LIFE group guide: be humble

 

NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church tomorrow (Dec. 8). This guide will enable your follow-up of the morning sermon.

To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.

Reason

Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of the sermon series, or this particular sermon in a series.

To call our attention, and our conscience, to some of our Lord’s direct charges to us.

Revelation

These Scriptures form some of the foundation of the sermon. Underscored words are emphasized in the Greek text.

• Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18.12)

• The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23.11-12)

• “But look! My betrayer is with me; his hand is on this table. The Human One goes just as it has been determined. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays him.” They began to argue among themselves about which of them it could possibly be who would do this. An argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be regarded as the greatest. But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. So which one is greater, the one who is seated at the table or the one who serves at the table? Isn’t it the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22.21-27)

• … being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Philippians 2.8)

• … all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5.4b-6)

Relation

These icebreaker questions are meant to help us all just start thinking, talking, and relating to the topic or texts. Discuss one.

1. Who is a humble cartoon character that comes to mind? A proud one?

2. How does it make you feel, or what is stirred within you, when you witness humility?

Research

These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this morning’s sermon.

1. Matthew (26.20-35) and Mark (14.17-31) conspicuously leave out of their accounts of the Last Supper two matters Luke includes at length (22.14-38). What two matters?

2. What specific age group did Peter have in view when he penned 1 Peter 5.4-6?

Reflection

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

1. What does Christianity look like without humility?

2. Is it possible to be humble without living as a servant? Without humiliation? Explain.

3. How exactly does a Christian avoid becoming proud or living in prideful ways?

4. Like contentment, humility is learned. What can a believer do to learn humility?

5. Respect your limits, but do not devalue yourself/short-sell your abilities. Thoughts?

Response

These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid you in living out today’s message in the coming days.

1. Live one day with this thought foremost in mind: “I am here to serve others.” Repeat.

2. Resurrect a servant-habit you’ve “retired” from. Serve in a way you never have before.

this went thru my mind

 

God & prayer: If God Knows The Future, Why Pray? by Derek Ouellette

“‘If God knows the future, why bother praying for something? Isn’t it already settled?’ It’s a good question, but it’s one that makes a philosophical assumption. The question assumes that God knows the future.”

Holocaust: Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel on His Fear of Being the Last Holocaust Witness

“Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel … talks to Rob Verger about the fear of being the last one to bear witness to the crimes of the Nazis, and why the world still hasn’t learned the lessons of the past.”

Humility: 22 Ways to Humble Ourselves by Mark Altrogge

“Christians should be the most humble people on earth.”

Job & Satan: Tremper Longman on the Identity of “Satan” in Job and the ‘Patience of Job’

“It is much more likely that this figure [in Job 1] is one of God’s angelic associates, who takes the position of a devil’s advocate, so to speak, but not Satan himself. True, Satan gets his name from the fact that he is the ultimate accuser, the ultimate adversary, but that does not make all accusers Satan. Nor is all accusation evil. This accuser is about to challenge Job’s authenticity as a God-fearer, and at this point it is not yet clear whether he is making an accurate accusation. Thus the accuser is a member of the heavenly court, an agent of Yahweh, who is reporting on his patrolling through the earth. The human analogy would be a spy’s reporting to his commander what he has discovered during his latest mission.”

word for the weak: week thirty-six

 

This week’s theme in MoSt’s Church‘s 2012 church-wide Bible reading project – the Uncommon Truth for Common People project – is humility. Each week’s theme and Scriptures are discussed in our Wednesday night auditorium class at 7:00 p.m.

• Mon., Sept. 3 – Matthew 11.25-30; 18.1-5

• Tues., Sept. 4 – Luke 14.7-24

• Wed., Sept. 5 – Philippians 2.1-16

• Thur., Sept. 6 – Proverbs 9.10-12; 11.2; 15.33; 22.4

• Fri., Sept. 7 – 2 Corinthians 12.5-10; Colossians 3.1-12

This week’s memory verse is: “When pride comes, so does shame, but wisdom brings humility.” (Proverbs 11.2)

he gives us more

But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. (James 4:6 CEB)

What more could God give us? He’s given us our life. He’s gives us his longing for us. But now James says that as God works his way through the crowd of humanity, God intently looks for us. He pushes out of his way those who run to embrace him, but who do so only for show or without real heart. He’s looking for us - for us! – the ones on whom he will shower his special love and care. And when we meet, he does just that. Powerfully. Personally. Perfectly.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. And yet it does. For “he gives us more …

But it gets even better because God gives us even more grace. As the Scripture says, “God keeps the proud at arm’s length, but he embraces the humble.” (James 4:6 DSV)

Who am I, Father, to be given your perfect love? What can I say? How can I thank you or ever love you back so? I will do the only thing I can do: love you with my whole life for all of my life. Forever and ever. Amen.