11 Feb Discussion Guide: Unshakable Week 2
Vision for the Upcoming Weeks
Over the next 6 weeks we will be going on a journey together as a church community. It will be a journey where we encourage one another, challenge one another, and grow together in our leadership and pursuit of Christ as we focus in on what the Bible calls discipleship. What we are asking you to do is commit to 6 weeks of gatherings. Three large group gatherings every other week, and 3 discipleship gatherings in between. Within these smaller gatherings we will be looking at leadership qualities and character traits necessary to impact the lives of others. Over the next week we want you to partner up with 2 other people and for the next month-and-a-half commit to one another to meet together, grow together, and pursue one another in relationship. We need (1/3 of your group size) people who would like to facilitate a group of 3, and then everyone else can decide which of those facilitators you want to join. If you need help figuring out who you should connect with then ask your group leader to give you a hand. The goal is that at the end of these 6 weeks we will all have a better understanding of what Gospel Community is all about.
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 continue a series walking through the book of Nehemiah. The series is called Unshakeable, and we will be looking at what it takes to stand firm when life, circumstances or relationships try to shake you to the core. In a world of instability, this is how we can remain stable and be a people who are unshakeable.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil.
Have you ever been angry about some injustice in our world? If so, why? If not, why not?
Is there such a thing as good, healthy, or righteous anger? Explain.
Yes there is. The verse we just read tells us to not sin in our anger, but it says to “be angry”. Multiple times in Scripture we see that God is angry towards sin and injustice, and that in His anger he judges and pours out wrath, but because He is perfectly loving and righteous, God’s anger and wrath are also done in perfect love and righteousness. And, if we are made in the image and likeness of God, and if anger is an emotion God created and God Himself feels, then it stands to reason that anger in-and-of-itself is not sinful. When we see things not as they ought to be, also known as evil, we should get angry, but not from a sense of self-righteousness, rather from a sense of God’s righteousness.
Why do you think anger is the emotion we feel when we see the brokenness of our world and the way people can treat one another?
Because something inside of us screams, “This is not right! This is not how things ought to be!” As image bearers of God we have an inner sense of what the world should be, what it was designed to be, and when we see that beauty and perfection broken and marred it wars against the very fabric of our design.
How do you think God feels when He looks at the brokenness of our world and the way people treat one another?
Psalm 5:5 says, “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” God is love, and as love He hates all that is unloving. He is stirred to wrath and anger over the brokenness of our world.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
How did God respond to the brokenness of our world? (he did something about it, but he did so in love and grace)
In His anger and wrath towards sin, God poured out His judgement. In the Old Testament His judgement was poured out in the form of a flood, or in the form of exile for the people of Israel. All this was a foreshadow of His ultimate wrath and judgement that would be poured out once and for all. However, in this ultimate wrath God chose to pour out his judgement on His own Son, thus satisfying God’s wrath while simultaneously displaying His amazing grace and love.
What would it look like for you to respond to the things that make you angry with the same truth and grace God responded with? (prayer, repentance, forgiveness, more of Jesus in me)
How would taking that anger to God in prayer help you to respond that way?
What typically keeps you from praying through your anger, or praying for the people who anger you? Why is that an obstacle in your life?
”To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
When you realize God isn’t just angry about the sinfulness of the world, but about your sin, how might that change the way you handle your anger towards those who have wronged you?
What does the cross of Jesus show us about God’s ability to deal with sin and brokenness in a way that brings healing and reconciliation rather than hate and division?
Is there anyone you have been angry with recently who might need to know this power of healing and reconciliation?
How can we pray for you in that situation?