Friday, January 09, 2009

Memorials Matter to God

This week's small group curriculum talks about the importance of remembering God's miracles and His goodness. 

Big Idea:
People tend to have short memories. At times, we are even guilty of forgetting the goodness of God and His miracles. This is why memorials matter to God: they remind us of the past, point us toward the future, build faith in all those who are on this journey with us, and help us value the process we have been through.

Summary:
It is important to remember the great things which God has done in our lives and the lives of our forefathers. In fact, we see that God has often authorized memorials as a means of remembrance; not memorials to ourselves or what we have done, but memorials to the Lord which glorify His name and remember His mighty works. In Joshua chapter 4, we see God asking the Israelites to build a memorial with twelve stones as a means of remembering the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River on dry ground. We must not be ashamed to tell how God delivered us, helped us, and healed us. Repeating the stories of God’s compassion and care for us over and over again helps memorialize the great things God has done for all to see. As you read through these passages in Joshua chapter 4, you will realize that building memorials reminds us of the past, points us toward the future, builds faith in the lives of others, and establishes the value of God-ordained experiences.

The Apostle Peter reminds us that we are like “living stones”. Let’s remember that each year we are building a memorial. We are laying down stones of faith and commitment, stones of compassion and caring, stones of ministry and help. Our stones are not those from the Jordan River. Rather, our stones are picked up as we read through God’s word, as we spend time in prayer, as we teach people about Christ, as we minister to others and share Christ with them. Every time a person comes to new faith in Christ, every time a captive is set free from bondage, every time someone who is hurting discovers healing and comfort, and every time someone learns new things about God from our sharing, we are witnessing a miracle as great as the nation of Israel experienced as they crossed the Jordan. Let’s remember the great things God has done and let’s make sure we share those things with the generations that follow.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Joshua 4:4-7
What are you doing to share the greatness of God and His mighty works with the next generation? Why is our testimony so important? How has your testimony been used to advance God’s kingdom and His purposes in the lives of others?

Joshua 4:8
Who picked up the stones which were used for the memorial? How does this correlate to our role in the church today? What practical “stones” can we be picking up in order to glorify God and build His kingdom?

1 Peter 2:4-5
How does God intend to use the living stones? Can this be accomplished if we try to walk out this Christian life alone? How have you experienced God bringing Christians together with their memorable experiences to further God’s purposes?

Ministry Time

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