10 Sep Discussion Guide: The Journey Week 1
Take the first few 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.
This week we we begin a new series called The Journey. We will be walking through the book of Hebrews and looking at what it is we need in our lives if we want to make it through the ups and downs, the good and the bad, of this journey called life. We will see that if we have Jesus and one another then the journey can also be our greatest adventure.
What would you say is the best thing about relationships?
What would you say is the most difficult thing about relationships?
“Jesus answered him,”If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
What would you say is the best thing about your relationship with Jesus?
What would you say is the most difficult thing about your relationship with Jesus?
If Jesus never crosses your will, what might that mean about your relationship with Him?
The very definition of a relationship is that it involves two different people. As such, being people, each person involved in the relationship has his/her own will, desires, opinions, responsibilities, expectations, etc. That is what make relationships so difficult at times. The wills and expectations of two different people are going to differ at some point, and where that difference occurs is the moment love has the opportunity to be expressed. It is precisely the laying down of your own wants, needs, desires, expectations, and will that love is actually love. If you say you love someone but you are only loving towards them so long as that person does what you want them, or expect them, to do, well that is not love. That is lust. That is simply wanting what they can give you without looking to give them anything of you or yours.
The same is true when it comes to Jesus. Jesus has already demonstrated His love in the laying down of His life on your behalf, even when you deserved the opposite treatment. If we then claim to be in a relationship with Jesus, to love Jesus, but then we go on living life however we feel is best, completely ignoring what Jesus’ Word says about our time, our finances, our sexuality, our relationships, and Jesus’ will never crosses our will then we can conclude one of two things. One, our relationship with Jesus is so intimate and so Spirit Filled that we continually obey His Word. Or two, we don’t actually have a relationship with the Jesus of Scripture, the Jesus is rules and reigns over the Universe and over our lives. The Jesus who tells us how we ought to live and reflect who He is to the world around us. If your will is never crossed by Jesus, it may very well mean you don’t actually know the real Jesus.
1 John 4:7-12
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
What is the deepest longing of the human heart? Why do you think that is?
“The imperishable reality of heaven is what every human heart desperately longs for. We all want a home where we can live forever, experience endless joy in the Creator’s presence, and be reunited with those we love.” -Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us God has written eternity on the hearts of man. Every human heart longs for the eternal security of a forever love. We all long to know that regardless of our flaws and imperfections there is someone who wants us, who loves us, who thinks we’re worth having. Regardless of the culture you live in, or what part of the world you come from, this truth is universal. It is why dictators dominate people. It is why wars are started. It is why people jump from one relationship to the next. It is why we spend countless numbers of hours and dollars to maintain a certain appearance. Something in us longs for significance because we know if we can just make ourselves necessary, desirable, then we will be loved by someone. And what Dr. Youssef is saying in the above quote is that what we’re longing for is the security and confidence that there is a kingdom and King who gives a forever kind of love that can never be lost or taken, that you can rest in for all of eternity.
The reason that is the longing of every human heart is because we are made in the image of a Triune God, a God who is the very essence and definition of love. At the core of our design is a calling to love and be loved, a calling to reflect that perfect, unconditional love to the world around us. It is something we cannot escape. We either embrace it and chase after that which promises to satisfy that longing, or we war against it, trying to suppress it in an attempt to elevate ourselves above all others.
How do you know if someone really loves you?
How has Jesus proven His love for you?
N.T. Wright, Simply Christian
“From the very beginning, in Jesus’s own teaching, it has been clear that people who are called to be agents of God’s healing love, putting the world to rights, are called also to be people whose own lives are put to rights by the same healing love. The messengers must model the message. That’s why, though the reason for God’s call of the church is mission, the missionaries—that is, all Christians—are themselves defined as people who have themselves been made whole.”
What should receiving the love of Christ mean about the way we live on an individual basis?
What should receiving the love of Christ mean about the way we live as a community of believers?
How should the love of Christ work itself out in the way we view and interact with our society and culture?
Take a few moments to just sit quietly and ask God this questions, “Lord, in what way do you want me/us to make Your love known to the city of Austin and to the world?”
Then take a minute to share anything you feel the Holy Spirit spoke to you.