LIFE group guide: shine the light

 

NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church tomorrow (Nov. 10). This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon tomorrow morning from Matthew 5.14-16. This sermon is entitled “Shine the Light” and is another installment in the Jesus: Master & Commander series.

To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues. All Scripture texts reproduced below, unless otherwise noted, are from the CEB.

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.

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 5.14-16)

Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. (Philippians 2.14-16a)

… since you are immigrants and strangers in the world … avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives. Live honorably among the unbelievers. Today, they defame you, as if you were doing evil. But in the day when God visits to judge they will glorify him, because they have observed your honorable deeds. (1 Peter 2.11-12)

Relation

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

1. Tell us about someone you have had in your life as an example or model to follow.

2. Tell us of some situation or person where you know your ways had good influence.

3. What are some things that are a “buzz kill” for you as to a person’s credibility.

Research

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

1. Where did Jesus speak Matt. 5.14-16? How does such help you picture its teaching?

2. In the three texts above, find all of the direct references to speech and words.

3. How does our being “immigrants and strangers” (1 Pet. 2.12a) highlight the need for believers to “live honorably among the unbelievers?”

4. In your own words, what is the last sentence in 1 Pet. 2.12 attempting to convey?

Reflection

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

1. Instead of being a lighthouse, I sometimes find myself being a _______ (word picture).

2. How can you “let” your “light shine” without being ostentatious (cf. Matt. 5.3-12)?

3. How do I sometimes “hide” my light (Matt. 5.15)? Give some specific examples.

4. What does “grumbling” and “arguing” do to Christian witness (Phil. 2.14-16a)? What are the opposites of grumbling and arguing and how does such further our witness?

5. How does my light as a believer “shine” before unbelievers who live exemplary lives?

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. Create a list of good things you can do that will “shine the light” … then work the list.

2. Every day, pray early in the day for God to open doors of opportunity for you to give Christian witness. Then, work at developing an eye for recognizing opportunities.

3. Make “stop grumbling to people; talk to God instead” your first New Year’s resolution.