Monthly Archives: May 2016

Love Where You Are – Week 4

During the “Love Where You Are” sermon series, we encourage you to take a look at the way Jesus loved those around him. Below you’ll find Bible passages for you to read as well as questions you can work through on your own, with family, or with friends.

Read Matthew 19:16-22

In this passage, a rich young man comes to Jesus for advice. The young man is looking for something he can “do” to make his life more complete and secure. He asks Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. Notice since the young man directly asks the question about eternal life, Jesus doesn’t wait to get to the point — keep the commandments.

  • When the young man wants more information, Jesus provides six commandments for him to consider. What do these six have in common? (Hint: It has to do with relationships.)

The young man thinks he has kept all those, but he still isn’t satisfied. So Jesus challenges him to sell everything he’s worked for and give the money to the poor. It quickly becomes apparent that the young man was more interested in his money and possessions than he was in actually investing in relationships with others. In this passage, Jesus shows us how to evaluate the decisions we make and how to determine where our true priorities lie. Jesus takes a mentoring, fatherly approach to helping him sort out what is important in life.

  • Where do you spend the majority of your time, energy, and money? Discovering that will help you discern your true priorities. What adjustments might you make to put God closer to the top?
  • Who do you know that might benefit from some gentle, loving, and helpful insight in their life?

Action

Continue to pray for and get to know your neighbors better. Focus on learning their story. Pray and think about the “I want to love my neighborhood” card we handed out and what you will do in your neighborhood. If you didn’t get a chance to fill one out, you can do it here.

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Love Where You Are – Week 3

During the “Love Where You Are” sermon series, we encourage you to take a look at the way Jesus loved those around him. Below you’ll find Bible passages for you to read as well as questions you can work through on your own, with family, or with friends.

Read John 9:1-12

The disciples were not initially interested in helping the blind man, but rather engaged in a theological debate about what caused his blindness.  In their culture at that point in history, one’s sufferings were often thought to be the result of sin.

  • What did Jesus mean when He said this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him?
  • Sometimes when people suffer, they ask, “Why me?” If you had a friend ask “Why Me?”, what would you say? Take a moment to write out a response.

Read James 2:14-20

  • What practical things can we do for our neighbor who is in need? (Mow their lawn while you are mowing yours. Perform a small household repair. Put up a new mail box, pull weeds, or plant a garden.)
  • Have you ever been injured and needed someone to help take care of you for a period of time? What challenges did you have when you couldn’t do certain things for yourself? How did that make you feel? Did someone offer to help? What difference did that make for you?
  • Do you have a neighbor who has physical needs?

Action

Continue to pray for and get to know your neighbors better. Focus on learning their story. Pray and think about the “I want to love my neighborhood” card we handed out and what you will do in your neighborhood. If you didn’t get the chance to fill one out, you can do it here.

 

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Love Where You Are – Week 2

During the “Love Where You Are” sermon series, we encourage you to take a look at the way Jesus loved those around him. Below you’ll find Bible passages for you to read as well as questions you can work through on your own, with family, or with friends.

Read John 4:4-16

In this passage, Jesus’ “neighbor” was a woman in a messy situation. A series of poor choices had left her an outcast. She had been looking for love and acceptance her whole life, but it always eluded her. Notice she was familiar with a few spiritual matters, but she was still looking for answers.

Jesus engaged her in a simple conversation by simply asking for a drink of water. He began by listening to what was on her mind and in her heart. He didn’t condemn her but rather helped her reflect on her life. He used analogies to make the transition from the ordinary to the spiritual.

  • Notice Jesus first listened to the woman. Being a good listener is an essential trait. What makes someone a good listener?
  • When you listen, do you listen to understand or listen to respond? What is the difference?
  • What was the result of their conversation?

All of us know someone who seems destined to make poor choices in their life. They might sincerely want a better life, but somehow they never seem to find what they are looking for.

  • Why do you think people seem to get stuck in making poor decisions?
  • What is the typical reaction or attitude someone develops after a prolonged period of disappointment?
  • Think about a bad decision you made in the past. What did you learn from that mistake? Was there someone who helped you? What did they say or do that helped you?

Action

This week, make sure you know your neighbors’ names. If you have the magnet we handed out this weekend, we would encourage you to use that to write your neighbors’ names down. (There are extra magnets available at the Welcome Center if you didn’t get one.) Continue to pray for your neighbors each day.

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Love Where You Are – Week 1

During the “Love Where You Are” sermon series, we encourage you to take a look at the way Jesus loved those around him. Over the next four weeks, we’ll provide Bible passages for you to read as well as questions you can work through on your own, with family, or with friends.

Read Matthew 8:5-13

Here we read about a Roman Centurion requesting Jesus’ help. This was unusual because a Centurion was a career military officer and was hated by the Jews.

The Centurion could have let many obstacles stand in his way – pride, doubt, language, distance, time, culture, race, fear, lack of confidence. However, the officer’s strong faith allowed him to approach Jesus in full confidence.

  • What obstacles do you allow to stand in your way when it comes to approaching Christ and asking him to help you or someone you know?
  • Do you have a neighbor who is in need of earnest prayer? How could you make yourself available to them for spiritual comfort even if they are not spiritual themselves?

Read James 5:13-16

According to this passage, we are called to pray in all circumstances.

  • Why do you think many people think of prayer as a “last resort?”
  • If God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on his power rather than our own. What would need to change in your life in order for prayer to become your first response?

Action

Take time this week to walk your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors using the card you received this weekend with Numbers 6:24-26.

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