Monday, 5 October 2015

God is incredible - Pat van Wyk

Cell and Bible Study Guide


Pat van Wyk


CONTENTS


Introduction                                              
Chapter One - God is amazing          
Chapter Two - God is our Protector
Chapter Three - Good News  
Chapter Four - God’ Love   
Chapter Five -  Preparing the Disciples 
Chapter Six - The Death of Jesus
Chapter Seven - The Risen Christ 



Introduction


Have you experienced God?
Have you experienced God intimately?
In a supernatural way, that cannot be explained?

I can only describe it as incredible, a moment where you and God are one. God's power is overwhelming, because of this, I think we can only stand it as a moment long. 

Recently we had a pastor ministering in our church. As he walked past me to pray for somebody, I just started to laugh softly, and suddenly out of my stomach came rolls of laughter. I seemed to be laughing at something very, very funny but I was in fact laughing at nothing at all. I had no control over it, yet I seemed to be all alone with God at that moment. Although the church people sat around me, and I knew everybody was looking at me, one of the Pastors. I felt shy, I knew I was blushing, covered my face with my hands and started enjoying God's touch.

God has many ways of touching us, this is just one way He touched me. I have had supernatural healing in my life and I try to hear the Holy Spirit's voice and learn to obey the small soft voice that prompts me. If you have never ever fell under the spirit or been touched in any way, then this will be weird to you. I can assure you, that you are empty until you have a relationship with God that fills the void God placed inside you.

You can have happiness, yet not enough. Money, yet not enough. People around you, yet still be lonely. The unconditional love of God is the only fulfillment that will give you peace, because God sees us through the blood of Jesus.

This book can be used as individual or group study as well as youth or Children's Church. Instructions are found in the beginning of each chapter. Allow everybody to participate in a cell group by reading scripture and discussing step by step as you go. The Cell Leader should be well prepared before hand. May the Holy Spirit, minister to you in a very special way. Blessings Pat.


Chapter One - God is Amazing


Cell Leader Read 1 Kings 18:16-45

Let us start our story in the Old Testament.
1 Kings 18:16-45 Elijah

Elijah is God's prophet. King Ahab and Baal prophets.

Baal was an idol and there were prophets that worshiped him. Elijah wanted to prove God was a living true God, an incredible God. So he went to King Ahab and asked the King to gather together 450 Baal prophets and build an altar for worship. On the altar they must place an animal for sacrifice. They were not to set fire to the sacrifice, they were to call to Baal and Elijah would call to God, to set the fire ablaze. The God who set the fire ablaze would be the true God. King Ahab agreed as He had so many (450) men they would over shadow one man. {Let us prove once and for all, is God, God? Or is Baal God?}

The Baal prophets gathered and placed their sacrifice on their altar, then they started calling out to Baal. Imagine 450 people shouting out at once it must have been loud, but nothing happened. They decided to shout louder. They carried on for hours. At midday Elijah called out, “Maybe Baal is asleep”, so they called even louder. Nothing happened.

Towards evening Elijah called the people over and started building an altar with 12 stones. He dug a trench around the altar and fetched wood and packed it on the altar. Took a bull to sacrifice it and placed it on the altar. Elijah asked the people to pour water over the wood and the meat until the trench was full. They poured nine large jars of water over the sacrifice. It drenched the wood and filled the trench. Remember when you barbecue wet wood does not burn.

Elijah stepped forward and began to pray to God aloud. Verse 37 “Answer me, O Lord so that these people will know you as the true God. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and dried up all the water that was in the trench.” (GNB)

What do you think about that? Have you heard of stones just melting and all the water, just gone? The fire must have been intense.

When the people saw this they fell on their faces and worshiped God. God had shown them His incredible power, that He is the living God. Elijah trusted God and so can we.

Thoughts to discuss:

  • When things are tough we run to God, but He has been there all the time?
  • Why don’t we experience God in tough times then?
  • Do you pray trusting God?
  • Can you wait on God’s timing?
  • Do you know God or of God?
    
What we have been looking at, is a true story because there were at least 450 witnesses.

God is a living, incredible God let us learn to know Him more intimately, daily.


Chapter Two - God is our protector


Cell Leader read Daniel 3

We are going to learn how God is our protector in Daniel 3.

Daniel trusted and obeyed God. He was serving King Nebuchadnezzar as the ruler over the province of Babylon. Daniels best friends were Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, they were also administrators over the province while Daniel stayed at King Nebby's royal court.

In one of Babylon's provinces the King built a golden statue about 27 meters high and 2, 7 meters wide. It was huge. In order to melt the gold to make this statue the King had a really big oven made. When it was finished the King ordered all the officials and all the people of the land to worship the idol.

Imagine we had to bow down and worship this idol. The King was the reigning Law, “worship the statue or die”, so if you wanted to live you worshipped the idol. Many must have been afraid, even terrified. Then the King got word that high ranking Jews were not worshipping the idol. He was furious and had them arrested and brought to Him. He did not expect it to be Sahdrach, Meshack and Abednego and asked them if it was true. “You must do this otherwise I will not be able to rescue you”, he must have shouted. They answered unafraid, “We will not, our God will rescue us and even if He doesn’t - we will still not worship false Gods.”

They must have known God to trust Him like that. King Nebby was so furious that he ordered the furnace to be made hotter than ever and they were to be thrown in. The soldiers tied the three men up, opened the door of the furnace and through the three in. The fire was so hot it burnt the soldiers up and the three men fell into the furnace.

Then suddenly as the King was watching remembered that 3 tied up men were thrown in, but now he saw 4 men walking around in the furnace. The King's eyes must have nearly popped out. The soldiers just evaporated and now 3 men became 4. How was this possible? King Nebby then came closer and called to the men and said they must come out.

So Sahdrach, Meshack and Abednego came out of the fire. Everybody came closer because they could not believe their eyes. Their hair was still perfect. Their clothes not burnt and so more, they did not smell of smoke! (If you sit in the smoke of a braai you smell like smoke and it sticks to your clothes.)

The King praised Sahdrach, Meshack and Abednego’s God. Your God even sent an angel to rescue you!

Sahdrach, Meshack and Abednego trusted God even to death and God does a miracle by sending them an angel. I would have liked to hear what the angel said to them, “You good and faithful servants". If we could close our eyes and see into the supernatural world I think we would be surprised at the angels going up and down to help us. God truly is amazing, let us learn more about Him.

Thoughts to Discuss:


  • Let us discuss Daniel.
  • Discuss Sadrach, Messhack and Abednego.
  • I think each and everyone of us would like The Father to say
  • “You good and faithful servant” discuss.
  • Are you reaching your goals and what is stopping you?


Chapter Three - Good News


Cell Leader read through Ps 91, Ps 27, Ps 18:2
End the cell by asking each person to practically pray and use the three psalms scriptures in their prayer.

So far we have been learning from the bible. Let us read scripture and learn how to use it powerfully the way God intended us to.

Read through these wonderful scriptures and find God’s promises in them and remember “The Word of God is sharper than a two edged Sword”. The Word is alive and powerful. Read these psalms over and over again. Learn to use scripture when you pray, it is very powerful.


Chapter Four - God’s Love


Cell Leader read John 3:16 and 19, Genesis 26:24
This is a verse everybody knows but do we understand it as revelation knowledge. John 3:16

I see in my minds eye and am using my imagination: God in heaven sitting on a huge throne. God calls to the angels to come closer and says “I love the world and I want to save them.  The world is into darkness and I will give them the light.” 

I wonder what would have happened if God did not love us so much? If He was an angry God or a God that could not forgive us.

Verse 16: God so loved us that He sent Jesus to save us and give us eternal life (to live forever).

People have always dreamed of living forever, having a fountain of youth or a potion that keeps you young is the subject of many fairy tales. Yet God says whosoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us.

Verse 19: Man loves sin and remains in darkness. God sent Jesus in a most incredible way to live on earth, He lived with the disciples who became witnesses at the cross and all He asks us is to believe that it all is an act of love.  He wants to save everybody, but not everybody wants to be saved.  God in heaven wants us to be with Him, to live a life so that we will all meet again.  He proves His love by sending His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Praise God for his loving kindness and mercy. We have been in the New Testament, let us go to the beginning of the bible and take a look at Gen.26:24

God is with us. He loves us so much He gave us Jesus. He made a promise right in the beginning of time. “Do not be afraid I am with you” 

Thoughts to Discuss:

  • What does John 3:16 mean to you?
  • In Genesis 26:24 God says He is with us?
  • What barriers do you have in your life, that is stopping you from feeling God’s presence?
  • Cell Leader - use this affirmation to pray over your group before leaving or use in ministry time in pray. “Do not be afraid I (God) am with you. (name)


Chapter Five - Preparing the Disciples


Cell Leader read Mark 9: 28-36, Mark 18:31-34, Luke 9:28-36,
Luke 18:31-34

Let us read together Mark 9:28-36
Jesus speaks to the disciples, trying to warn them of what was about to happen. 

Now let’s read Luke 18:31-34

Explanation: Jesus was preparing the disciples, yet they did not understand. They were going to became incredible witnesses as to what they saw. No magic, no doubt, real life, real death on a cross.

Let’s go to Luke 9: 28-36
First the disciples saw Moses and Elijah then God speaks to the disciples.  It overwhelms them, they don’t really understand yet God is preparing them.  They saw something supernatural.  Much later in Mark God speaks to them.

Read Mark 18: 31-34

Thoughts to Discuss:


  • Think about how Jesus is preparing you or has been preparing you for your purpose, goals you have or your vision? And discuss it together.


Chapter Six - The death of Jesus


Cell Leader read Luke 23:44-56, Luke 24:1-12

Clearly here Jesus was nailed to the cross and died, his body taken down and buried.  How sad this must have been for all who loved Jesus.  His mother, his disciples and many believers all standing in dismay!  Then comes Joseph of Arimathea asks for the body and places it in the tomb and the women followed him to prepare spices and perfume for the body and Sunday they rested.  It must have been so difficult to work with the body, take out the nails, blood everywhere, wrap the body, pick it up and carry it to the tomb.

Jesus was dead. The body carried away and buried in a tomb, laid to rest with a large heavy stone placed at the entrance.

Now let’s read Luke 24:1-12

The woman found the heavy stone rolled away! The grave was empty.

Thoughts to Discuss:


  • Discuss the scriptures and the reality it has on us today.
  • Read one verse at a time – discussing it.


Chapter Seven - The Risen Christ

Cell Leader read Luke 24.

Luke 24 The walk to Emmaus (24:13-35) in verse 21:  The men tell of what they had hoped for, the setting of Israel free!  They tried to understand what Jesus had said to them thinking he would maybe become King. They couldn’t believe that this man did not know what was going on or that he had not heard. Then when Jesus breaks the bread they recognize Him.


Read together Luke 24:36-49

I think I also would have stood there in dismay.  We buried you and here you stand. 39:  “Look at my hands and my feet and see that it is I myself.  Feel me.” said Jesus.  They were full of joy and wonder.

Now read Luke 24: verse 45-49

What an incredible God!  He does it in a way that we can understand and grasp it so that we can see and believe it.

Thoughts to Discuss:  

  • Do you experience God as incredible?
  • Cell leader, use this opportunity for witnessing and an altar call.
         
To Summarize:

What an incredible God we serve! We have taken a look at Elijah and Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego what incredible stories carried down through the generations and told over and over so that we could hear them too. God’s amazing love for us, to send us Jesus to set us free. The disciples eating , sleeping and following Jesus so that they could become witnesses to the actual event of the cross. Is this just another story to you?

Do you have a day and a date that you gave your life to Jesus?
Have you experienced God for yourself?
Seek Him with all your heart and all your mind and you shall find Him, for He is within you Dead or Alive.


Let us end with this scripture:

John 20:30-31
30.  In His disciples presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book (bible). 
31. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that through your faith in Him you may have life.  

JESUS IS THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD AND THAT THROUGH YOUR FAITH IN HIM YOU MAY HAVE LIFE.