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Miracles: What Produces Faith?

Sermon Take Home August 29-30, 2009

1. Have you ever had a time in your life when you doubted God's existence? Was there a reason why you doubted? How did you come back to faith?

In the sermon, Pastor Kory said, "Miracles are not effective at producing real, life-changing faith in people. In fact, the more miracles people see, the more spoiled they get...If I do everything my kids want and hand everything to them on a silver platter, it doesn't make them into the kind of people I want them to grow up to be...But providence is another thing altogether. Providence is subtle. It's not as flashy and exciting and usually means that we have a part to play in God's care for people. 6. Do you agree with Pastor Kory's assessment? Why or why not? 7. How does our participation with God in meeting people's needs work to grow us into what God created us to be?

2. Have you ever personally witnessed a miracle? If so, what was the result? Did it result in any lasting personal change?

3. Review John, Chapter 6. What impact do you think Jesus' miracles would have had on you if you had been there?

8. Do you agree with the statement: "Experiencing suffering or identifying with those who are suffering is far more effective than miracles at producing life-changing faith." 9. Read Romans 5:3-4. Follow the progression and explain how each piece produces the next piece (i.e. how suffering produces perseverance, etc.) 10. Why is it important that we are reconciled to God through Jesus when we go through trials and suffering? What difference does this make?

4. In verses 25-40, the people seem to be ready to follow Jesus by asking what they should "do to do the work God requires." Jesus' answer was to believe in Him. What was the people's response to His answer? (Vs.3031.)

5. Pastor Kory makes the distinction between "miracles" and "providence." How are these two things alike? How are they different? (Use a dictionary if necessary.)

11. What is a way God may be calling you to partner with His providence to accomplish His purpose? 12. What does it mean to identify with the suffering of others? How will you do it this week?

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