Friday, September 19, 2008

Crossing the threshold

This week, my small group curriculum is all about taking the leap of faith and crossing the threshold into God's promises and plans for your life. It's an all-in proposition with eternal consequences.

Big Idea:
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” When we live for Christ instead of for ourselves, everything changes. We are presented with new opportunities, new ways of doing things, and a new beginning.

Summary:
You are probably familiar with the term “crossing the threshold”. A threshold is the step that forms the base of a doorway, so when you cross one, you pass from one side of a doorway to the other. This term has historically been used in the old marriage tradition of a man carrying his bride “across the threshold”. The idea was significant, not so much relating to the literal door, but symbolizing the passing from one stage of life to another - a passage which has permanent and irreversible consequences. Crossing the threshold is therefore widely used to speak of passing through significant change points in our lives. Throughout the Old Testament we see how God uses thresholds to define transitional moments that signify moving from one place to another – often closer to the heart of God and His promises. For instance, Israel crossed a threshold at the Jordan and moved from a state of wandering to their destiny in the Promised Land. Like the Israelites of old, each of us has significant thresholds in our life that we must cross in order to move from bondage to freedom, and then from freedom to the promises of God.

We must never allow fear, selfishness, or unbelief to keep us from redirecting our lives and crossing the threshold. When God calls us to cross a threshold, we can do it with confidence because Christ crossed the most significant threshold when He passed from death to life. This can be a threshold crossing for each one of us, because we can be united with Christ and raised to new life with Him. At this point, everything changes. Today, God is saying, “Behold, I stand at the door (threshold) and knock.” He is calling us to cross over the next threshold and gain entrance into new opportunities, new ways of doing things, and new beginnings in Him.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Acts 11:1-18
God presented Peter with an opportunity to cross a threshold into the gentile world. What if he didn’t cross this threshold? What could have prevented Peter from crossing? What new opportunities have you found as you have crossed thresholds in your life with Christ?

Galatians 5:16-26
Christ changes what we do, the way we think, act, and live. What characteristics have changed in your life as a result of crossing the threshold from darkness into the light of living for Christ Jesus?

2 Corinthians 5:17-20
What thresholds are you afraid to cross and why? How does our relationship with Christ change everything? Why can we cross the threshold with confidence? What new beginnings have you personally experienced because you surrendered to Christ?

Taking Action: Have you crossed the threshold of surrendering all to Christ? If not, do it today. Are you standing at a threshold which God clearly wants you to cross? Determine that today is the day - take the leap and cross over.

Ministry Time

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