devoted: the eyes have it

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, Nov. 4. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon tomorrow morning entitled Devoted: The Eyes Have It. Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture quotations below are from the Common English Bible (CEB)

Aim

To explore what it means to devote our eyes, our vision, to God.

Word

• The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband … (Gen. 3.6)

• Lot looked up and saw the entire Jordan Valley. (Gen. 13.10)

• Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them. He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” (Gen. 15.5)

• Don’t take a bribe, because a bribe blinds the clear-sighted … (Exodus 23.8)

• How is it that I’ve found favor in your eyes, that you notice me? I’m an immigrant. (Ruth 2.10)

• I’ve made a covenant with my eyes; how could I look at a virgin? (Job 31.1)

• Those who look to God will shine; their faces are never ashamed. (Psalm 34.5)

• Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way. (Psalm 119.37)

• There are six things that the Lord hates, seven things detestable to him: snobbish eyes … (Prov. 6.16-17a)

• The poor and their oppressors have a common bond—the LORD gives light to the eyes of both. (Prov. 29.13)

• An eye that mocks a father … may the ravens of the river valley peck it out … (Prov. 30.17)

• The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. (Matt. 6.22-23)

• No one who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for God’s kingdom. (Luke 9.62)

• No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. (John 6.46)

• … why do you look down on your brother or sister? We all will stand in front of the judgment seat of God. (Rom. 14.10)

• We always carry Jesus’ death around … so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. (2 Cor. 4.10)

• I’m happy to see the discipline and stability of your faith in Christ. (Col. 2.5)

• Let’s … get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer … (Heb. 12.1-2)

• Pursue the goal of peace along with everyone—and holiness as well, because no one will see the Lord without it. (Heb. 12.14)

• Everything that is in the world … the craving for whatever the eyes see … is of the world. (1 John 2.16)

• … if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him? (1 John 3.17)

Open

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

1. When you first meet someone and you’re trying to “get a read” of them, what visual clues do you look for?

2. What things do you have an eye for? That is, what things will cause you to give a double-take?

Dig

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

1. Job says he “made a covenant with his eyes” (Job 31.1)? Of what might such a covenant consist?

2. Luke 9.62. What happens to the crop row when you look back while plowing? What is Jesus’ point here?

3. What sort of things depict “discipline and stability” of “faith in Christ” in a church’s life (Col. 2.5)?

4. Heb. 12.1-2. What all might the author of Hebrews meant for the original audience by the phrase “Let us … fix our eyes on Jesus?” Consider similar statements the author makes (e.g. – Heb. 2.9,12-14; 4.13-16; etc.).

Reflect

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

1. What events do you recall in Christ’s life where the Gospels explicitly mention Jesus looking at someone?

2. What have others told you about your eyes (and/or how you use them) that has affected your use of them?

3. What do you see that consistently brings peace to you? What do you see often that disturbs you?

4. Our habits of prayer affect the way we talk with people. What habits of sight affect the way we see people?

5. We think about training our ears as to how, and to what, to listen. How can a person train their eyes?

6. Someone asks your advice on defeating a visually-activated sin (covetousness, porn, etc.). What do you say?

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