Grab a snack, find a seat...you're At the Movies! Each week we'll see how God uses characters and situations in our lives to move us along on our journey, so we may discover what He means for us to be and do.
What is the worst natural disaster you’ve experienced? Snowstorm? Hurricane? Tornado? Earthquake? Fire? Landslide?
The Impossible reminds us why Jesus came. He came on a rescue mission to seek and save those who are lost, who’ve wandered far from God. We can be encouraged that no matter what we’re going through, God came to rescue us. He is the God of hope. He’s the rock we hold onto when everything around us is falling apart and life looks impossible.
Have someone read John 16:33 and John 8:12.
What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “I have overcome the world”? What are the practical implications of that?
This movie is based on the true story of a husband and wife, Henry and Maria, and their three sons, Lucas, Thomas and Simon. What should have been a dream vacation in a tropical resort in Thailand turned into a nightmare when the world’s most deadly natural disaster in recorded history struck. On December 26, 2004, an enormous earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis hurling massive waves almost 100 feet high, eventually taking the lives of over 230,000 people in 14 different countries.
At some point in life we are all going to be struck by an unexpected storm. Hopefully it won’t be a tsunami, but it could be devastating: the loss of a job, the unexpected death of a loved one, a rebellious son or daughter, a health issue, a struggling relationship, or other kinds of challenging and painful events. The truth is, storms are inevitable and much of our lives are spent entering a storm, engaging a storm, or emerging from a storm?
What storm do you currently find yourself entering, engaging or emerging from?
It is tempting to turn inward and become incredibly self-focused when we are facing a tough situation. One of the most important spiritual truths we can learn is that God wants to use us to help others, even when we are going through a difficult time. That is what we envision for our small groups, a gathering of real people, going through real life, holding each other up during difficult times. God wants to shine light into our darkness and then use us to be the light of the world to one another, to comfort and encourage others who need help.
Share briefly about a time you experienced Jesus’s light and provision during a personal storm. What did you learn?
In the movie, after the tsunami has hit, Maria and her son, Lucas, have a decision to make: to focus on their own needs or turn their focus outward and help others. Maria models compassion to Lucas explaining they need to help others, “even if it is the last thing we do.”
That is the passion and vision of Eastside. It’s why we’re committed to starting new campuses, creating more services and environments, unleashing compassion locally and globally, to do whatever it takes—even if it’s the last thing we do—to be the light of the world to those who are hurting and to those who have never heard about Jesus.
Have someone read Isaiah 58:9-12.
Everywhere you look there are people who need your help. Maria tells her son to go do something, anything to help others.
How is Lucas transformed as he starts helping others? How can the storms in our lives serve a purpose and have meaning?
There’s nothing else in the world quite like it when your Heavenly Father uses you to help someone find their way to Him. There’s nothing like leading someone into a relationship with Jesus.
Have someone read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
We need to remember that God wants to bring us through our storms, so we can help and comfort others through their storms.
Think of someone in your life who is going through a storm. What are some practical ways you can be a light to that person?
Have someone read Luke 15:8-10.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Last week we talked about the story of the lost sheep in Luke 15 and how the shepherd rejoiced when he found the one lost sheep. In the story of the lost coin, we learn that there is rejoicing in heaven every time one lost person finds his or her way home to the Lord.
God has called each of us to make a difference in this world, to be the lights of the world, to each let our light shine and to share the love of Jesus with people who desperately need to be found. The most important thing in life is not what we do but whose life we help change. You are the light of the world.
We all know someone who needs Jesus. At Eastside we know our Heavenly Father will never stop searching for us, and so we will never stop searching for others. He never stops looking, and He longs for everyone to come home to Him, no matter what we have done or where we have been.
Have someone read Galatians 6:9.
Whatever you do, whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re believing God for, don’t ever give up. We might not see the outcome we desire but we can be assured that God is with us and will guide us through, no matter what.
Share a situation when helping someone required perseverance, when you were tired and wanted to quit but experienced God’s help and strength.
In the movie we see Henry talking to his family back home, believing Maria and Lucas are gone. He hangs up, broken and without hope. The group of survivors reach out and encourage him to call back, to reconnect and not to give up hope. It gives Henry what he needs to keep going. That is true for us. Jesus brings people into our lives at the right moment to be a light. We get to do that when we bravely allow God to use us.
Some of us are in the middle of a storm. Remember you are not alone. Share with the group your fears about the situation. Take time to pray for these situations. Think of ways to pray for and encourage each other throughout the week.
Some of us need to be the ones to bring help to those in a storm. We have been comforted so we can comfort others. We can be the light of the world to others through our actions. Commit to taking the steps you mentioned earlier to be a light to the person in your life who is going through a storm.