NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (July 13) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this morning’s sermon.
To consider the heart of our role in maintaining the unity we experience in Christ Jesus.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
• Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets. Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it. (Matthew 7.7-14 CEB)
• I pray … for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17.20-23 NIV)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. Tell us about an experience, silly or serious, you’ve had with glue or duct tape.
2. What speaks to you most powerfully of Christian unity?
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this sermon.
1. Matthew 7.12 is the heart of 7.17-14. How does vs.7-11 relate to vs.12? Vs. 13-14?
2. Read John 17.20-23 closely. How many times is God the Father referenced?
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. Treating others as you’d want to be treated is easily forgotten and can be hard. Why?
2. Which affects the unity of believers most: your private or your public actions? Explain.
3. How is disunity among disciples most obvious to those yet to believe? And unity, too?
4. What can a Christian do to increasingly incline their heart to treating others well?
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Pray through the church directory, promising God to grow in respect for each person.
2. Deliberately do something for another that you know would bind love’s bonds tighter.