Nov 27

Let’s Discuss Greater, Chapter 1

Tuesday~There are discussion questions located in the back of your Greater book. “Because greater happens together…” let’s discuss these questions. Complete the discussion questions for Chapter 1 in your personal notebook, then visit my blog to discuss.

 

I am flying high this morning!  So excited to get this study off the ground. So excited about the amazing conference call with Pastor Steven last night. So excited about what God is going to do in our lives through this Greater study. If I had any doubts, they were removed with the message of last night’s 1st Greater Conference Call.

I know not everyone is doing the conference call series, and I usually don’t push them that much. They are an extra expense and I understand not everyone wants to spend the extra money for conference calls. I get that, I really do. Proverbs 31 provides the resources for us to be able to do these calls and the money spent by you provides those resources.  We are a non profit organization and the resources and services we provide, we stand behind. We believe that you will get over and above the money you spend. We make sure that each conference call contains a message that is worth the money you spend. $19.97 for 4 conference calls.  Last night’s call alone was worth more than that. If anyone who purchases the conference calls is not 100% satisfied, we will gladly refund your money. We want everyone to be completely happy with what they get.

Last night was one of those special calls where God moved in a big way. Any doubts that God could do greater in our lives was removed. “Jesus in me” makes it all possible.  If you would like to sign up for the calls, it’s not too late. Each call is recorded so if you can’t be on live, you don’t miss anything. In fact, you can even download the call message and save it on your computer. Many people go back and listen to the messages while they exercise, work, or drive. These messages are tailor made for you, the participants in the study. They are not generic messages. Each message is new and fresh. If you are interested in signing up, you can do that here.  

If you are participating in conference calls, please share in the comment section your thoughts about last night’s call. Pastor Furtick’s words to us and the message that followed. What did you take away from the call and how did you like it?

Ok, so on to today’s assignment~ the discussion questions. I would love to hear your response to question 4.  What’s your reaction to this book’s concept of greater (as opposed to grandiose greatness and mediocre good enough)?  How does it affect your perspective on your future?  

Also, Pastor Furtick encourages us at the end of the discussion questions:

Start small:  As a group decide that you’re going to be there for each other in your pursuit of greater. Begin praying for one another, asking God to open your eyes to the greater things He has in store for each of you.

It is my prayer that this is exactly what we will do for each other. We all signed up for an Online Bible Study…with others. There are people from all over the world doing this study together. I know that can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We can learn so much from each other. We need each other. And what a blessing to have the accountability, encouragement, and support. Do you have a prayer that you can share for your Online Bible Study group today?

I’m so thankful for each of you. I love our little group from 48 different countries around the world. Together, with God, we will pursue greater.

***Email subscribers, click here to go to my blog and leave a comment.

Melissa

Comments

  1. Sally Orwig says:

    Ok since I have not listened to the conference call all the way through yet because I have been working nights, I started to just now and decided I will have to wait till tomorrow night when I can listen to it all the way through. What Pastor Steven says on page 4 of the book was inspiring. ” Jesus released a greater power for us to do extraordinary things on an extra ordinary scale.” I was thinking what extra ordinary things have I done? Then it hit me! I helped for a lot of years with the youth group taking them on mission trips and conferences. Climbing mountains with them. I have gone to Israel when I did not think the Lord would provide the money to go with my church group and he did. So question 4 was an eye opener for me. an aha! moment. My perspective on my future is that the Lord has greater things in store for me. Sure I have gotten to do some great things, but greater things are coming. Greater is He that is in me then He that is in the world! This line keeps coming back to me time and time again. Thank you Lord for your insight. Amen

  2. Greater means that I can be the person God created me to be. IF I will allow him to work through me. My perspective is one of wanting to do something greater for God but, still thinking it cant be done. I always have to remember what the word of God says…. I can do all thinks through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13. I have to remember that I cant do anything without him but, I can do all things with him. I have recently changed jobs and felt led to be in the position I am in. I asked him to open the door to where he wanted me. My first week I sat at one of the meetings and I had chills come over me as one of the speakers talked about the work God was leading him to do. (I work at a Christian University) He asked if anyone felt led to assist with the work they were doing to come and talk to him. I knew this was what God wanted me to do. I went to talk to him after the meeting and met with him to discuss what God is leading me toward. I am hopeful that God will present the plans for myself and the possible ministry/work he would have me to do. It would take forever to tell my story but, I can assure you I know me made me strong for a reason. I am excited that this bible study may help lead me to the start of my Greater through God.

  3. Amanda, OBS leader grp 19 says:

    First off, my thoughts on the call last night….AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! I recommend everyone gets the calls you will NOT be disappointed. Pastor was so real and really brought the message of greater down to my level, that I can do greater here and NOW! I don’t have to save thousands of dollars, or go to India, our be the prefect mom first, I can be greater NOW! Then Melissa your msg was on fire!

    As for #4
    I love the thought of greater as portrayed in the book. It gives me hope because it doesn’t have to be greatness which feels so unattainable, but at the same time it gives me a challenge to step up and not get stuck in the trap of mediocrity. I am so hopeful for my greater future because Jesus is in me and He is worthy!

  4. Christina R says:

    I have known and felt for a while that God has something for me, only I’m not sure what. I have wondered what it could be an formulated plans of my ideas or thoughts about it. Knowing that God has something Greater is exciting and gives me hope and I don’t have to be nervous because He is and will do the work in and through me. I just need to say Yes to Him.

  5. I like the concept of living a greater life. Because its a process. Its not where I should already be and where I may never get to its where I already am today. Its this process of moving into a greater life that God has in store for you. Its the process of having a greater impact than I could ever attain myself. I have never felt I could accomplish much. I don’t even know if I have any talents and what those talents are and how they can be used by God. I have yet to feel God prompting me and leading me to a Greater life with Greater impact. I don’t know if God even wants to use me much less if he could use me in any way. It seems like I have no direction or purpose but to be mediocre. I want to believe that God has a plan for me but I don’t know my strengths and it seems I only have weaknesses. I like the idea of being greater I just do not know if I will or can attain greater. With or without God.

    • Don’t stop yourself before you start! You’re on the right track, understanding that it’s not a destination, but a process. Start small. :) As you do things, you will find where your talents are and then you can focus a bit. In the meantime, just look for ways to do the “greater” option in things you do in your everyday life.

  6. Wow! The call was amazing and what I took away from it is that I don’t have to have it all OR have it all together. As for question #4, it got a little lengthy so to make it short and sweet:

    My reaction to the concept of greater is that I have had it wrong for way too long!! God has seen greatness in me all this time (pg. 10 of Greater) and it’s time I start to believe it.

  7. It has been an amazing read so far and I’m sure there is more to come. Lots of ‘aha moments’ for me. I will need to read chapters 1 and 2 again because I think I am still slightly confused with what the “greater things” are….can greater also be considered as living a simple yet content life? Does Greater have to involve getting involved in Christain work/ activities/projects? How do I know what “the more” I am meant for…is? Perhaps as the book states, I have been lulled into comfortable complacency. I want to be inspired to dream bigger…..but what is this bigger dream? Maybe I have just cropped myself out of this “Greater” picture. Maybe I need to learn to think different because as I mentioned in a previous comment, I have always believed that where (the place, situation, position) I am right now, is where God intends for me to me…if it is not so, He would do different to enable move to a different “place”. Does anyone understand what I am trying to say?

    My response to question 4…therefore has to be that I have obviously (like Mary) always misunderstood the “greater” concept. Loads to learn but I believe God at his word.

  8. At the moment I need to let God guide the way. I’ll be still for Him to show me.My concept of greater: strive to be and do better than yesterday, praying to know what that will look like and what God wants me to recognize. I am excited to begin this journey of understanding. I want with all my heart to be the greater person God intends me to be.

  9. Nkuli Mngcungusa says:

    Greater means that I am created in God’s own image (Gen 1:26) and therefore I can be anything I aspire to be. Ps 37:4 says when I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. When my desires are in line with what God has in store for me, I become the Greater person that I am designed to be. According to Phil 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, inlcuding to dream and achieve big things in my life. It’s good that we not only focus on the people in the bible, but also people who have achieved GREATER/GREATNESS in our time such as Steve Jobs to give us hope that greatness is attainable and achievable even in our time. The bible also says that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can think or do. So that’s what Greater means to me

  10. Christina Moore says:

    Greater. I think I am in the middle of Greater at the moment with a gift from God. A new job at my church. I haven’t worked in over 12 years. I’ve been a stay at home mom. It’s just part time but the hand I have in helping our youth group gives me chills sometimes at what’s at stake for the Kingdom. No boredom here anymore. The minute I feel like oh, this may be a comfy spot for a sec, the rug gets pulled out from under me. I’ve always been ok with crazy scenerios. He has given me a calm spirit, when the rest of the world is freaking out around me. I love where God has me right now. It’s a roller coaster ride that I do not want to get off. Be blessed ladies. Praying for Greater!

  11. Question number 4 really hit me hard. Greatness scares me. It’s a lot of work. For a mother of 2 who works full time and is married to a youth minister I feel like I work 3 jobs not just 1. So for me greatness feels like something I don’t have time or energy to do. I know I have settled for mediocrity and I have never been satisfied with that. But greatness…well that makes me tired enough to need a nap. Great-er however is different. When I read “greater” as expressed in this book I feel like it is one step forward. If I can do one thing today that takes a little extra time but shows God’s love to someone else then that is greater than what I did yesterday. I don’t feel like it’s a huge project that needs to be tackled. For me it is a step. One little step forward every day. If I am greater for God today than I was yesterday or last week then I have accomplished something. It takes some of the pressure off, you know? I don’t have to stay where I am sitting on the couch watching TV but I don’t have to move to Africa or the Middle East as a missionary. There are greater things I can do every. single. day.

  12. I love the concept of greater. I have always been driven but lately I have been in a funk. This book is just what I need. I think I was searching for greatness so greater is so helpful. I think I will sign up for the conference calls since they sound great! I believe they are recorded so we can listen anytime?

  13. I am singing Praises!! Greater is not just for me! Oh I so want to protect my 11 year old son. He is not in footies pajamas anymore and mom is, well is this society…Believe you me I put my foot down. This morning after my morning prayer over him, I told him I wanted him to watch something. What was sooooo awesome that he watched the “Greater” Intro and 1st Session of the teaching DVD (I got it all because I knew what volume this was going to speak). His response just after the intro, “Wow that makes me want to put down my ps3 (at dad and friends houses)and the computer!”

  14. I am so relieved by the great-er concept and it goes with Lysa’s reminder from Unglued to make imperfect progress! When I strive for greatness, I get either caught up in rules or give up from my inabilities! I also appreciate the picture that life is a journey. Right now God has greater plans for me and my family and my relationships! I look forward to listening to the recorded call today!

    • I agree! I’m also relieved by this concept! When I’ve read other books, I’ve felt ashamed of how far I’ve missed the bar compared to that author, or some idea I’ve had about what greatness is… but this concept allows me to take the steps necessary and not to be afraid of where it will take me.

  15. I think the discussion questions were great. They caused me to really think about where I am in life and how I CAN be greater! I am an empty-nester and I didn’t really realize how mundane and stuck my life has been since my children have moved out. This really should be the time for me to experience “Greater” in my life. My husband is in ministry (not pastoral, but benevolence) and my desire is to see him experience greater as well. We have been in a transition period in our church and there too have been stuck and mundane-ish. My prayer today is for me and my husband as well as our church to get to that “whole nuther level” and become the greater that God has called us to be.

  16. Hi all, I know this is a day late.but I’ve been reading and reading chapter1 and quite frankly I’m confused…
    Can someone explain to me in very simple English what this ‘greater ‘ is all aboutt because I just don’t get it.
    :-)

    • Jenny,
      I’m a little confused by this study as well. I have to say, the Unglued study made sence to me right from the start but this one – not so much. Here’s what I’ve been thinking…When you think about the word Greater, just focus on the “er” part and try to think of it simply meaning “more.” So, the book is asking us to be more of something. It’s not telling us what we have to me more of, or at, or to. So far it seems to me the book is just asking us to open our minds to the idea that we can be, or feel, or accomplish, more than we are right now and by doing so, we will be Greater.

  17. Gina Cheney says:

    My book still is not here how can I read the first two chapters?

  18. My book arrived last night, so I was able to get to the questions, finally. For question 4, I just love this idea. It’s so…ATTAINABLE. I have definitely been caught by the issues of knowing I can’t achieve my pie-in-the-sky plans, so then I just give up and do nothing. This is just the step I need to remember to take some small step. Any step. It doesn’t have to be the step that leads to greatness. Just greater. And that’s, somehow, easier. :)

  19. Oh! And a prayer for this OBS:

    Dear God,
    Thank you for this group of believers that wants to do greater things in their lives for you. Help us to support each other in this time of self-discovery and recommitment. I know there are so many comments on each post that it can be overwhelming to read them all and respond to these brothers and sisters in Christ, but, Lord, give me the fortitude to do just that. In your Son’s name, Amen.

  20. I love the definition of great-er. It really takes the ownership off me and puts it on God. God has truly worked miracles in my and my families life. I have seen, felt and know beyond any doubt His grace and mercy. To be greater on my own is unattainable…I am the person who puts the extra loaf of bread in the freezer, then 5 minutes later wonders where it went, spends 15 minutes looking all over the place for it only to discover it’s in the freezer. How can THAT person be great?!?! In the world’s eyes not so much but through God and allowing Him to work through me I can. You see in that moment instead of getting frustrated and “barky” at my family, who were all busy with homework and other things I had joy. Maybe that is not greater for some people but for me it is. In a moment where I would never respond that way, God’s spirit flowed through where I could continue to show love to my family. I know God has great-er for me. I am thankful that He is showing me daily….baby steps. Hugs to all!!!!!

  21. I’m so excited to be doing this, my 2nd OBS. And I love the idea that God wants to do greater things through me! I have spent too much of my life being ruled by fear and negativity which led me exactly to be stuck in miserable mediocrity. My fear has held me back because, of course, on my own power, I can’t accomplish the greater things that I can with God in me. I know that God has a plan for my life and though I’ve recently suffered setbacks in my life, I have my eyes fixed firmly on God to use those setbacks for greater things.
    Heavenly Father,
    I pray for this OBS that You will empower each of us with CONFIDENCE, CLARITY and COURAGE to know that nothing is impossible with Your help, to see where You are leading us, and to be willing to go where You lead, that we may achieve greater things with and through You.
    In Your blessed Name, Amen.

  22. I love the concept of greater! It shows me that life is a journey, and not an end result, and even when we get to this so called “greater” I think we can become even greater and greater, for nothing is impossible with God.
    It also makes me feel kind of safe – that I’m not trying to be the best person that ever lived, but that I’m trying to live a greater life for myself, and others today, and then tomorrow I can work on being even greater, etc etc. I love it actually!

  23. deborah fultner says:

    Chapter 1 #4
    Pastor Furtick convinced me in this first chapter that I can do greater things for God. I have long been on the sidelines of mediocrity. In the last ten years I have been looking for something more. I found a wonderful church, joined the choir and participated in Beth Moore’s studies. Still I warmed the bench and never thought of going out for a play. At the back of my mind was the thought of working for God. I had graduated to complacency and was actually looking for ways to do this. I believe God will lead me, through this book, to where He wants me.

  24. I began this study today so I am playing a little catch up! But I just love it so far….

    #4 It is my deep hope and prayer that this study will awaken in me the possibilities that are waiting for me. I pray for the motivation to move forward even when it is scary and uncertain. I know that God is with me.

  25. A couple of months ago, when I first heard about, started praying if I should and then signed up for this study during the OBS Unglued, I was led to start to pray every morning during my daily God time “Father, take my right hand and lead me; Jesus, take my left hand and guide me; Holy Spirit, fill me with everything I need today to do this day according to the will of our Father for His honor and glory, in Jesus name I pray.” Reading the first chapter made me realize I am on my way…

    That being said, my answer to question #4 is “I love this book’s concept of greater and I am excited that to apply it to my future”. In fact, even tho I did not know it til reading Chapter 1, I already am! Thank you Father!!!

  26. Gloria gomez says:

    So my lesser loser life…hmmm I left that behind long time ago, after I was saved. Even so I still want a greater life…my husband and I have established 5 churches a camp, go to the mountains of Mexico to take the gospel every year. I’m a speaker to spanish speaking women, what could be greater? …oh, my writing, I really need to write my devotionals, for these very in need women… That’s where I’m stuck, that’s where I’m failing…greater has encouraged me to step on it!

  27. I think I am one of those people that just go through life content with how things are going. I haven’t felt worthy of being “greater” at anything until just recently getting remarried to a man who is teaching me I am worthy.

    And surprisingly ( but really not so surprising) I keep hearing over and over that I am worthy in God’s eyes and that’s really all that matters!

    I’m hoping in time, I can achieve that greater or greatness that God tells me I have. (Ummm, does that make sense?!)

  28. I had always thought that John 14:2 meant that Christians would do greater things than Jesus. Thanks to Pastor Steven’s book I now realize that I am not to do greater than Jesus, but that God wants me to do greater things than I am able to do on my own through His Spirit.

  29. I like the idea of greater instead of greatness or good enough. Greatness feels too far away to be real. Good enough is what I have, and really, it’s only good enough to people on the outside looking at me and my life. My life is not nearly good enough to me. Greater allows me to feel that I can take baby steps towards a goal. The emphasis on “er” allows me to feel comfortable that even if I’m just making progress, I am indeed making progress, and that is what God wants me to do.

  30. I must confess that I don’t pray that often. Tonight, I am reading my Greater book, alone in the house (which is a rarity!) and when I read at the end of the chapter that we should pray as a group to be there for one another, I decided to talk to God. I did not expect to end up sobbing, let me tell you. I am still a blubbering mess (my dog is very stressed out and keeps licking me), as I sit to try to write this to all of you. I’m not sure what “let loose” in my head or heart to bring on such emotion, but I truly, really, deeply, honestly asked God to help me. Please, let that be what a prayer really is? I’m so tired, I really need some help.

  31. As I began this study a few days ago my thoughts were on the Greater things God had for me…or that I thought He had for me. Little did I know I was pregnant with child #6 (9th pregnancy). That wasn’t what I had in mind for His Greater things. I was content w/my 5, sometimes overwhelmed beyond belief with those 5. How could He see me fit to have another? And yet I am trying to believe this is the Greater He has for me. Trying to be happy & accept it. I know that sounds so selfish of me. I have very difficult pregnancies and losing the 3 I lost has been so difficult. But, I need to trust Him. And I do. So, I’m trying to wrap my mind around this “Greater” thing He’s unexpectedly placed in my life. Thanks for praying =)

  32. My book finally arrived today so Praise God. I had read the chapter available on line but am still playing catch up. In all honesty, in my heart I know that through Christ I can be Greater but my human mind gets in the way & cripples me. I think of all the opportunities I have missed & it breaks my heart. Please Dear Lord, help me to stay with this study & become the Great-ER you want me to be. Struggling with depression so all Prayers welcome. Blessings to all of you, and thank you, Melissa for following Gods leading, Gale

  33. RE: Q4
    My reaction is EXCITED! The definition of GREATER (pg 10) has now been written out in calligraphy and posted on my refrigerator, right next to Isaiah 41:10!

    Questions 1 and 3 had the biggest impact on me though… I did NOT realize that I was settling into “good enough” (mediocrity) in my ministry. It is becoming evident through this book that is the case. I’m realizing the “fire” I had in the first years of ministry as diminished to trying to just keep up… my creativity and personal interaction with those I’m serving doesn’t have the intensity/desire/zeal it used to have. How did I miss this?

    The cause of my discontent was screwed up prioritizing. I let the line between being a blessing to someone who a) had real need and b) wanted help/counsel to improve get fuzzy with others that a) had real need and b) had zero desire to put the work into lasting change… a difference in blessing to impact a life and enabling/wasting time and resources!

  34. I love the way Steven explains the difference between good enough, greatness and greater. I am definitely at the good enough and have felt “stuck”
    and praying about what I can do to move through that feeling or past it. Then I read Melissa’s devotion on the Proverbs 31 website and learned about the online bible study. I am joining late but hope to catch up quickly. The idea of greatness can be so big it is hard to find a starting place or path to it.

  35. This study could not have come at a better time. The time has come Where I feel the Lord is encouraging me to have a heart for missions. I have full comfort of committing to a medical mission trip to Honduras, However getting there is the challenge. this is where The Lord is showing me the real reason behind His plan.. I have such a lack of financial Inconsistencies ,some days good Some days bad. I’m beginning to feel the calling here is not necessarily the missions work, but the commitment to raising the money to be part of His plan…I am very challenged with fund raising. Maybe because I feel guilt of never supporting others in the past.. I also lack discipline in managing my personal finances. I struggle every day with knowing what the right thing is to do, but procrastinate in doing it. Income is not the problem. Most of all I am challenged with tithing. My heart is sensing the Holy Spirit’s guidance in starting with this command from The Lord. I am looking forward to this opportunity to grow and mature Through this study which I know is God’s purpose not just for me but for All of us to be Greater!

    • Have you ever considered doing FINANCIAL PEACE? It is a course designed by Dave Ramsey and has TRANSFORMED our life. You can go to his site, put in your zip code, and it will list all the places that it’s being offered. You can also do it online if that works better for you. I will pray for you about the tithing, it is essential– not that God needs your money, he desires your obedience.

  36. I really like what Steven says about “Greater”. This gives me a feeling that I can accomplish more and feel better about things going on in my life.

  37. God- please open my eyes by faith and help me see that You have greater things in store for my future.