June 2, 2020
Pentecost Alive – “No!”
June 2, 2020
Matthew 20:23 –“ He said to them, ‘You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’”
Jesus said, “No” to James, John, and their mother’s request to let them sit beside him in his glory.
Who among us likes to hear “No” to something we want? Yet, many times “No” is God’s answer to my prayers.
In the movie, Bruce Almighty, Bruce becomes God for a brief period. At one point, while answering prayer requests, Bruce becomes exhausted and answers all prayer requests by saying, “Yes to all! Now, everybody’s happy!”
The result is pure chaos, resulting in riots because of Bruce’s yes-answers to their prayers conflicted with each other. Several wise people say that if God wanted to punish us, God would answer our prayers in the exact wording of our requests.
Devasted not getting a specific job, after receiving assurance that I had it, I hurt badly. During my devotion time the next day, while reading Joseph’s words to his brothers, “What you did, you meant for evil. Yet, God took what you did and made it into something good.” I felt a nudge of the Holy Spirit saying, “You need not worry. I have something better for you.” So, the new job I received resulted in my experiencing nine very successful years. As for that other l job I thought wanted, the organization lost four leaders in five years.
Since then, I cherish “No” as God’s valid answer to my prayers, because God has a better idea. If God answers “No” to each of our 595,000 prayers during these ten weeks, that means that God has 595,000 “Yeses” waiting for us.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- For what prayer requests have you received a “No” from God?
- After receiving a “No” to your prayer requests, what “Yes” did God give you?
- If God is saying “No” to a prayer request right now, what “Yes” might God be giving you?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Discuss some reasons parents say “No” to children?
- Discuss times in which a “No” led to a “Yes.”
- If someone in your family is receiving a “No,” what are some possible “Yeses” God might be offering?
Lord, Jesus Christ, we want what we want, and sometimes we want it NOW! I am so glad that you do not take our requests and limit your answers to our knowledge. Lord, please help us receive your “No’s” as “Yeses” to something more significant, and help us look for your better answers. In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT AND PENTECOST CHALLENGE
For the duration of our sermon series, we are offering daily prompts for applying the wisdom from the scriptures to our everyday lives. Each week focuses on how we can encourage those around us, resulting in our bearing fruit! This week we are focusing on making Pentecost come alive through our prayer life and following the Holy Spirit.
This week’s scripture is Acts 2:1-21 and we will be practicing Lectio Divina with it. Lectio Divina is an ancient prayer practice that means divine or sacred reading. It is a way of meditating on the scripture and allowing God to speak anew through the words of scripture. There are a number of ways to practice Lectio Divina; one method is listed below.
First pray: Loving God help me to hear your word for me today. Amen.
Next, read the passage Acts 2:1-21 aloud slowly. Pause for a moment.
Read the passage aloud again slowly. Listen for a word or a phrase that stands out to you.
Read the passage aloud again for a third time. As you do, reflect on your word or phrase and think about why God might be revealing those words to you.
Meditate on your word or phrase and listen for what God might be inviting you to do.
Who is the Spirit inviting you to pray for today?
To learn more about the Fruit of the Spirit challenge, click here.