Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church
Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
7111 La Jolla Blvd in beautiful La Jolla, CA
14 miles north of downtown San Diego, CA

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Ahead of the curve

Monday James 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

What do you think is the link (if any) between confession, prayer and healing, mentioned in verse 16?

What are some examples of prayers you have seen answered?

What would help your prayers become more powerful and effective?

What good things are you praying for that you haven’t seen yet?

Tuesday 1 Kings 18:41-43a (NRSV)
Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain." So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." He went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing."

It hadn’t rained for more than three years. But Elijah told the king he could hear the sound of rushing rain. Then Elijah began praying for the rain he had prophesied. He sent his servant to go see what the results were, and the servant came back reporting that there was no sign Elijah’s prayer had been effective.

Often people of God will find themselves in the uncomfortable position where they know what is coming – they can see it, even if others can’t. The future hasn’t arrived yet. It hasn’t been pulled into the present. And in this spot, others can doubt what the person of God can see.

What are you believing for that others can’t see yet?

Wednesday 1 Kings 18:43-44 (NRSV)
[Elijah] said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." He went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing." Then he said, "Go again seven times." At the seventh time he said, "Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea." Then he said, "Go say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’"

Sometimes when change begins it seems like nothing to people who are watching for it. “There’s not much. Just a little cloud, no bigger than a person’s hand.” But it’s the start of massive change.

What changes are you waiting for?

Have you seen any tiny indications of change that you can rejoice over?

Thursday Hebrews 11:8-13 a(NRSV)
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore." All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.

Abraham and Sarah were told to go to Canaan where God would give them more descendants than the stars or the sand. God told them that the land of Canaan was theirs, but their descendants would not inherit it for 400 years. (See Genesis 15.) Abraham and Sarah believed that God would be faithful to God’s promise and bring it to fulfillment in the appointed time, even though it was so far into the future.

What distant things are you believing for?

Friday John 8:56-58 (NRSV)
[Jesus said,] “Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad."
Then the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am."

Jesus gives us more information about Abraham. Not only did he have the faith to believe for Canaan 400 years into the future, he saw all the way to the day of Jesus and was glad.

Jesus was challenged on this statement about Abraham because the people he was talking to had a different view of space and time (and of Jesus himself). They thought once people were dead, they were dead. Jesus said instead that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who we think have been dead for millennia, are all alive to God. (See Luke 20:37-38 and Luke 9:28-30.)

What are some things you are believing for past your lifetime?

Saturday
What projects are you working on that others can’t yet see the benefit of?

Are you working on anything that – like Abraham and Sarah’s vision – extend beyond your lifetime?

If you aren’t working on any particular projects ahead of the curve, here’s something you can do in the meantime:
1) Pick any gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)
2) Read a chapter a day
3) Do what Jesus tells his followers to do.

What are have you done this week because of Jesus?
What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?
What do you need help with?


Check out other Bible Studies and videos for 2013 or messages for 2012 or messages for 2011.


La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a fast-growing association of churches that believe the Bible. Other LCMC churches in the San Diego area include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. Check the list of more than 800 congregations to find an LCMC church near you.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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Worship with us Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

La Jolla Lutheran Church
7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037
14 miles north of downtown San Diego.

 

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