Accepting Suffering, Part 3 Adopting A Balanced Philosophy
- Review the memory verse of the week, and talk about how it relates to the Truth section
- Review the Pentateuch, Historical books, Poetic books, Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament.
- Include time for one or two JG members to recite all 66 books of the Bible.
- TRUTH AND EQUIPPING – Your focus this week should be on helping your group understand this key statement from the material: You should not view yourself as belonging to this world, but as sent into the broken world as an ambassador of God. You will want to unpack what it means to think and live as a missional alien in the fallen world. The TRUTH section details six applications of what this means. The EQUIPPING section attempts to probe the hearts and minds of your group members to get them thinking about what it would mean for them to adopt this worldview. Use the discussion time to probe more deeply, to get your group beyond hypothetical thinking into this-is-how-my-life-should-change thinking.
- TRUTH – While focusing on the goal outlined above, you may select a few of the IN BIBLE passages to review and discuss in your group meeting. You will find a few tips below on specific passages. However, it is more important to allow ample time to discuss the EQUIPPING questions included in this week’s material.
- LUKE 6:22-23, 27-36 – This passage deals with demonstrating love to enemies. This is not the same kind of love as one might have for a friend. Jesus is talking about loving actions (see vv 27ff), not feelings. Jesus offers two motivating reasons for demonstrating love to enemies – a heavenly reward, and to reflect the character of the Father who also shows kindness to His enemies.
- EPHESIANS 2:1-10 – Paul uses the concept of walking as an analogy for one’s way of life. This consists in one’s values, priorities, mission, habits, convictions, etc. Walking according to “the course of this world” (2:1) refers to a way of life that is consistent with the sin that permeates the fallen world. In contrast to this, Christians have been born again and empowered by grace so that they may walk in the good works God prepared for them. Paul doesn’t define what makes up a good work here, but surely he has in mind any deed that flows from the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23), and which makes God’s grace in the gospel of Christ evident for all to see.
- TITUS 2:11-14 – This passage has some parallels to Ephesians 2. Here, you see that Paul understands God’s grace as the driving power behind our sanctification – that is, grace empowers the growth of a godly lifestyle. You might allow your group to discuss what Paul meant by these terms: “ungodliness”, “worldly passions”, “self-controlled, upright, godly lives”, and “lawlessness”.
- 1 JOHN 2:15-17 – Here, John boils down every conceivable worldview into the two competing concepts of loving God or loving the world, without any middle ground to love some of both. Everything in the world is a potential idol that can evoke the jealousy of God. Help your JG understand that love in this case touches our affections, priorities, aspirations, relationships, possessions, occupations, entertainments and pleasures – in short, every detail of our hearts, minds, and behaviors.
- EQUIPPING – Discuss any of these questions. The point here is to help your JG do some serious self-examination in regards to living a life that is “worthy of the gospel” in general, and more specifically, embracing a missional focus (applications #3 and #4) and dealing with temptation and developing personal holiness (application #5 and #6).