A Step in Faith

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: Sept 20 – 26

Texts: Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 4:18-20; Acts 9:3-6, 10-20; John 21:15-19; 1 John 3:16-18

 

He would rather have gone home, but Detroit Dam operator Mike Pomeroy stayed at his post. He did try to leave, but boulders and downed, burning trees from Oregon’s encroaching Beachie Creek Fire blocked his escape route. Pomeroy had two options: don the lifesaver safety ring by the door and jump in the river to float away from the danger, or bar the door and continue his work inside the dam.

He took the step of faith and stayed put, working to protect the dam’s operation. When a relief crew found him 40 hours later, Pomeroy worked with them to restore the dam’s generators. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that his work during those 40 hours saved the water supply for the city of Salem, Oregon.

It’s easy to imagine that Jesus would have preferred to stay home in the glories of heaven. It is a testament to God’s self-sacrificing love that Jesus took the step of faith, risking everything, to humble Himself and become human for our sake.

The successful culmination of the plan of salvation—Christ’s perfect sacrifice and resurrection—was not a certain outcome. There were any number of things that could have derailed God’s plan to save us during Jesus’ 33 years of life here, and Satan threw everything he had at the Savior. To follow Jesus means that we will also adopt His self-sacrificing spirit.

Paul recognized the self-sacrificing nature of that call to commitment. He enjoyed a life of prosperity and position as a Christian-persecuting Pharisee. Once he met Jesus, though, he turned away from that life and took a step in faith without a second thought. It took faith to admit he was wrong and begin working to correct his earlier mistakes. It also took faith to set aside all of his preconceived notions about the nation of Israel and reach out to Gentiles, offering them the salvation he once thought was only available to Jews. Because of his faithfulness, we today have a greater understanding of the plan of salvation and our part in sharing the gospel.

In all of the scriptural examples listed in our lesson this week, we see that true love is more than a statement or emotion—it is expressed in our actions. When we receive and accept God’s love and offer of salvation, it demands that we also take steps of faith to go where Jesus leads. It takes a strong commitment to step out of our comfort zones and follow God. Love is the only motivator that will move us to live a lifetime of service to God and humanity. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to just stay home, but for a Christian, home is wherever God leads.


For Reflection

Connecting: When was the last time you took a real step in faith, moving forward with God while not knowing where those steps were leading? Through your online connections, share your experience with your group. What was the ultimate result of this adventure?

SharingWhen facing the unknown, what is your natural response?

  1. It sounds like fun, so let’s go!
  2. I need to research as many facts as I can find to feel comfortable moving forward
  3. It’s easier for me to step into the unknown as part of a group, supporting each other
  4. God has never let me down in the past, so I have faith for the future
  5. I prefer to be in control at all times, so I’ve never really stepped out in faith
  6. Other:

Applying: In our current climate of quarantines and safety protocols, what new ways of doing ministry and sharing the gospel have you considered doing? What are the risks involved in taking these new approaches? What are the potential rewards?

Valuing: Are you naturally a faithful person, in that you easily move forward with new adventures in faith? Is there some new direction that you feel God leading you toward? Connect with one other person from your small group online and pray for each other as you step out in faith.

~ Chuck Burkeen

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