praying for a change (34)

 

So every single one of you who judge others is without any excuse. You condemn yourself when you judge another person because the one who is judging is doing the same things. We know that God’s judgment agrees with the truth, and his judgment is against those who do these kinds of things. If you judge those who do these kinds of things while you do the same things yourself, think about this: Do you believe that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you have contempt for the riches of God’s generosity, tolerance, and patience? Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is supposed to lead you to change your heart and life? You are storing up wrath for yourself because of your stubbornness and your heart that refuses to change. (Romans 2.1-5a CEB)

God,

Thank you for clearly reminding me what you consider, and call, my unwillingness to change: stubbornness.

I don’t want to be known as stubborn by anyone, especially you.

I don’t want to become more and more of a stubborn person, but less and less, especially toward you.

I don’t want to be remembered as a stubborn person by anyone, especially you.

If I must be stubborn, God, help me to be stubborn in my remembrance of you.

Stubborn to remember your kindness, generosity, tolerance, and patience.

May my reflection on your kindness make me different from what I am.

Amen.

10 things for which you can thank God

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Sun., Nov. 27). This guide will enable your follow-up of the sermon that I’ll preach from Romans 8, God willing, that morning on some of the things God does for us for which we should be grateful. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title LIFE group guides.

Aim

To remind us of some of what God has done, is doing, and will do, for us.

Word

1. Now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (vs. 1)

2. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. (vs. 2)

3. The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you. (vs. 11)

4. The Spirit comes to help our weakness. (vs. 26)

5. You received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. (vs. 15) We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ … (vs. 17)

6. God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. (vs. 28)

7. Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified. (vs. 30)

8. If God … didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also freely give us all things with him? (vs. 31b-32)

9. It is Christ Jesus who also pleads our case for us. (vs. 34)

10. In all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created. (vs. 37-39) [Romans 8 CEB]

Open

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

1. What is usually the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about God?

2. If you were to write one chapter in the Bible as to what God has done for us – as the apostle Paul did here in Rom. 8 – what one thing would you make sure was included?

Dig

These questions are intended to help us grapple with Scriptures related to this morning’s sermon.

1. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all referenced in Rom. 8. Where?

2. In which tense is God noted most often as working here: past, present, or future?

3. Discuss the meaning of conformed, called, righteous, and glorified (vs. 30).

Reflect

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

1. For what are you thankful to God? How does your list compare with Rom. 8?

2. What would you say you are most likely to tend to forget that God does for you?

3. Of all that God does for us, what do you find most difficult to comprehend? Why?

4. Of all that God does for us, what do you find most difficult to accept or believe? Why?

5. Of all that God does for us, what do you find easiest to believe or accept? Why?

6. “This week, Heavenly Father, I will seek to become more thankful that you _______.”