05 Jul Discussion Guide: We Were Made for This Week 6
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 continue our series titled We Were Made For This. We will be studying through the book of James. James was the brother of Jesus who came to be one of His most devoted disciples and the leader of the church in Jerusalem. What would inspire a man to worship his own brother as God and follow Him to his own death? The same thing that can inspire us to follow Jesus with that same fervency. What was that? What did James come to realize? Let’s find out together as we take a look at what God has made us for.
What’s wrong with our world/our nation/our city today?
It’s reported that in the early 1900’s a London newspaper posed the question, in the midst of all the brokenness happening around the globe in that day, “What’s wrong with the world?”
Author and theologian, G.K. Chesterton, wrote an essay in response to the question that simply read, “Dear sirs. In response to your question, “What’s wrong with the world?” I am. Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton.
How does Chesterton’s perspective differ from the answers given to our opening question?
How might Chesterton’s perspective be helpful to the situations we find ourselves in today as a nation, a city, and a church?
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
St. Augustine of Hippo
“The essence of sin is disordered love.”
Why do you think we, as humans, tend to love created things more than God the Creator?
Why does that disordered love (what the Bible calls idolatry) lead to fighting and quarreling amongst ourselves?
How does loving Jesus above all else (what the Bible calls worship) lead to unity, humility and love for one another?
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
How would you describe ‘friendship with the world’?
How is it possible for that kind of mindset to find its way into a community of people who claim to love and follow Jesus?
Why might a church community be hesitant or resistant to address this kind of mindset within its own members?
What’s the consequence if that mindset is not confronted?
What’s the benefit if it is confronted?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
To be the kind of person, and the kind of people, God is calling us to be will require humility, repentance, self-sacrifice, loving others more than we love ourselves, loving our friends more than our friendships.
1 John 3:16
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
How has Jesus loved you that way?
How can we love one another (even the people who make it difficult for you to do so) and our city with that same kind of love?