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pretty much the best book ever (Copy 2)

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BC: Friday Night 7:30-8pm 8-9:30pm 9:30-whenever Saturday 7am-8am 8-9:30am 9:30-10am 10-11am 11-12:30pm 12:30-1:30pm 1:30-2pm 2-5pm 5-5:45pm 5:45-7pm 7-7:30pm 7:30-9pm 9pm-whenever Sunday 7-8am 8-8:30am 9-9:30am 9:30-11am 11-11:30am 11:30-whenever | Worship 1st Bible Study Games/Free Time | Morning Devos Breakfast (Sac SG) Worship 2nd Bible Study Lunch Prep (Tues SG) Lunch Speaker Intro Group Games/Free time Dinner Prep (Wed SG) Dinner Worship Bible Study (Guys/Girls Groups) Games/Free Time | Breakfast Clean Up Worship Message from John Shou Pack Up/Check Out Lunch/Reflection in Marin

FC: Crossroads | Third Annual Acacia Fellowship Retreat March 19-21, 2010

1: Crossroads | Third Annual Acacia Fellowship Retreat March 19 - 21, 2010 San Rafael, CA | Table of Contents | Worship Thoughts on Worship Set 1: Lynn Kai / Clare Set 2: Dave / Lisa Set 3: Rob Set 4: Gideon / Brenda | Studies Your Thoughts Crossroads Discerning And Acting On God's Will Dealing With Worry The Holy Spirit In Your Life | Devotions Saturday Morning Sunday Afternoon | 3 4 8 10 12 | 14 18 22 26 30 | 32 34 | Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

3: "When King David worshiped the Lord exuberantly, his wife called him shameless. He said, "I will be even more undignified than this and will be humble in my own sight" (2 Samuel 6:22). He knew that being God-conscious couldn't co-exist with being self-conscious. Taking worship seriously means taking ourselves less seriously. Worship is not about holding on to our dignity; it's about letting loose our praise." — Julie Ackerman Link Sometimes we are too somber. There is a time for somberness for sure. But there is also time for celebration and jubilee! I just want to see people worshiping God and SMILING too!! When we come to a place where it's all God and none of ourselves, that is what I feel the true essence of worship -- anywhere we are at. Jenn Tsai Cheng | Thoughts on Worship | 3

4: Worship Set 1 Lynn Kai / Clare | I have not much To offer You Not near what You deserve But still I come Because Your cross Has placed in me my worth Oh, Christ my King Of sympathy Whose wounds secure my peace Your grace extends To call me friend Your mercy sets me free | Unashamed | And I know I'm weak I know I'm unworthy To call upon Your name But because of grace Because of Your mercy I stand here unashamed I can't explain This kind of love I'm humbled and amazed That You'd come down From heavens heights And greet me face to face Here I am at Your feet In my brokenness complete | Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus | O soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There`s light for a look at the Saviour, And life more abundant and free: Turn you eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth Will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace. Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; Over us sin no more hath dominion For more than conqu`rors we are! His word shall not fail you He promised; Believe Him and all will be well. Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! | For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalms 48 | 4

5: And now the weak say I have strength By the spirit of power that raised Christ from the dead And now the poor stand and confess That my portion is Him and I'm more than blessed Let now our hearts burn with a flame A fire consuming all for your Son's holy name And with the heavens we declare You are our king We love you Lord, we worship you You are our God, you alone are good You asked your Son to carry this The heavy cross our weight of sin I love you Lord, I worship you Hope which was lost, now stands renewed I give my life to honor this The love of Christ, the Savior King Let now your church shine as the bride That you soar in your heart as you offered up your life Let now the lost be welcomed home By the saved and redeemed those adopted as your own I give my life to honor this The love of Christ, the Savior King | Savior King | How deep the Father's love for us How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son And make a wretch His treasure How great the pain of searing loss The Father turns His face away As wounds which mar the Chosen One Bring many sons to glory Behold the man upon the cross My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished His dying breath has brought me life I know that it is finished I will not boast in anything No gifts, no power, no wisdom But I will boast in Jesus Christ His death and resurrection Why should I gain from His reward I cannot give an answer But this I know with all my heart His wounds have paid my ransom Why should I gain from His reward I cannot give an answer But this I know with all my heart His wounds have paid my ransom | How Deep The Father's Love For Us | 5

6: Come thou font of every blessing Tune my heart to sing thy grace Streams of mercy never ceasing Call for songs of loudest praise Teach me some melodious sonnet Sung by flaming tongues above Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it Mount of thy redeeming love Here I raise my Ebenezer Hither by thy help I'm come And I hope by thy good pleasure Safely to arrive at home Jesus sought me when a stranger Wondering from the fold of God He, to rescue me from danger Interposed His precious blood O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness like a fetter Bind my wandering heart to thee Prone to wander Lord I feel it Prone to leave the God I love Here's my heart, O take and seal it Seal it for thy courts above | Come Thou Fount | Take My Life | Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee. Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my King. Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee. Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use every power as You choose. Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee. Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love, my Lord I pour at Your feet its treasure store Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee. Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee. | 6

7: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are His; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations! Psalms 100

8: Worship Set 2 Dave / Lisa | The cross before me the world behind No turning back, raise the banner high It's not for me, it's all for You Let the heavens shake and split the sky Let the people clap their hands and cry It's not for us, it's all for You Not to us, but to Your Name be the glory Not to us, but to Your Name be the glory Our hearts unfold before Your throne The only place for those who know It's not for us, It's all for You Send Your holy fire on this offering Let our worship burn for the world to see It's not for us, It's all for You The earth is shaking, the mountains shouting It's all for You The waves are crashing, the sun is raging It's all for You The universe spinning and singing It's all for You The children dancing, dancing, dancing It's all for You, It's all for You | Not To Us | Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalms 117

9: You're calling me to lay aside the worries of my day To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place Worthy, Worthy I open up my heart and let my spirit worship Yours I open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth Worthy, You are worthy Of a child-like faith And of my honest praise And of my unashamed love Of a holy life And of my sacrifice And of my unashamed love | Unashamed Love | Take My Life | Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee. Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my King. Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee. Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use every power as You choose. Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee. Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love, my Lord I pour at Your feet its treasure store Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee. Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee. | 9

10: Worship Set 3 Rob | Great is Your faithfulness oh God You wrestle with the sinner's heart You lead us by still waters and to mercy And nothing can keep us apart So remember Your people Remember Your children Remember Your promise, oh God Your grace is enough Your grace is enough Your grace is enough for me Great is Your love and justice God You use the weak to lead the strong You lead us in the song of Your salvation And all Your people sing along Your grace is enough Heaven reaching down to us Your grace is enough for me God, I see Your grace is enough I'm covered in Your love Your grace is enough for me, for me | Your Grace Is Enough | You are my strength, strength like no other Strength like no other, reaches to me You are my hope, hope like no other Hope like no other, reaches to me In the fullness of your grace In the power of your name You lift me up, You lift me up Unfailing love, stronger than mountains Deeper than oceans, reaches to me Your love oh Lord, reaches to the heavens Your faithfulness reaches to the skies | Strength Like No Other | 10

11: When I see the beauty of a sunset's glory Amazing artistry across the evening sky When I feel the mystery of a distant galaxy It awes and humbles me to be loved by a God so high What can I do but thank You What can I do but give my life to You Hallelujah, hallelujah What can I do but praise You Every day make everything I do Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah When I hear the story of a God of mercy Who shared humanity and suffered by our side Of the cross they nailed You to, but could not hold You Now You're making all things new By the power of Your risen life | What Can I Do | Sea Of Faces | I see the city lights all around me Everyone's obscure Ten million people each with their problems Why should anyone care Through your eyes I can see I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world Lost in a Sea of Faces Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine Because you traded Your life for mine Sometimes my life it feels so trivial Immersed in the greatness of space Yet somehow you still find the time for me It's then You show me Your love And In Your eyes I can see And in Your arms I will be If only my one heart Was all you'd gain from all it cost Well I know you would have still been a man With a reason To willingly offer your life Just one in a million faces | All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalms 86:9 | 11

12: Worship Set 4 Gideon / Brenda | Oh, what I would do to have The kind of faith it takes To climb out of this boat I'm in Onto the crashing waves To step out of my comfort zone Into the realm of the unknown Where Jesus is, And he's holding out his hand But the waves are calling out my name And they laugh at me Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed The waves they keep on telling me Time and time again "Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win" But the voice of truth tells me a different story The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!" And the voice of truth says, "This is for my glory" Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen And believe the voice of truth | Voice Of Truth | Walk By Faith | Oh, what I would do to have The kind of strength it takes To stand before a giant With just a sling and a stone Surrounded by the sound Of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand But the giant's calling out my name And he laughs at me Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed The giant keeps on telling me time and time again "Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win" | Would I believe you when you say Your hand will guide my every way Will I receive the words You say Every moment of every day Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see Because this broken road Prepares Your will for me | 12

13: Above all powers above all kings Above all nature and all created things Above all wisdom and all the ways of man You were here before the world began Above all kingdoms above all thrones Above all wonders the world has ever known Above all wealth and treasures of the earth There's no way to measure what You're worth Crucified laid behind the stone You lived to die rejected and alone Like a Rose trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all | Above All | Devotion | I've been running, trying to be one who sees I've been working salvation out on my knees There is nothing better than knowing We are redeemed I'm believing, trusting in creative hands, I am praying for our world to bow to your plan And this one thought is unmistakable I take up my cross and follow you Lord When you stand the tall trees and mountains bow When you speak the fiercest of oceans is still And I see the sinner seek devotion The lost become chosen, and I fall to my knees I'm forgiven by a Savior who did not deserve death He was blameless and I was lost in shamefulness I'm delivered, but it doesn't seem right Unless I keep my eyes focused On the Savior who gave his life In the middle of a world that denies it believes It is breaking apart at the very seams There is one thing to be alive for And it's to take up my cross and follow you Lord I will take up my cross and follow Lord where you lead me And I will take up my cross and Follow wherever you go | 13 | Help me to win my endless fears You've been so faithful for all my years With the one breath You make me new Your grace covers all I do Well I'm broken but I still see Your face Well You've spoken pouring Your words of grace Hallelujah, hallelu | You alone are Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is in it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9:6

14: Thinking... | We asked you to send us your thoughts about retreat, what you believe to be the will of God, where you see God leading you in your life, and how you are serving his Kingdom right now. Here's what you had to say: | "I think the purpose of retreat is to spend some time in solitude letting God speak to us in quiet without distraction from the usual things that consume our lives. God's will is for us to have a loving relationship with Him and that we would share that love with those around us. I am not sure where God is leading me right now but I am certain that wherever He takes me I can be used by Him." -Rob "I think the purpose of a retreat is to find a place away from the things of the world. Retreat is a place to find solace in Christ and a sense of quietness for the body, mind, soul, and heart. In the stillness, I think it is easier to just be and also to see God. My hope, though, is that we take what we learned back into the world and still have that sense of peace while living faithfully. I don't know what God's will is but I think it is good and perfect and that ultimately, he desires to be glorified and to be known. I have no idea where God is leading me, but I pray that I would be faithful wherever it is and that I would trust Him fully to lead me there. I'm trying to be a woman of prayer by praying more consistently for my family, friends, and the world. I'm also trying to seek opportunities to share Christ with the children and people I work with. Within my church, I'm serving with the hospitality team to welcome people into the body. :) Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor.13:13." -Tiffany | "The purpose of retreat is to go away from the busy schedule of this life to a solitary place, and reflect on God. His will is for us to worship Him in all we do. I don't really know where God is leading me, but I have a feeling He is moving me towards hospitality and service. I am trying to live according to His commandments (which has not been easy), helping with children's Sunday school, and praying for my troubled friends. Acacians love each other very much.. I hope we are able to show this love to others." -Tola | 14

15: "Retreat is a place to further our relationships with one another while being focused on our Father in heaven. I believe God's will is to have this world turn back to Him. I think God is leading me to serve in Singapore... In serving His Kingdom, I'm meeting and encouraging fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Trying to take any opportunity to tell the Good news. Teaching and discipling the younger generation. My questions are.. Do you remember a person of influence in your past? How did that person encourage you? How did that person shape the way you are now? Do you still keep in contact with this person? It could be more then one. You might ask where am I getting at with these questions. Well I personally have people like that in my life. Not just one, but many. And at least a couple of them I would consider my discipler's. These people have invested in my life when I was young and even to this day. These people were older in the faith and many times older in life. I feel strongly that as a young adult group we should seek out these relationships. We should be trying to find younger ones in the faith to disciple. In Titus 2:6 we are called to parakaleo (Greek for encourage, urge, walk beside) the young men. In verse 7 it tells us older ones to set a good example and to also teach them. So with that, I hope and pray that as a fellowship we can do this." -James "I believe that it is God's will that we seek joy in His Kingdom and His glory.. through worship and making His name known to all. The circumstances that God has placed me today - school, work, fellowship, is no coincidence in where my ministry is now and how He will use me in the future. I only pray that I have the faith to trust in His purposes and the courage to follow His leading. My hope is that the worship and teachings of this retreat be a reminder of how we need to commune with Him daily in order to realign the present and future of our lives with Him.” -Deborah "School and work have kept me pretty busy both physically and mentally this past year. My prayer is that retreat will be a time when I can forget about all the things I need to juggle during the week and just focus on reconnecting with God. I'll be out of school in a couple months, and I'm definitely trying to discern God's will for my next steps as well. Another goal/hope/prayer is that this retreat will be a time when I can grow closer to other Acacia members, since I haven't been a part of the group for very long." -Mike Z. | 15

16: "The purpose of a retreat is to drop all of ones burden and just enjoy God's presence and return to the initial passion/love when we first believed in God. I think God's will is to help us become true worshipers of Him through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Although I get confused whenever my situation changes, I know where He's leading me long term. I really feel like God has blessed me with the ability to teach and share with people about Jesus, so I currently teach Sunday School and serve on the Missions Committee." -Angel "A retreat is a time to slow down and get away from fast paced prison we live in day to day. and to think about things in depth that we normally wouldn’t when we are constantly bombarded by the world and what the system wants us to do and be. Gods will is 1 Thessalonians 4:3, that we would be sanctified. However God wants to attain that in our lives is up to him. I'm not too worried where God is leading me as when I look back on my life, he has always provided every step of the way. I am actively living out the Great Commission by impromptu evangelism and passively evangelizing by living the life of a Christian through speech and actions." -Lynn Kai "Over the past few months, I found myself facing a number of difficult decisions that may have long lasting effects. The question that I ask myself is the same one that most people pose: How can I be sure this is God’s will? Honestly, in my decision-making process, I am almost never sure if what I arrive at is God’s will. All I can do is try to be faithful in prayer and trust that God will guide me in my decision. It’s comforting to know that God’s guidance is for both our greatest good and His greatest glory." -Jack "Retreat is for refreshing and refocusing, for God to once again, lead us by still waters and green pastures despite where we are in the valley of death. Jesus took time to retreat from everyday life and reconnect, realign with God, his Father. For me, I’ve had both unmoving and life-changing retreats, but both times God still ministered to my heart and helped me know Him better. Whatever we take from retreat, it is God’s will for us to meet with Him, to spend quality time with Him, and be filled with the joy of His love yet to reconfirm the seriousness of His purpose for our lives as long as we are willing." -Brenda | 16

17: "Purpose of retreat...I previously said the purpose of retreat is to meet God and have a time of renewal refreshed commitment; however, I think that God can be met anywhere and not just during a retreat time. I think retreats has become a Christian culture, created purposely to separate time for God due to the business of we have to be more intentional to focus on our Lord. Hardly to say that retreats are bad or unnecessary, but God is suppose to be deserving of all our time, whether we are working, playing, or even eating. I guess a question i would ask myself is "Is God the center of my life"." -David "Discerning and doing God's will does not mean that we will never have bad days. Sometimes right in the middle of the storm is actually where God wants you to be. But choosing to align yourself with God makes us more joyful, loving, and peaceful, even on those bad days in the middle of a storm. Jim Elliot and Elizabeth Elliot had possibly their "worst" day of their young life together when Jim lost his life after their first contact with a uncivilized, unreached tribal group in Ecuador. Was this a mistake? Why would God call him to the Waodani people only to die in their hands, and without any real work? Was he outside of God's will? I believe the answer is a resounding NO. Didn't Jesus the Messiah come to save His people 2010 years ago just to die in their hands? Yet wasn't this God's sovereign will - that His one and only son should die so that through His death that many would find life? Jim Elliot's ministry on a first look was a failure, but it was because of His death that opened the door for the Gospel to those that killed him and emboldened thousands and thousands of people to give their life to serve Christ. That I believe is not a mistake on Jim or God's part. So with this in mind, one bad day is actually not that bad comparing to the weight of the glory that comes with doing His will...even if that means laying our life down." -George | "Retreat is a time to reflect and to devote to God, laying aside the daily stress to worship and connect with Him, like friends catching up. God's will is to manifest His glory through the Creation, including me and my life, though it is less spelled-out in the details. God is equipping me through my education and I plan for graduate school next year. In response to His love, I seek to build up my brothers and sisters, as well as to share the Gospel with my non-believing friends." -Caleb | 17

18: Crossroads: Where am I? What am I doing? 1 Peter 1:1-25 Friday Night Bible Study by Jessica Wald | 1 PETER 1:1-25 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with | Being responsible with the place God has placed you at: We wish to emphasize the importance of being faithful even when life appears to be going nowhere. We are to be trained and strengthened for service to God's kingdom so that we're ready when He calls us - whether that is now or in the future. Being faithful and trusting in God's sovereignty, doing everything that we can to set ourselves up for the next step and remaining joyful even during hard times. ~Acacia Retreat Team | “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 | Notes: | 18

19: joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven -things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your | Themes: | What does this passage tell you about who God is? How does this encourage you? How does this truth challenge you? | 19

20: forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, "ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, 25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." And this is the word which was preached to you. (NASB) | I think ultimately our attitude and overall perspective will shape how we handle this time. This whole life is a preparation time and a waiting time. Is our goal aligned with God’s ultimate goal? Is it really?!? | What do these commands reveal about my responsibility? About what it really means to be faithful? | 20

21: A Week in the Heart of __________________ | As you think over this passage, please consider evaluating your heart. Write down what your goals were during this past week. What did you think about? What did you worry about? What did you do about it? Then pray through the questions below. | What are you waiting for? Are you longing for HIM or are you longing after something else? Assuming you have a soul and that your soul will survive eternally, what is the first lifestyle change you would make? | Dear Jesus, I praise you for who you are, for your sacrifice, and its eternal impact. I thank you that you would love me so much that you would draw me into your family, that you would give me such a hope. Change my heart, O God, be first in my life. May I know You for who You really are. Teach me to be faithful where you have placed me. Amen! | 21

22: Change in Your Allegiance (Submissions) In the original Greek, verse 2 is connected to verse 1 with an “and” (kai). The significance is that “to be able to test and approve what God’s will is,” we cannot ignore verse 1. In fact verse 1 is foundational and a crucial step for us. 1. Keeping in mind all that God has done for us, Paul urges us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. For the Hebrews (Jews), the body is viewed as the representation of the whole person. Therefore Paul is urging the presentation of the whole person to God as living sacrifices. What do you think this figure of speech mean (your bodies as living sacrifices)? 2. What would this look like in your life? Consider your resources (car, money, time, friends, etc.), your job as a graduate student or professional, your talents, etc. 3. To be able to discern His will and to obey His will, we must first offer our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual act of worship. Why would the worship of our entire being crucial for us if we want to know and obey His will? | Discerning and Acting on God's Will Romans 12:1-3 Saturday Morning Bible Study by George Hu | 22

23: Change in Your Worldview (TRANSFORMATION) Paul writes here that “to be able to test and approve what God’s will is” we must “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 1. The New Living Translation (NLT) translates verse 2a this way: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” a. World’s attitude toward money and affluence. b. How does our culture decide on what is right and wrong? c. By what criterion do people in our culture decide who to date or marry? d. What is the goal of the people of this world? 2. We live in a world that puts “me” first and naturally we are me-centered. How does this me-centered mentality affect how we discern God’s will and our decision making and how we plan? 3. The negative statement “do not conform to the pattern of this world” is followed by a positive statement “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The action “transform” is a passive verb (hence the translation “be transformed”), meaning we need to allow the Holy Spirit to change us. Are you yielding to the Lord’s leading? What is hindering you from yielding? How do we remove these hindrances? | 23

24: Change in Your Perception of Change (Progression) To be able to discern God’s will for us and plan accordingly, we need to know who we are with a sober mind. 1. “Do not think more highly than you ought.” – How does pride affect how we measure ourselves? How does pride affect how we discern and follow God’s will? 2. The polar opposite of thinking more highly than we ought to is thinking too lowly of ourselves. How does this affect how we measure ourselves? How does this affect how we discern and follow His will? 3. How should we measure ourselves as we grow in our faith? 4. Read Psalm 139:13-15, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. How should we view our shortcomings and failures? | 24

25: Prepare a skit for one of the scenarios on the opposite page. The skit must consist of two responses: 1) What you shouldn’t do (what you would do if you want to mess his life up) 2) What you should do if you were to give him solid, godly counseling. Scenario #1 Tomato is a freshman at UC Davis, who is feeling pressure from his parents to start thinking seriously about what he ought to do with his life. Tomato is a little more mature than most of his peers, so he knows that his parents are right and also felt that he shouldn’t be wasting his time in college as well. He is also attending a church in Davis but is not serious about this Christianity thing. You are his best friend since junior high and is your roommate, so during dinner he asks you for advice on what he should do with his life. What would you help him figure out this out? Scenario #2 Ziggy is about to graduate from college this coming June from UIUC in engineering and has no job lined up. He is not too worried, however, because he knows that God is in control and has a plan for him. He is also very involved with his church and enjoys ministering people. Being in the same fellowship, he asks you during a small group gathering at a buffet what he should do with his life, because he is not sure what he wants to do now that he’s graduating. How would you advise him? Scenario #3 Summer is coming, so is hearing every weekend of opportunities to go on a short term mission trip. He has an inkling that he should go, but does not really want to. Being a steady Christian for a long time, he understands that it is not a sin not to go and God does not call everyone to go. Yet the question “should I go” never left his mind, so one day he decided to ask you for advice on what to do. How would you advise him? Scenario #4 Jane is ministering to a young group of kids from the street of Compton. She was fired up when she first began her ministry knowing that God has put her there, but after half a year, she is not so sure anymore because she doesn’t see any fruit in her ministry and she is losing sleep at night because her kids are not responding well to her. Her area coordinator of the ministry called her and offered a new contract and, when hearing about her discouragement, encouraged her to stay, yet she is still unsure if she should continue with her ministry. Since she needs to make a decision soon whether to continue her commitment or not, she decides to call you for advice one day about this. How would you advise her? | 25

26: Dealing With Worry Matthew 6:19-34 Saturday Night Bible Study by Osmond Kwan | What are some things people our age worry about? What are some common ways of responding to worry? 1. Where is your treasure? Two kinds of treasure In the previous chapter, Jesus describes kingdom values, and gives instructions in six areas of life. He ends that chapter with the call to be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect. (5:48), the disciples of Christ encounter a number of everyday concerns that have the potential to distract them from undivided loyalty to the kingdom and its righteousness. There are two loyalties, two treasures of the heart, one the way of Gentiles, the other God's children detailed in this section, with antithetical values, character, and results. Jesus points us to the comparative durability of the two treasures. How are the two different? In those days moths would get into people's clothes, rats and mice eat the stored grain, worms take whatever they put underground, and thieves break into their home and steal what they kept there. Are our times any different? How might material possessions provide lasting security, value, and significance? 2. How is your vision? Two kinds of vision Jesus goes from the importance of having our heart in the right place to the importance of having our eye sound and healthy. Just as our eye affects our whole body, so our ambition (where we fix our eyes and heart) affects our whole life. What are the benefits of physical and spiritual sight? What are the challenges of blindness? | 26

27: 3. Who are you serving? Two masters Jesus lastly contrasts two masters. The term for "serve" is douleuo, indicating the work of a slave, not an employee. No slave can be the property of two owners. What are the results of each option? Serving God? Serving money? Or if not money, serving your reputation/status. Worry is incompatible with Christian faith The principle about worry is expressed in the command, "Do not worry [merimnao] about your life." Sometimes merimnao expresses an appropriate feeling of intense concern and care for something, such as the Lord's work (1 Cor. 7:32) or the welfare of an individual (Phil. 2:20). Concern is good when it is directed toward right things, kept within bounds, and leads us into a proper response. Worry is wrong when it indicates a lack of trust in God. The reasons Jesus gives why we should trust God instead of being anxious are both a fortiori ('how much more') arguments commonly used by rabbis. One is taken from human experience and argues from the greater to the lesser; the other comes from sub-human experience (birds and flowers) and argues from the lesser to the greater. What are the reasons Jesus gives for trusting God? What do we learn about the Father's providential care for His children and the futility of worry through the natural world, through Biblical truth, and through common sense? How does this encourage you? (See also Ps 18:30-32, Isa 40:10-11, 1 Pet 5:7) | 27

28: The Believer's Response Jesus is emphasizing that to become engrossed in material comforts is a false preoccupation. An exclusive preoccupation with food, drink and clothing could be justified only if physical survival were the be-all and end-all of existence. Is physical well- being a worthy object to which to devote our lives? The Gentiles seek all these things. Jesus tells His followers about greater, eternal rather than temporal priorities. Basileia (kingdom) refers to dominion or rule. God's kingdom is God's sovereign rule, and to seek first His kingdom is to seek first His rule, His will and His authority. Dikaiosyne (righteousness) indicates the external activities of the ongoing process of transformation to be perfect, to be more and more like your heavenly Father (5:48), mentioned earlier in this sermon. According to Jesus, what should be our pursuits, our preoccupations, our primary focus? Are your current priorities and goals in line with Matthew 6:33? An Illustration of the right response to worry and how God works 2 Chronicles 20:1-25 One major theme throughout Chronicles is hope, presenting forth a Theology of hope. This Yahweh-war story is one of the great stories in the Bible. It tells of insurmountable odds and a great deliverance. The solution God provides seems unreasonable, foolish even. It is a story about seeking God in tough, impossible situation. Illustrated for us here is genuine and Biblical faith, true humility and total trust in God. Let us first examine the situation. A coalition of three nations invades Judah (20:1). What is the immediate response of the people? What would be your response? Jehoshaphat's prayer 2 Chronicles 20:5-12 (Hill, 2003) organizes this prayer into five distinct sections, an address to God (cf. 20:6), a recitation of past favors (cf. 20:7-8), a protestation of innocence, a confession of trust (cf. 20:9), a complaint (cf. 20:10-11), and a plea for deliverance (cf. 20:12). Take some time to reflect on his prayer in this troubling situation. What can we tell about Jehoshaphat's faith, his circumstance, his posture, his request, and his relationship with God from his prayer? How might this teach us how to pray when we face similar situations? | 28

29: God's response What do we learn about God, His wisdom, His will in His answer to prayer, His promises, and His protective sovereign hand? What did God require for His people to do to win the battle? Why is worship so important in the lives of God's people? How should God's people respond when situations seem without hope. Closing In all circumstances, but especially trials, remember the three Ps: Prayer, Poise, and Praise. Give the problem to God, receive His peace, exalt His name and give Him thanks. GRE! Take time as a small group to reflect and remember, who God is, what are you thankful for, how has He been good, and how has He been faithful. Give Him thanks as a group, commit to Him your current worries and challenges, trust Him to sustain you, carry you through, and do a work in you for your good and His glory. | 29

30: I. Doctrine: Person and Work of the Holy Spirit A. Power of Jesus life B. Power for our life C. 7 ministries of the Holy Spirit II. Practice A. Daily life B. Word C. Prayer D. Evangelism | The Holy Spirit In Your Life Sunday Morning Message by John Shou | 30

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32: Uncovering the distractions of our hearts from doing God’s will Saturday Morning Devotions by Osmond Kwan | 1Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3"Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity Should I be consulted by them at all? 4"Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, 5in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols."' 6"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. Ezekiel 14:1-6 What hinders us from doing God's will? What destroys the intimacy between us and God, idols. How is your relationship with Jesus? We’re either drifting, or drawing closer. Has it been a while since you sensed His nearness? Do you love, really love God? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the great and foremost commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 Have we read this passage and become so familiar with it that we forget its centrality to our walk with Jesus? Reread the passage. Think about it. What is Jesus saying? What does that require of me? Consider and pray about the following: | 32

33: - Is Jesus first in my life? In who or what do I find my identity? - Do I love Him with everything that I am, and everything He has given me? - Do I express heartfelt gratitude to Him for the basic necessities and for providing above and beyond that or do I complain? - Are there other loves in my life that divide my attention from giving Jesus all of me? - What makes me angry? Is it when things don’t go my way? - Does my heart break over the things that break His heart? Do I get angry when His name is dishonored, when I hear of injustice, when people are mistreated? Am I doing something about it? - What do you want the most? What or who do you desire? - Do I worship other gods? Who or what has my attention, affection, time, preoccupation, and energy? What comfort do I treasure the most? Who or what can I not live without? - Who do I turn to first when I’m angry, worried, discouraged, excited? Who makes me happiest? - Does Jesus have my undivided devotion, passion, and commitment? The Bible says: Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14 Ask the Lord if there are any idols in your heart. If you have put anything or anyone more important than Him. Is there a habit that needs to break, a relationship that needs to end, changes that need to be made? He is jealous for you. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14 | 33

34: For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if [there is any] wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24 Read several times and let the meaning soak in. Pray over it. Wait on the Lord and let Him speak to you and give you cross references. Confess where necessary. Reflection and prayer: Holy Spirit show me where I need surgery on my heart. I want to go deeper even if it hurts. Pierce me so that I can experience your power and presence in a way I have not previously. | Sunday Afternoon Reflection by John Shou | 34

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36: As we go through the stage of "young adulthood" in our lives, we are constantly surrounded with stressful situations and have to make tough decisions on a daily basis. We no longer have the luxury of pushing everything to our parents or just claim we are young and naive. Now is the time to step up and live to be the man or woman God has called us to be. So let us apply God's will and follow the Holy Spirit's guidance in our decision making in our "grown up" lives as God's "grown up" children. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14

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