NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (Mar. 1) 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 call us to never forget the ultimate source and shape of our strength in the Lord.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to possess eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you understand it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, his heart went out to him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two day’s wages and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10.25-37)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump for group conversation.
1. Tell us of a trip you made which simply didn’t even begin to turn out like you’d planned.
2. Tell us of a time someone was a Good Samaritan to you in some big or small way.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this sermon.
1. Read 1 Cor. 16.13-14. What would it look like to be “courageous” and “strong” in the context of the life of the church in Corinth, knowing what we know from 1 Corinthians?
2. Read Eph. 6.10-18. What exactly are some of the “flaming arrows” the “evil one” shoots at us? Hint: consider some of the exhortations of the immediately preceding context (cf. 5.1-2,15,21; 6.9 – especially 5.1-2).
These questions help us discern and share what we sense God’s Spirit is doing as we encounter his word.
1. Does giving strength to others increase, or diminish your own? Explain. (cf. 2 Cor. 9.8)
2. What are some the barriers/challenges to giving compassion and mercy? Which is biggest?
3. Discuss: “To demonstrate mercy is to simply reveal God’s strength to another.” (cf. Heb. 13.20-21a)
4. A disciple wants to “build muscle for mercy.” What habits will they do well to adopt?
Response These ideas/suggestions are for use beyond the group meeting; to aid your living out today’s message.
1. ID and face your deepest fears and sources of hesitation that cause you to withhold mercy.
2. Deliberately and regularly put yourself in situations where you’re near folks in deep need.