Take Time - Part 4 [Notes]

The past few years have been challenging for us all. When the pandemic hit, the entire world was swept up into a new reality that included mask mandates, closed businesses, postponed weddings and honeymoons, and online classes and graduation ceremonies. We've experienced many losses, and we have grown weary. But what have we learned through this trial? Have we stopped to grieve? Are we better prepared for the trials we may face in the future?

Join us as we address some of these questions in a series of talks titled “Take Time.”  This encouraging series will help us slow down and learn what God may be wanting to teach us as we move forward.
Today's Takeaway // Take time to reconnect with God. 
If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and praise Your name, and they pray and plead for mercy before You in this temple, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave them and their ancestors.

When the skies are shut and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name, and they turn from their sins because You are afflicting them, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants andYour people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way they should walk in. May You send rain on Your land that You gave Your people for an inheritance.

When there is famine on the earth, when there is pestilence, when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper, when their enemies besiege them in the region of their fortified cities, when there is any plague or illness, whatever prayer or petition anyone from your people Israel might have—each man knowing his own affliction h and suffering, and spreading out his hands toward this temple—may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive and repay the man according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know the human heart,1
– 2 Chronicles 6:24-30 (HCSB)
h 6:29 Lit plague
1 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2 Ch 6:28–30). (2009). Holman Bible Publishers.
If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You...
– 2 Chronicles 6:24a (HCSB)
When the skies are shut and there is no rain because they have sinned against You...
– 2 Chronicles 6:26a (HCSB)
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a temple of sacrifice. If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
– 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (HCSB)
If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people...
– 2 Chronicles 7:13 (HCSB)
Consider it a great joy, my•brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.2
– James 1:2-5 (HCSB)
The Greek word adelphoi can be used as a reference to males only or to groups that include males and females. It is the context of each usage that determines the proper meaning.
2 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (Jas 1:2–5). (2009). Holman Bible Publishers.
[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
– 2 Chronicles 7:14 (HCSB)
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
– Hebrews 12:11 (HCSB)
[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
– 2 Chronicles 7:14 (HCSB)
Take time to reconnect with God.

Discussion Questions // 

1. How has this pandemic negatively impacted you? Can you think of any positive things that have resulted from it?
2. Why do you think God allows pandemics to impact our world?
3. In 2 Chronicles 6:14-42, we have a record of the prayer of dedication Solomon prayed just after he completed building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. Read verses 24-30.What conclusions can we draw from these verses about why bad things sometimes happened to the people of Israel? What solution did Solomon present in his prayer?
4. Read 2 Chronicles 7:12-14. What do we learn about God’s role in some of the difficulties we may face as a nation? What solution does God offer? Should and how might these verses be applied today?
5. Read James 1:2-5 and Romans 5:1-5. What are some other reasons God may allow us to endure various trials?
6. How might you apply today’s lesson to your life?

Worship Setlist // 

Grace is on Our Side // Yes I Will // Firm Foundation (He Won't) // Reckless Love // Don't You Give Up on Me

Devotional // 

Get More From the Message | Each week, a new devotional will be available. This devotional is based on the previous Sunday's message, and it aims to take the message further and help you dive deeper into the topic. You can find the devotionals at the link, or sign up to receive weekly emails.

Catch Up // 

You can watch or listen to past messages online!

Give // 

Your financial gift to support what God is doing at The Ridge makes ministry possible. Thank you for your generosity—we cannot do any of what God has asked us to do here at The Ridge without your faithful and cheerful giving.
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