Rev. Jorge Acevedo
Week 5: Preparation for a Miracle
1. In the middle of the word “life” is the word ‘IF’. Reverend Jorge reminds us the life is ‘iff-y’. Have you ever experienced that reality of not knowing what would come of a situation in your life? Share about it.
2. Read John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus tell us in this scripture that in this life we WILL have trouble. Share with your group a trouble you are currently experiencing or have recently experienced.
3. Recite together Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” What word or words in this verse are meaningful for you this week? Share.
4. Reverend Jorge says that some of life and some of misery is a mystery. What does he mean by that?
5. Practical Atheists live as if there is no God. They may say they believe in God, but don’t act as if he really has power in this world. Can you think of an experience where you have behaved like a Practical Atheist? (Worry, acting without praying, etc.) Share your own experience if you are willing.
6. Read Psalm 19:13 “Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Can you think of an example of a sin of presumption?
7. Rev. Jorge provides us with some tools of Preparation as we manage the tension between the mystery of suffering and the possibility of a miracle. He says: “What you do during days of peace and serenity will be what carries you during days of suffering and trial.” Talk about what he means by that. Share what you do during days of peace and serenity that have carried you during days of suffering and trial.
8. Read Mark 2: 1-5 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
What questions come to your mind regarding the circumstances of this particular story in scripture?
9. Another tool Pastor Jorge suggests utilizing as you navigate the tension between suffering and possibility for miracles is having friends who can passionately bring you to Jesus, as the paralyzed man’s four friends did in the scripture. Who are your four friends who would do that for you?
10. Have you ever been that friend for someone? If so, share your story.
11. Do you have friends who have enough faith for you when you can’t have faith for yourself? Friends who would lay hands on you, pray with you, and carry you through times of difficulty? Who are they?
12. Have you ever been a friend like that for someone? Share if you are willing.
13. Rev. Jorge shared a story of one of his friends for whom he was praying with through a difficulty. His friend, during a particularly meaningful time of prayer, told her that God revealed to her to “Stop pleading and start praising!” What kind of shift would that kind of counter-intuitive action bring about?
How could that be of help to you?
14. Pray together and praise God for his provision of friends, of faith, and of miracles – those that have happened and those that you are still waiting to see.