Beyond Sunday - Week 13

Beyond Sunday
Week of April 21, 2024
“The Change That Comes From God’s Grace” 
When in Rome-Week 13Romans 6:14-23

Thought: As Pastor Troy pointed out Sunday, there are only two classes of people in the world: those who have chosen to obey God; and those who are spiritual slaves to something else. I must face the painful truth that I alone am responsible for that choice. If I am a slave to myself, or to any of the things Troy listed, such as approval, power, control, pleasure… it is because at some point I yielded to myself, and to one or more of those things instead of surrendering to God. I don’t want that to sound like surrendering to God is a one and done situation, for me or anyone else. It’s a process called sanctification. But I must take the first step by first choosing to surrender to God, to choose His way instead of my way in every way.
In my walk with God, it began where I didn’t (and undoubtedly still don’t) know everywhere I had gone wrong. The Spirit of God is gradually showing me, convicting me of specific sin(s). At every point that I yield to His conviction, He takes me to a deeper level of conviction. In this process, God doesn’t crush my will to the point of surrender; He never begs or pleads. He gives me the choice at every turn, patiently waiting until I freely yield my will—my everything— to Him. There is no power in me capable of breaking the bondage of a tendency or habit formed in me by yielding to anything other than God. It is only His grace and the power of His Holy Spirit that enables me to break those chains by surrendering completely to God.
Jesus was the perfect example of yielding, of total surrender to His Father’s will. Having made that choice, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) Am I following His lead? Have I yielded myself in complete submission to Jesus Christ?

Read: Luke 22:39-44, John 12:49-50, 16:13, James 4:1-10 

Discussion Questions:
•When you consider how God deals with our unyielding nature, what do you appreciate most about Him?  
•This surrendering to God is like accepting an invitation. Kind of like moving from a tent to a mansion, God invites you to leave behind something so that He can give you something better.
•In what ways, in what areas of your life has surrendering to God changed you for the better?
•What things is God inviting you to surrender and leave behind, and what better options is He offering to replace them.

Pray: Begin by declaring your choice to yield, to surrender completely to God. Then, using Psalm 139:23-24 as a model, in your own words, ask God to reveal to you any part of you that still needs to be yielded. Pray something like David, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Then declare your surrender on any point(s) He reveals.

Next Steps:
•If you have chosen to surrender completely to God, but have not yet declared that publicly by being water baptized, you can sign up to take that step here.
•We all need to surround ourselves with a community of others fully surrendered to God, a community that will support us as we walk closer to Him. Summer groups will be forming soon. Check the website here to see what groups might fit your schedule.

1 Comment

Jeff Herzog - April 23rd, 2024 at 2:35pm

The world wants nothing more than for us to think we aren't good enough, so just stop trying to be good enough. Society doesn't want you to think you are good enough, because it is the leash of bondage over you. It is a trap I find myself quite often, usually because of my self-image. We put ourselves on an impossible pedastal that God never asked us to stand on. If He expected that we could be righteous and holy on that pedastal by ourselves, He would've never needed to send Jesus to us, and He wouldn't have promised us the Holy Spirit as a guide in our journey. God doesn't expect perfection, He desires relationship with who we are, not with who we think we should be. I have to remind myself daily to transform my mind, my heart belongs to the Lord, but I have to work on my mind to not conform to the superficiality the world wants to sell me. As messed up as I may think I am, God still loves me; what a powerful thought. And if that warms you like it warms me up inside, what a motivation to share with others. If He can love and forgive me, there is no reason He won't offer the same to you. We are created in His image, for anyone to think He doesn't want a relationship with them, it would be like God saying He hates a part of Himself. He doesn't hate Himself, or you, it is a choice He invites us to make, so let's stop choosing to deprive ourselves of a loving relationship like that.