this went thru my mind

Capital punishment: * Capital Punishment: Dying a Slow Death? by Scot McKnight and * Death Interrupted by Shane Claiborne.

Economy: 28% – Recession Takes Its Toll on Household Wealth (Pew Research Center).

Marriage: 5 Ways to Kill Your Marriage by Jim Martin.

Poverty: Five Misconceptions About Poverty in America by David Beckmann.

Sexuality: What’s A Christian Response To Chaz Bono? by Tim Spivey.

Time: 5 Ways to Redeem Your Ride to Work by Trevin Wax.

Worship: “Our Children Don’t Get Anything Out of the Service”: Worship as Training for Life by David Fitch.

welcome!

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Sun., Sept. 25). This guide flows out of the sermon that I’ll preach that morning. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title LIFE group guides.

Aim

To rekindle our desire for, time with, instruction by, enjoyment of, and living out of the word.

Scripture

“Then he said to me: ‘Human one … eat this scroll and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. He said to me: ‘Human one, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.’ So I ate it, and in my mouth it became as sweet as honey.’” (Ezekiel 3:1-3 CEB)

“Therefore, with humility, set aside all moral filth and the growth of wickedness, and welcome the word planted deep inside you—the very word that is able to save you.” (James 1:21 CEB)

Open

Icebreaker questions are meant to simply get us all talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. What makes you come to feel a part of things when you walk into a room full of strangers?

2. Share with us the experience of one of the warmest ‘welcomes’ you’ve ever received.

Dig

These questions are intended to help us grapple directly with some of the sermon’s primary Scripture texts.

1. Why is humility the essential first step to letting God’s word do its work in you?

2. Note the order: jettisoning bad behavior followed by welcoming the word. Thoughts?

3. From what all is the word able to “save” you?

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us through his word.

1. If your habits with his word are like the weather, what’s your current trend or forecast?

2. What portions of God’s word are easiest for you to welcome in? Most difficult? Why?

3. Which is the bigger test for you: welcoming the word inside or welcoming it to your ways?

4. Pool together the ways you’ve found most helpful in welcoming God’s word into you.

5. Complete this sentence: “I find myself actually going on to live the word I know when __________.”

6. Many have “seasons of wordlessness.” If you’ve had such, what were the causes? Cures?

7. A brand new Christian points at a Bible and asks you, “What do I do with this?” What would you tell them?

8. How would you have us specifically pray for you in regard to God’s word these days?”

absolutely nothin’

“This is because an angry person doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.” (James 1:20 CEB)

Alright everyone, you’ve got twenty seconds to brainstorm a list of what all anger has done for you in your life. Ready? Go!

(Seriously. Do it. What are you still reading for? I’ll be here waiting for you when you’re done.)

Okay, time’s up. What’d you come up with? Here’s what snapped to my mind as to what all my anger has done for me across my years:

  • loss of focus
  • stupid choices
  • hurt feelings
  • strained relationships
  • sleepless nights
  • wear on my teeth
  • lifelong consequences

Now looking at that list, my first thought is how I ought to thank God that’s as bad as the list gets. My second thought is while thanksgiving would be good, that wouldn’t diminish the absolute ugliness of any of the seven things that did make my list, would it? Truth be told, if I could erase just one, any one, of those seven items from my life, my life would take a leap forward for the better. I know you could say the same for whatever you came up with on your list.

So, anger. What is it good for? Absolutely nothin’! Say it again … in prayer.

“Why? Because rage can’t do the work of God’s goodness.” (James 1:20 CEB)

Father in heaven, whatever on earth am I thinking to ever put the reins of my life into the hands of anger? In the name of my Savior, Jesus, forgive me of my foolish ways. Eradicate any and all wrong anger from my life. As you cleanse me of all that does not promote your goodness, I rededicate my heart to my Lord’s powerfully peaceful and patient ways. Amen.