Viewing entries tagged
Heart for the House
What is your favorite place to be or thing to do in your home?
Pause after viewing each video to make observations about what words or scenarios stand out to you.
1. In the second video, what did you observe about people as they talked about home? Why do you think home is such a significant place for people, no matter where they live in the world?
2. We all have things we want in a house. Our speaker this weekend outlined several. Have people in the group read the following, and discuss each one.
- A solid foundation: Matthew 7:24-25
- Lots of light: Philippians 2:15, Matthew 5:14-15
- Lack of clutter: Luke 10:38-42
- Play/recreation room: John 15:11
- Laundry room: Psalm 51:1-2, 7, 10
- Open-concept: Romans 12:13
In your home life, do any of these areas need improvement?
3. Read Luke 6:32-36. How does this relate to the “open concept” idea? Would this be easy or difficult for you?
4. If you are a single person, a couple, a single parent family, a 2-parent family, a grandparent - what does the idea of God’s heart for your home mean to you?
5. Of course, not every person had or has an ideal home or family. Read Psalm 68:6. In the first part, how might God fulfill that promise for you? How can this study still speak to you?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Everyone is in a different place when they start a spiritual journey. Where would you say you or your family are in the construction process of building a house on the solid foundation of faith in God?
A. We have the blueprints and are excited that construction is underway
B. The framework is up and we can see it beginning to take shape
C. We have a solid house that has withstood many storms
2. No matter where you are in the “construction” process, what is one thing you could begin to do to make Jesus the focus of your home?
3. How can the group pray for you or your family this week?
[Optional Expanded Discussion]
1. Sometimes “clutter” in our house can manifest as conflict. Read Matthew 18:15-17, known as God’s instructions about handling conflict among ourselves. In your ministry, volunteer or leader role, how have you seen this done correctly? How have you seen it handled incorrectly? Where has the church gotten it right or wrong? Have you talked to someone else about an issue without first going to the person directly?
2. What are some intentional ways you have made God the heart of your home? What are some of the difficulties you’ve encountered?
3. If Jesus is the center of your family, what are some ways you might share wisdom to help other families in this process?
What was one of your best birthday parties? Why?
Share a meaningful take-a-way you received from the weekend’s message.
1. What is the overall message of the video? Does it matter?
2. How does the video relate to our theme of having a heart for God’s house?
3. Have several group members read the following. What kind of people does Jesus spend his time with? Do you think that’s the same or different from church today?
Note: Tax collectors were hated, particularly if they were Jewish and collected the heavy taxes from their own people. It's less like today's IRS, and more like an oppressive situation with a loan shark.
Also, note that women were included in Luke 8. And Joanna, mentioned as wife of the Manager of Herod's household, would have been quite wealthy, part of the social elite. He also spent time with other believers, and the 12 disciples - a group of close friends.
4. Now read the following:
Matthew 15: 29-31
Luke 8:27-33, 35
What happens to the people who are around Jesus? What are some “demons” and “chains” that trap people today?
5. Read Luke 14:16-23. What kind of people did the man end up bringing to the party? In v. 23, what was his reason?
6. If that story happened today, how might we identify the people who came to the party? Thinking of the video we watched, what are some reasons today we might want to exclude people based on what we see?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Do you spend much time with people who don’t know Jesus – what the Pharisees called “tax collectors and sinners?” If you do, what’s one thing you could do this week to start making a connection with someone? If you don’t, what could you do this week to intentionally expand your circle of friends?
2. How can your group pray for you in building these relationships?
3. Pray together for Eastside, and that people will find healing and freedom in Jesus.
[Optional Expanded Discussion]
1. Just prior to the parable about the big party, Jesus had another conversation with a Pharisee. Read Luke 14:1, 7-11. How does this set up the parable? How do we struggle with this teaching today in our job, ministries, leadership, and volunteer roles?
2. The longer we are believers, the fewer non-believers we seem to know. Discuss the positives and negatives of this dichotomy. Beyond making a connection to invite people to church, how could you come to spend meaningful time with them, as Jesus did?
Talk about ideas for ways to intentionally develop relationships with non-believers and check next week for status updates & encouragement.
1. If you heard this week’s message, what were the big ideas?
2. What’s the best “medicine” for you when you get discouraged or down in the dumps?
(This week’s video is a music video that can give some insights to today’s topic)
Hope in Front of Me
1. Discuss your observations about the video – thoughts, feelings, etc. How does this video reflect our theme of the church as a house for the hurting?
2. Our “Heart for the House” series looks at what kind of house we’re building for God. This week we’re considering how to make our church a House of Hope for hurting people. To start, let’s review some history about God’s house, starting with King David
Read 2 Samuel 7:1-2. How does the idea to build a house for God come about?
Now read 1 Chronicles 28:2-3, 9-12. What will it take to build the temple?
It took Solomon 7 years to build the temple. Read about its dedication: 2 Chronicles 6:1-2, 18-21, and 7:1-3. What attitudes do you see expressed in these verses? What words still apply to church today?
3. Read Ephesians 2:8-10, and 19-22. Today, because of Jesus, who are we? What is different about the temple today?
4. What are some ways people can feel hopeless physically, emotionally, or even spiritually?
5. We want to be a church that’s a House of Hope for people in the communities around us. In Matthew 9:35-36 what example does Jesus give us in considering the people around us? What might be some of the dangers for a sheep without a shepherd?
6. Matthew 10:42 (The Message) says, “This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance.” What do you think about this “large work” we’ve been called to?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Are there people who you know that are struggling, possibly feeling hopeless? What’s one simple thing you could do that might be a “cool cup of water” for them?
2. Are you feeling discouraged or hopeless about something that the group can pray for?
3. Pray for other connection groups doing this study, and the people of Eastside, asking God to open our eyes and our hearts to the needs of hurting people around us.
Optional Expanded Discussion
(For those who want to go deeper)
Hebrews 10:1-22. Discuss the need for sacrifice in the first temple, Jesus as sacrifice, and our new confidence in entering “the most Holy place” today.
The story of the Good Samaritan is preceded by a conversation Jesus had with a religious leader (Luke 10:25-29). What questions was he really asking, and why? How did the parable answer him?
It’s easy to understand how we get hurt physically and emotionally. But how are people spiritually hurt by God? By the church?