Power of God
Since our last midweek, have you experienced or witnessed any suffering or struggle that, through the resurrection power of Christ, has glorified God?
This week Jamal taught that the Word of God and prayer are two ways, of many, that God makes his power available to his people.
Of the many ways to connect to God, which comes most naturally to you? Which way do you find most challenging?
Spending time with Jesus, the Word of God, connects people to the power of God. Throughout the gospels there are examples of people being emboldened and transformed through their interactions with Jesus. Consider the story below about a woman who only briefly encountered Jesus.
Read John 4:7-31
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Who was the woman when the story began? Consider her attitudes, social status, and lifestyle. How has she changed after engaging the Word of God? Consider what she overcame and accomplished.
When have you witnessed the transformational power of God at work through his word?
In order to exercise the power of God we must maintain our connection to Him, the one who empowers. In comparing our relationship with him to a vine and it's branches, Jesus makes it clear that staying connected to him is far more important than the amount of effort we put into bearing fruit; in reality, the two are inseparable.
Read John 15:4-5
"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
What do you find more difficult staying connected to God as your source of power, or completing the works of God?
What active role do you think Jesus takes in "remaining in you?"
Bringing it Home
Rather than recommitting to daily prayer or bible study, which is something we know we're supposed to do; let's instead strive to recognize the Power of God at work through our prayer and bible study. Be prepared next week to share your experience with your group.