the light of the world

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, May, 6. This guide will enable your follow-up of Adam Marshall’s sermon, The Light of the World, from Matthew 5.14-16. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”

Aim

To highlight Christ’s teaching that his followers are this world’s light.

Word

Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light, and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death. [Isaiah 9.1-2] From that time Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” (Matthew 4.12-17 CEB)

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5.13-16 CEB)

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. (Ephesians 5.8-9 CEB)

Open

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

1. Tell us about an experience you’ve had when the lights suddenly went out on you.

2. Were you afraid of the dark or do you have night blindness now? How did/do you cope?

Dig

These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.

1. What is the proper response to encountering the “great light,” Jesus (Matt. 4.12-17)?

2. What do salt and light have in common (Matt. 5.13-16)?

3. Is the ‘light” Jesus speaks of the same as “the good things you do?” (Matt. 5.14-16) Explain.

4. With Eph. 5.8-9 in view, what happens in the dark?

Reflect

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

1. What is some of the “light” you’ve seen in others that has truly changed the way you live?

2. We speak of children “failing to thrive.” What effects come from believers “failing to shine?”

3. What is the power source(s) for our being this world’s light? How do we tap in?

4. We often do what is unthinkable, hiding our light under a basket, so to speak. Why?

5. How are we to let our light “shine” and, at the same time, walk “humbly” with the Lord?

6. How can we pray for you as to your being a bright “light” to this world?

this went thru my mind

 

Baptism: Good Reasons for Being Baptized by Edward Fudge

“If we are saved by being believers, what is the use in being baptized?”

Books: The Book That Drove Them Crazy by Andrew Ferguson [on Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind]

“The trends that followed the crisis in higher education that Bloom identified have only intensified since 1987: toward weaker academic requirements for students, greater specialization in the departments, a rigid orthodoxy in the university’s politics and cultural life. The university we face today is still the one he described, only more so.”

Burnout: Six Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout by David Murray

“Stress, the root cause of burnout, costs U.S. businesses $300 billion in lost productivity each year.”

Child development: Insights from the Youngest Minds by Natlie Angier

“All this time I’ve been giving infants objects to hold, or spinning them around in a room to see how they navigate, when what they really wanted to do was engage with other people!”

Church: * The 10 Warning Signs of an Inwardly Obsessed Church by Thom Rainer; * What’s a Church to Do? by Larry James

* “In my research of churches and consultation with churches, I have kept a checklist of potential signs that a church might be moving toward inward obsession. No church is perfect; indeed most churches will demonstrate one or two of these signs for a season. But the real danger takes place when a church begins to manifest three or more of these warning signs for an extended period of months and even years.”

* “Maybe what we need is a movement, a movement back to our roots, back to the foundational “value propositions” of our faith, ancient, but powerful … if, the church will surrender itself to the mission Jesus pursued.”

Computing: Add Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive to Windows’ Send-To Menu by Rick Broida

“Sometimes it’s just easier to right-click a file, then choose its destination from Windows’ Send to menu. … Wouldn’t it be great if you could add Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, SkyDrive, or another cloud service to that menu? You can; here’s how.”

Environmentalism: Ask An Environmentalist … (Response) by Rachel Held Evans

“You guys asked some really tough questions of Scott Sabin for “Ask an environmentalist,” but Scott rose to the occasion with some wise, winsome, and informative responses.”

Football: Is it Ethical to Watch Football? by Brian LePort

“Is it ethical to watch football? For those of us who consider ourselves Christians do we have an obligation to disengage from the culture of violence promoted by college and professional football? … I find myself a bit confused by those who watch and enjoy Mixed Martial Arts. It is blood sport and savagery. I’ve told myself that the NFL is better. MMA aims to harm people. Boxing aims to harm people. The NFL aims to keep a ball from crossing the line, right? Well, maybe not the Saints.”

PacifismWhy I Am Not a Pacifist by Daniel Heimback

“The short answer to why I am not a Pacifist is that Jesus was not a Pacifist and what Jesus taught, and what the rest of the Bible teaches, does not align with Pacifist teaching. That for me is the bottom line.”

Thinking: 24 Logical Fallacies by Eric Dye

“Learning these concepts will not only improve your critical thinking skills, but make you a better blogger, commenter and all around sharper person.”