23 Oct Discussion Guide: (IN) BREAKING Week 10
Take the first 10 minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
Today we continue our series titled (In) Breaking. We will be working through the gospel of Matthew and learning how God desires to have His Kingdom come, and His will be done, in our lives as in Heaven. God wants to break into our hearts, our emotions, our actions, our existence so that we might know Him, and be known by Him, in ways that we will never be the same.
When you were younger, did you ever do anything funny to gain attention? Can you tell us the story?
Phil Lester, British YouTuber & Vlogger
“I’m just Phil from Rossendale. And now people are screaming for me ’cause I make YouTube videos – it’s just crazy!”
Why do you think platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are so popular?
Why do you think it is so important to be seen or recognized in our culture?
Our culture has become a culture of entertainment and celebrity worship. And because the human heart is made to worship something, we tend to elevate the status and perception of those people who are the best at giving us what we want. Therefore, it is those who most entertain us that we celebrate above everyone else. Since our deepest need is to be loved and accepted, therefore, we seek after that celebrity worship for ourselves. When we can base our acceptance on the number of YouTube subscribers or Facebook friends or followers on Twitter then it gives us a sure fire way to gauge where we fit in the social tier of society.
How does being seen by others make you feel?
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Why do you suppose Jesus refers to these people as hypocrites?
The word Hypocrite here literally means a “play actor.” It is referring to someone who is pretending to be someone else, playing a role or a character in a story. Jesus is saying that there are people, namely the Pharisees in His day, who put in a performance by acting like they love God and pretending to worship God, but it is not what is actually in their hearts. They are role playing for the purpose of gaining the audience’s approval and applause. In this sense, hypocrisy isn’t just doing something you told someone else not to do, as we tend to think of it, but rather doing something in action that does not line up with the motivation of your heart.
What would you say is God’s desire for us in prayer, giving and fasting?
Why would someone use what God intended to draw us closer to Him as a means of making much of themselves?
In what ways can we use our spiritual lives, or religious activity, to gain a reputation for ourselves?
What does that reveal about our hearts?
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
How did Jesus’ walk with God the Father look to the world around Him?
How does the Truth of the Gospel help us to follow Jesus’ example and overcome that need for recognition?
How might honoring others, out of the security we have in our relationship with Jesus, affect our neighborhoods and our communities?