08 Nov Discussion Guide: Such A Time As This – Week 2
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
Today we begin a new series that will take us through one of the most interesting books and stories in the Old Testament; the story of Esther. Over the next few weeks we will see how God sovereignly orchestrates painful, scary, and difficult circumstances to actually bring about the deliverance of His people. If there were ever a time where we were needing to be reminded of that Truth, 2020 is it. So, I want to encourage us all to jump in and contribute to the discussion as we let Scripture remind us that what the enemy meant for evil, God has purposed for good, and that He is allowing us to experience what we are experiencing this year because He has a good and loving purpose for our lives, and has called us for…Such a Time as This.
The Pressure of the Palace
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
What are some ways our world tries to get us to conform?
Why do you think there is so much pressure from our culture to conform in these ways?
How does giving into that pressure affect a person’s life? How does it affect our culture/world?
The affects of cultural conformity are gradual yet absolutely destructive. Our design is to be a reflection of who God is to the word; His Truth, Justice, Grace, Mercy, and Love. However, the world, our culture, is constantly wanting to pull us in the opposite direction. If we allow that to happen then we begin to embark on two very destructive paths. First, we lose ourselves, who God made us to be, and in the process the world loses the unique person and perspective we offer as we become like someone else. Second, the world loses its conscience. If there is no one to propose a different way, to stand for what is true even when it’s not popular and no one else agrees, then foolishness becomes the wisdom of the day. If everyone agrees marching of the side of a cliff is the right thing to do and no one is willing to stand in opposition to that than we all perish. Conformity removes the moral compass the world needs to point us to true North.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.”
What makes resisting that pressure to conform so difficult to resist at times?
Has there ever been a time where you either gave into that pressure, or when you have stood in opposition to that pressure? What was the result of that moment?
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Let’s say you played the cultural conformity game perfectly and succeeded in every way our culture says you must in order to gain significance, power, and privilege. What is the greatest thing you could have achieved?
How does that achievement compare to the Truth that you are loved, desired, and valued by the King of the Universe, and that this love has been proven through His sacrificial death on your behalf?
Why is it so easy for us to forget that truth sometimes?
How does keeping our eyes fixed on the Gospel stabilize us in those moments?
Is there any area in your life today where the pressure to conform is great? How can we pray for you and stand with you in that pressure?