourselves available to Him and He uses us as His ambassadors of His love to the world. What is your reaction that God has placed you in the time and place in which you live so that He might draw people to Himself? How can you make yourself available to Jesus today?
Day 5Read Ephesians 4:15-16. Jesus holds the universe together. He holds us together. He holds His church together. The goal for us as the body of Christ is to grow up together into maturity in Him - the head. Just as Jesus is a human representation of God the Father to all of humanity, we as the body of Christ are His representation to the world today. He holds us together so that we can fulfill His purposes - drawing people to Himself. What about you? Are you growing in maturity and working in unity with the other parts of the body to seamlessly fulfill His purposes? Have you gone astray? Are you even connected? What would it mean for you today, this month, this year to grow and build up in love the body of Christ to fulfill His purposes?
Day 6Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Just as God has placed each one of us in the place and time in which we should live, He has also placed us in the body for a specific purpose. Everyone in the body is connected to us and us in turn to them. We need each other. Without each other we do not function properly. So what is your role? What do you bring to the body of Christ that is needed? If you are struggling to find your “fit” or you haven’t yet found a place to serve, ask yourself the following questions:
What ministry makes you excited when you hear about it?
What group of people do you feel needs ministry the most right now?
What are you most passionate about?
What special skills do you have?
What spiritual gifts has God given you?
With your present schedule, when are you available to serve?
What ministry have you done successfully in the past?
What brings you the most joy?
Day 7Read 2 Peter 3:8-13. Jesus is holding everything in the universe together. The day is coming when He will release His grip and everything will be unloosed. The force that is holding the universe together will allow those building blocks to come apart, and in that time a new heaven and a new earth will be established, just as He has promised. Until that day comes, you are needed! You are a part of this great story - the story God is writing in history, in the church, and in your life - the upper story! Spend some time today journaling your story. Ask yourself, “Is this a story worth reading?” “How can this be a story that will be remembered when everything passes away?”


A.C.T.I.V.E. PRAYER GUIDE

A : Adoration. Adoration is recognition and response to who God is.  It is exclusively the upper story.

C. Confession. Confession is the lower story.  It’s our sin, our circumstances in a stained world, our failures, our cynicism, our disobedience.  We recognize it for what it is.

T. Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is pushing the realities of the lower story into the upper story, where we recognize the distance between these two realities and push them upward to God. It is here we recognize that everything good does directly from God.

I. Intercession. Intercession is grabbing ahold of the upper story and pulling it down into the lower one.  Here, we ask for God’s power without knowing the full picture of why our circumstances exist.

V. Victory. Victory is standing on the front line with armor on. It’s being ready for battle, or being in the battle, knowing Jesus is right beside you.

E. Expectation. This is where we set our hearts to receive the “whatevers.” Here is where the impossible and the miraculous happen.

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