Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Circles - Life Lessons

Sunday Circles 
Building Your Family With Friends 
Church On The Rock 

Hymn: Are You Washed in the Blood 
Memory Verse: Psalms 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

Lesson: Life Lessons 
Character: Leah 

Pastor Ashley’s remarks and intro of first principle 
First Principle: What seems like a surprise to us is often a plan to God. 
Scripture Reference: Genesis 29:25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?” 
We don’t always know the plan of God nor do we always understand the way God leads us. 
God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. 
God is not obligated to first seek our permission before He upsets our plans. 
Question: Have you ever been surprised about something that worked out to your benefit later? 
Follow Up Question: What should we do when life takes an unexpected turn? 
Conclusion: Even though man may ponder his path and plan his future, God is the one who directs our steps. When life surprises us, we should rest secure in the fact that we will never catch God unprepared for whatever comes our way. If we will but acknowledge Him, He will direct our path. 

Pastor Ashley’s remarks and intro of second principle 
Second Principle: Life should be a script that only God can write. 
Scripture Reference: James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 
Neither Leah nor Jacob were masters of their own destiny. 
Only God sees the end from the beginning and we should pray not my will but thine be done. 
The greatest adventure known to man is to realize that your name has been written into God’s plan. 
Question: Discuss this principle and what it means to you. 
Follow Up Question: Share an example from your life experiences. 
Conclusion: Our lives follow predictable patterns which only God can predict. The Bible says that God is both the author and finisher of our faith. We are not in control, nor should we be. God has a plan, He will succeed, and all along the way God gives us chances to participate. Don’t be surprised when God surprises you. 

Pastor Ashley’s remarks and intro of third principle 
Third Principle: It’s not about you. 
Scripture Reference: Genesis 35:23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 
Although Leah was not loved by Jacob nor appreciated by her sister Rachel, and perhaps not even valued by her family, nonetheless she was God’s choice for Jacob. 
Leah is the mother of Judah and therefore she, not Rachael, is the great grandmother of Jesus. 
Leah’s life was filled with hardship, hurt, disappointment, and pain yet she fulfilled God’s will. 
Evidently it was not all about her! 
Question: What should we do when we realize something is adversely effecting us but is probably not all about us? 
Follow Up Question: Name some other things that could fall into this category. 
Conclusion: Just because something effects us does not mean it is all about us. Our Christian maturity demands that we yield ourselves to the will of God and allow Him to use us to the benefit of others. 

Pastor Ashley’s closing remarks 
Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer 
Memory Verse 
Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes. 

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