Title: Unstoppable Opportunities
The Point: We intersect daily with people who need Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following illustration as a supplement to the “daily intersections” theme of “The Bible Meets Life.”
Did you know that Play-Doh, Coca Cola, and X-Rays were all invented by accident? It’s true! Take a look at this list of accidental inventions and see what else was invented by accident. There’s a good chance you’ll be surprised.
While accidents that invented junk food and children’s toys might not seem life-changing, it’s fun to think about. And accidental inventions like the Pacemaker may very well be saving or extending the life of someone you love.
Of course, all of these “accidents” still required actions by the inventor to make something great. It took a watchful, creative eye to decide that the Slinky was a toy, not a mistake.
So often in life, we feel like our situations or day-to-day experiences are mistakes or mishaps. They’re unplanned. But what if those “accidents” were actually something God orchestrated for His good? What if they held life-changing possibilities for you and the people you care about?
- When have you had an accident, mishap, or unplanned event lead to something great?
- How does looking at accidents and interruptions as possibilities change your thoughts about your daily schedule?
- Why is it so difficult for us to break out of our normal schedule?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
Study the Bible
After Hurricane Matthew barreled up the east coast of the United States in October, Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church in Florence, SC, put its motto, “Love where you live,” into action. When Southern Baptist Disaster Relief contacted the church and asked them to be a cook station for a Disaster Relief team, the church said, “yes.” Reflecting on their “Love where you live” motto, Associate Pastor George Atkins says, “We’re always brainstorming how to do that. So when a disaster comes around or an opportunity rises where we can be of service, we want to help … And it’s why we leapt at the chance to be a cook site for disaster relief.” The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team, with the help of Hoffmeyer Road Baptist members, served 11,000 meals over five days there in Florence, caring for Hurricane Matthew survivors. “God showed up through the people at Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church,” says Dwight Herring, the Disaster Relief unit leader. “They are terrific examples of people finding a way to serve others no matter the obstacle.”
Say: Hoffmeyer Road Baptist, like many other churches that stepped in to help following Hurricane Matthew, moved swiftly when they saw the opportunity God had given them to help.
Then continue by leading the group to discuss Question #2 (PSG, p. 93): How can we get better at noticing the opportunities God gives us to love others?
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
When you travel, are you more focused on the destination or the journey? Explain.
What’s your initial response to an interruption to your plans? Explain.
When has an interruption in your plans led to a significant experience?
When have you experienced a “divine intersection” God placed in your path? How did God work in that experience?
What do we miss when we fail to notice a “divine intersection”?
What prevents you from noticing others’ needs for attention, physical help, and so on?
What opportunities exist for you to follow Peter and John’s example by giving what you have?
How does our awareness of God’s power change the way we approach those in need?
What causes you to hesitate to get involved when you see an obvious need?
What’s the role of the Holy Spirit in situations like the one in Acts 3:5-8?
What’s our role in situations like the one in Acts 3:5-8?
What kind of opportunities are you saying “yes” to?
How is Jesus healing a “crippled” area in your life?
What do you find remarkable about the crippled mans actions in verses 9-10?
What’s your typical response to God’s work in your life? Does it look similar or dissimilar to verses 9-10?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: