Next Steps Archives

Willing Sacrifice

NOVEMBER 22

WILLING SACRIFICE


Ever felt like God was asking more of you than you could handle? This week we will explore someone in the Bible that experienced just that. He stepped into the situation with trust and saw God come through at the last minute. What are you experiencing right now? Do you feel that God is absent? Discover how God may be wanting to take action in your life just in time.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Snake Crusher

NOVEMBER 15

SNAKE CRUSHER


At times, it can be hard to keep believing that God truly has a plan, and if we could know what it is. The Scriptures reveal that God is at work to accomplish His purposes. In fact, the Scriptures share a unified story that points towards Jesus. He is God’s plan to rescue humanity. This was not an afterthought nor an accident. From the beginning pages of the Scriptures, we can see God at work to redeem His creation. This gives us hope that He is at work in our lives even now.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning. 

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Trust God’s Plan

NOVEMBER 8

TRUST GOD’S PLAN

Whether you’re elated, mourning, or indifferent to where we are as a nation, God does have a plan. First, if you call yourself a Christ-follower, we are children of the King of Kings, the president of the universe! Nothing can stop that plan when we cooperate with Him. Don’t put your hopes in a lesser plan and let’s move forward together!

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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The Dream King

NOVEMBER 1

THE DREAM KING

Ever find yourself standing paralyzed, not comprehending how so many things around you seem to be stacked against you? Or, maybe you simply want to run away? This has been a tough year, a catastrophic year for so many. A global pandemic. Racial injustice. A divisive election. What is God’s plan in all of this? How can we trust that He is in control?

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Practice Makes Purpose

OCTOBER 25

PRACTICE MAKES PURPOSE

You’ve heard that practice makes perfect, but what about purpose? What is God’s plan for us? This week, we’ll be exploring how to incorporate regular spiritual practices into our lives that will help us live out a restored life with God and others.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Made For This

OCTOBER 18

MADE FOR THIS

As we start digging into things that seem to keep us stuck in our lives, we often discover relational brokenness. Others have hurt us. We have hurt others. This week, we’ll learn how to take the steps necessary to live at peace with those around us.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Ready or Not

OCTOBER 11

READY OR NOT

Ever experience the release that comes from patching up a relationship or work situation after making a big mistake? It’s like a huge weight has been removed. The problem comes when we repeat the same mistake no matter how hard we try to do the right thing. How can we experience true restoration from our failures and find lasting freedom from our missteps?

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.Recovery Step Six: We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Willingness is a state of mind, along with emotions, that propels us into action. In Step Six, all our good intentions simmer under the surface and brew until, with God’s help, we are entirely ready and willing to change. How would you describe the difference between willingness and willpower?

2. What stood out to you from the message this week?

3. Read Galatians 5:13-26. Paul’s description of the desires of our flesh is a helpful list of possible character defects with which we may struggle. He also gives us a helpful list of godly characteristics that are produced in our lives when we live according to God’s will and ways. Which defects of character are you most willing and ready for God to help you remove? Which godly character trait would you like to see take its place?

4. Recovery Step Seven: Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings. Managing our lives in our own power, with the effect of our defects of character, has led to a long list of ways that we have fallen short from our own standard of what is good and right as well as God’s standard. We might call this our list of wrongs. It takes courage and humility to acknowledge our wrongs and the harm they have caused, but it is an important step to experiencing the healing and freedom God has for us. As we pray to God, acknowledging our shortcomings, and ask Him to remove them, something powerful happens … He does it! Read Matthew 11:28-29 Do you believe that God wants rest for you? Could you describe your life as restful? Why or why not?

5.Read 1 John 1:9. God is faithful to forgive and cleanse us. What might be holding you back from confessing, trusting God, and receiving his forgiveness?

6.Read Romans 3:23-28. When God removes shortcomings, He does a great job! We can trust God to remove our shortcomings, moment by moment, if we humble ourselves to trust Him and obey His Word. That means having faith in Jesus to make up for our weakness in both character and action. How is your understanding of God and your relationship with Him growing or transforming? What are some actions you can do daily to remain humble and aware of your need for God?

KEY SCRIPTURE

Galatians 5:13-26 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (NIV)

Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NIV) 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 3:23-28… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

DIGGING DEEPER

Take some time with God this week. Sit for ten minutes uninterrupted and ask yourself these questions. Do you believe He wants rest for you? Do you believe he is able to remove your short comings? Are you actually ready to let God help you remove your character defects? Do you believe He can? Talk with God about this and listen for his answer. If you are struggling to trust God, talk to a friend who is ahead of you in your faith journey. Ask them to tell you stories of how they have seen God be faithful in their life. Then, in prayer, ask God to help you trust Him and ask for His help to remove the areas of defects you have identified.

To dive deeper, share your thoughts, and hear from others, join a Community Group at gatewaychurch.com/groups

Fearless and Vulnerable

OCTOBER 4

 

FEARLESS AND VULNERABLE

When taking an inventory of our life’s realities, we must dig into the past to create a path forward. Getting honest with the impact we’ve had on others and the impact others have had on us is key to opening the door for God to take charge of our lives. How can we learn to trust and follow God as He helps us confront and overcome the brokenness of our past?

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Letting Go

SEPTEMBER 27
LETTING GO
Life can sometimes feel like you are swimming upstream in a river capped with white waves. You come to realize that you can’t manage it. That realization is key. What must we do to realize that we can’t do life without God? How can we turn life over to Him to manage our unmanageable lives? How can we learn to let go?
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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WAKING UP

SEPTEMBER 20

WAKING UP

Have you ever asked God for something and felt that he didn’t respond? Maybe He did, but your view of Him kept you from understanding His answer. Could a misconception or a faulty understanding of God be getting in the way of living your best life, the life He created you to live? Let’s explore how to look to a power greater than ourselves to work out our unmanageable lives.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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