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SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: For Everyday People

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for articles and videos on confession, as well as resources on the Spiritual Disciplines we've focused on in past months.
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HOME CHURCH TODAY
Series: 
Kingdom Reversalists
This week: 
Freed to Faithfulness
Passages:
Matthew 5:10-12
Speaker: 
Pastor Jason




 CLICK HERE to check out our DISCUSSION PAGE



Resources: Persecuted Christians

Open Doors USA Founded by Brother Andrew, Open Doors USA is a community of Christians who come together to support persecuted believers in more than 60 countries.

The 2021 World Watch List
 Every year, Open Doors produces the World Watch List to rank the top 50 most dangerous countries in which to live in as a Christian. It is the product of both desk and field research and is the only document of its kind. Independently audited by the International Institute of Religious Freedom, it is the most trusted source of information concerning persecuted Christians. Here, you can download your own copy of the World Watch List and learn about the plights facing your persecuted family around the globe.

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BIG IDEA When we live for Jesus, we care more what God thinks than what people think. JAMES   |   LIVING IT   
Friend of God  

Can you remember a time when you did something to try to impress someone else? It feels good when other people like us. However, when we care too much about other people’s opinions, it can cause problems.  

Discuss the following situations: • Imagine there’s someone in your class who everyone else makes fun of. What might other kids think if you made friends with this person? • Your friends want to see a movie that you’re not allowed to watch. What might your friends think if you don’t watch the movie? 

This week’s Big Idea: When we live for Jesus, we care more what God thinks than what people think. 
Remember that the book of James is actually a letter written to believers. It teaches us what it means to live for Jesus. Today’s passage explains that God wants us to put him first and live differently from the world. Listen carefully to find out what God wants us to do. 

Look up in your bibles James 4:4–8 and read about what it means to be a friend of God.  
According to verse 4, (Answers below)
1)  What makes us an enemy of God? Remember that when we follow Jesus, nothing can make us an enemy of God because Jesus covers over all our mistakes. Even if we mess up and worry too much about what people think, God is there to help us! 
2)  What does verse 8 say will happen if we draw close to God? 
3)  What are some of the ways we can draw close to God? 
• How does drawing close to God help us know what God thinks about our lives? 
  
Key Verse for this series: You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. (Colossians 3:12, NIRV) 

Extra activity: Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise to create two columns. Title the columns: “Pleasing God” and “Pleasing People”.  Referring to Colossians 3:12, list things that please God . In the other column, list ways that we try to impress others . It’s not wrong to have or do things that impress other people. It’s okay to like new clothes or winning a game! However, God wants us to put his opinion first. 

Pray, “Thank you, God, for this great reminder that we are your chosen people!  Thank you for loving me. Please help me draw close to you and value your opinion over everything else. I love you, Lord! Amen.”

Answers:
1)   Friendship with this world. Friendship with the world means putting what people think ahead of what God thinks. 
2)   He will come close to us.
3)   e.g., praying, reading the Bible, worshipping, being with other Jesus-followers, serving, giving, being in nature, etc.
Activity answers
4)  Pleases God: Having mercy, being kind, not being proud, being gentle, being patient
5)  Pleases people: Wearing cool clothes, having new devices, being good at sports, etc.

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