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Priorities for Prayer

The Apostle Paul prays for this young church, but for the second time he asks them to pray for him. As he asks for prayer and prays for these believers, we learn three priorities for prayer. We learn that we should pray because God faithfully guarantees that His word will bear fruit. Because of that we should pray for the progress of the gospel, for the protection of gospel messengers, and for perseverance in the gospel.

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5; Acts 21:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

The Rise of Evil and the Return of Christ

These 12 verses are likely the most difficult part of 1-2 Thessalonians. The meaning of the details here is not easily understood, and in the midst of things that are certain and clear, there are some things that are ambiguous and have produced more than a few different points of view.

The text is about the rise of evil in the world and the return of Christ. Paul writes to reassure and admonish the church in Thessalonica. And God has preserved this for us to establish us in our faith in the midst of a world that seems to move further away from God’s ways, and where we may find ourselves facing persecution for our faith in Christ.

Throughout human history evil has been present, but just before Christ comes, there will be an escalation of it in the world. There will be a rebellion against God and His ways in societies and in the church. Ultimately, a person will appear who embodies that evil rebellion against God. He will demand total allegiance as God and deceive many in the world by doing miraculous things. And then Christ will return and destroy evil and put it away forever.

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Daniel 7, 9; Matthew 24:23-27; Mark 13; 1 John 2:18-19; Revelations 12-14; 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 3

Reset with God’s Word

God has designed humans and the world around us to experience new beginnings, new mornings, new seasons, and new years. In 2021 at Foothills, we are pushing the “reset” button to re-engage one another and our neighborhoods with the gospel. This means applying old truths to the new year.

Scripture: Psalm 119:129-136

Tale of Two Kings

Acts 12 is like a door that closes the first half of the book, focused on the Apostle Peter and the gospel going to the Jews, and opening to the second half of the book, focused on the Apostle Paul and the gospel going to the Gentiles.

Acts 12 shows us how once again, conflict threatens to hinder the gospel, but only serves, in God’s good and wise sovereignty, to cause the work of the gospel and the word of God to “increase and multiply.”

In between, of course, are the people of God, living the experience. In Acts 12, Luke longs for us to come away with a vision of our glorious God, working out His good purposes in the world and in our lives – a vision that will shape the way we live and pray every single day.

Scripture: Acts 12:1-24

Boldness In Trouble

If you have shared the gospel or your story of faith with many people, then you’ve run into “trouble.” Some people are antagonistic, others can be apathetic, and a few might be accepting. It seems, however, that the negative response far outweighs the positive.

This is not new. Jesus faced trouble, He taught His followers to expect it, promised them His presence and help during it, and showed them how to respond in the middle of it.

As we study Acts 4, we see the first signs of trouble for the witnesses of the early church. And there are two questions we must answer as a result; in the face of trouble, what will we profess? And in the face of trouble, how will we respond?

An exclusive Gospel, opposed by the prevailing powers but professed by emboldened witnesses is plan A – there is no plan B.

A request for boldness, and faithfulness in the face of trouble is how we should respond.

Scripture: Acts 4; Luke 21:12

Pure & Undefiled Religion

God has called His people to pick up the weapon of pure and undefiled religion in the spiritual war that Satan has declared on children. Pure and undefiled religion is care for orphans in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Scripture: James 1:27

The Inevitable Attack of Apostasy

In 1 Timothy 1:4-5, the Apostle Paul shares with us that we should not be surprised when teaching that contradicts the message of Jesus crops up.

Scripture: Acts 20:29-30; 1 Timothy 4:1-5

When Darkness Reigns

On the darkest night in history, Jesus prayed alone – submitting to the will of the Father, and he stood alone – doing the will of the Father so that he could lift the spiritual darkness from each of us and rid the world of it forever. And because of his faithfulness that night, we look forward to the Day when there will be no more night.

Scripture: Luke 22:39-65; Rev. 21:22-25

The Beginning of the Conflict in the Middle East

What are we to think about the conflict in the Middle East? When did it start? Who’s to blame? Will there ever be peace? These questions and more are answered as we walk through Genesis 16.

Scripture: Genesis 16-21

 

What Has He Done For You

Jesus is the One who is sovereign/powerful over death and evil. He once again is reminding us of who He is and why He came: to seek and save sinners.

Scripture: Luke 8:22-39