commended to God & the message of his grace

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, May, 20. This guide will enable your follow-up of the morning’s worship gathering, as we add four more shepherds to our church family’s eldership. You’ll find LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”

Aim

To consecrate ourselves to following God together wherever he leads us and to devote ourselves to building each other up in Christ along the journey, be we leaders or followers.

Word

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. … I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. (Acts 20.28,32 NRSV)

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. … Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. (Hebrews 13.7,17 TNIV)

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 some responsibility you had as a child or as a youth, how well you did or did not execute it, and why.

2. Tell us specifically of how a co-worker has made some job or task of yours easier, less stressful, or more productive due to the way they treat you.

Dig

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

1. Describe the unique work of our Father, the Son, and the Spirit as depicted in Acts 20.28.

2. To whom/what, are elders commended? What can grow out of such? (Acts 20:32)

3. In Heb. 13:7, what three things are Christians called to do in light of their leaders? What three instruments are leaders seen as using influence of those who follow?

4. Similarly, what exactly are leaders called to do and what specifically are followers called to do, and why, as related just ten verses later in Heb. 13.17?

Reflect

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

1. What are some good things you recall of godly leaders who shared God’s word with you?

2. How might we expect elders commended to “God and to the message of his grace” to act?

3. What are some possible consequences of a church’s leaders being “burdened?” What are some potential benefits that could come from a godly leaders feeling unburdened?

4. What good things might a leader enjoy if they know they serve God and his people well?

5. By means of a group chain prayer, pray for each of our six shepherds by name.

6. As a group, or as an individual, develop a simple action plan to show some simple deliberate form of encouragement to be expressed to each of our six elder this week.

this went thru my mind

 

Archaeology: Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls

“Scroll scholars find first fragment of Nehemiah [in the Dead Sea Scroll.]“

Biblical imagery: Desert Moments [4:43 min. Ray Vander Laan video clip]

“… a high percentage of the Biblical images that teach us about who we are, who God is, what life is, come out of the desert.”

Conflict: 5 Reasons We Argue When We Agree by Ron Edmonson

“Have you ever argued with someone only to discover you agreed?”

Do Not Track: Twitter Supports “Do Not Track”

“Do Not Track (DNT) is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers. [It is a] … a simple way for users to inform integrated web services … that they do not want certain information about their webpage visits collected across websites when they have not interacted with that service’s content on the page.”

Facebook: * As Facebook Grows, Millions Say, ‘No, Thanks’ ; * Why I Won’t Be Quitting Facebook

* “Facebook still has plenty of room to grow … As it is, about 80 percent of its users are outside U.S. and Canada.”

* “More than just a daily habit, Facebook has become the place where I get important, often surprising glimpses into the lives of the … people with whom I’ve chosen to connect.”

GestationAlexander Tsiaras: Conception to Birth – Visualized [9:38 min. TED talk video]

“Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares for TEDTalks a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.”

Parenting: Would You Take Your Son to a Brothel?

“Would you have allowed your ten-year-old son to accompany you on that mission?”

Poverty: Sight-Seeing: Creating a Community of Love and Mutuality by Siu Fung Wu

“My experience in our community has convinced me that sharing lives with the poor and marginalised will help us come to a better understanding of the Scripture and God’s heart.”

Racism: Undoing Houston’s Racism: A Pastor’s Apology by Marty Troyer

“… if we in the church are going to lead the way in undoing racism, we need to understand this social evil.
So what does racism look like today in Houston?”

The Obama administration: The White House: Faith and the White House: Things I Bet You Didn’t Know by Mark Love

“The office for Faith Based Initiatives was formed during George W. Bush’s administration. It was an attempt to bring churches, synagogues, mosques, and other explicitly religious organizations into the mix in addressing pressing social needs. The Obama administration has not only continued the office, but greatly expanded its reach in virtually every corner of the federal government.”