We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
With this series we’re walking through the famous hills and valleys of the Bible.
Today we’re looking at Elijah on Mount Carmel, when he challenged Jezebel’s god to a challenge only a real, living God could win: sending fire to light an altar without using a match.
The god of fire, Baal, and all its' 450 prophets, could not light the altar. But even after Elijah, a lone prophet, dug trenches and drenched the altar in water, God answered with fire.
BREAKING THE ICE
Do you have a story about fire getting out of control? What was your first experience with fire as a kid?
Beth Moore said, “much of worship is focus.” Today our focus is being pulled in more directions than any generation before us.
Where is your focus being pulled?
God made all things
Watching TV is not bad, taking care of your appearance is not bad, and working hard is not bad. What makes these things bad is when our focus doesn't allow God to be first. Try to steer the conversation towards God giving us these things to enjoy life, but God wants us to be healthy! Whenever we put anything before him, we do a self-check.
- The Lone Prophet
Mike said Elijah was a lone prophet; often on the run, afraid, and isolated, but Elijah was committed to speaking for God even if he was the only voice.
Have you ever heard God, or known God’s will, so clearly that you were okay being a lone voice?
- Walking towards or away
King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, was into a lot of idol worship. We’ve all had people and things in our lives leading us away from God.
Who do you have in your life that speaks truth to you when you’re pulling away from God? Do you feel God’s love in that truth even when it’s something you don’t want to hear?
- The little g gods
Elijah wanted to show the people that the god that they worshipped was an object and an idol, not the living God.
Kings 18:27-29 says, “At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."
What are we giving power to as a society? Self? Celebrity
- God Pursues Us
1 Kings 18:36-37 says, “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
- God goes after His lost sheep. Have you ever felt God pursuing you? How are you pursuing God?
The SYNC Challenge is an AMAZING opportunity for your group to connect outside of group and create great habits together. A big part of the challenge is sharing ONE thing with someone else after you read for the day. Don’t miss the chance to be that one person for someone in your group, or to start some great message threads about what you’re reading with everyone in the group.
READ. PRAY. DO.
During this series at Mission, we are all challenging each other to do the SYNC Bible Challenge! Head to missionventura.com/sync for more info!
- Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Lord, there is no God besides you. You are so good and so kind. You are more than we deserve. I thank you for you always hearing my prayers. Show me where I’ve put the little g gods before you so I can l can experience your presence. Thank you for not allowing my failure to be final, but for letting me anchor to you.
Write down one distraction that you usually have pulling you away from God and ask through prayer how you can use that time for Him instead. Write down what action you will take.