Viewing entries tagged
Modgnik

Modgnik Week 6: King On A Cross

Modgnik Week 6: King On A Cross

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's an entirely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share your favorite Easter tradition as a child.


MESSAGE TITLE

King On A Cross

SERMON GUIDE

The people of Jesus’ day were looking for the Kingdom of God to come. They were expectantly looking for a powerful king. They were longing for a political messiah, a strong military conqueror who would come to squash Rome — but instead in this kingdom, we find a king on a cross.

Jesus announced to a group of hopeful followers who had those expectations: “ ‘And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.’ He said this to indicate how he was going to die.” (John 12:32-33 NLT)

He was talking about a cross. He was talking about laying down His life, taking the punishment for the sins of the world. What kind of king does that? Our King.

  • Reflect on John 12:32-33. What is upside down here? What do you understand, and what doesn’t make sense?

Have someone read Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 16-18.

David wrote about Jesus crucifixion. He began with Jesus' words that would be uttered thousands of years later from the cross. In the Bible, there are over 300 detailed prophecies about the messiah, and Jesus fulfilled all of them.

Think about if you were in Jesus' shoes and you knew that you would experience rejection, torture, and death. Wouldn't you be tempted to choose another path?

Yet Jesus kept on moving toward His purpose. He tells His disciples, His closest friends, what is going to happen to Him. Peter blurts out “There’s no way that should happen to you, Jesus!

Have someone read Matthew 16:23.

We aren't facing death, but many of us will face opposition or ridicule for our faith in Jesus. We will meet challenges from family and friends when we seek to follow Him by serving, tithing or attempting to use our gifts and talents for Him.

  • Share a time you felt challenged or opposed regarding your walk of faith. How did you respond? What do you learn from how Jesus acted in the face of opposition?

Have someone read Luke 9:51.

Jesus chose to move ahead and move toward Golgotha, a hill outside Jerusalem.

Sometimes people will ask who murdered Jesus? Who was really responsible for this unjust act of violence? How could something this unfair happen to a man this incredibly good?

Have someone read John 10:18.

Jesus in His own words says this is how it has to happen. This is the kingdom we have been talking about throughout this series — upside down — because what kind of regular king would voluntarily submit to that?

We read in Ephesians 1:7: “Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” (MSG)

When you humbly and gratefully embrace that gift and invite Him to be the forgiver of your sin and the leader of your life, you not only receive the promise of eternal life, you get to walk free now and experience that every day.

  • Share one of the things you have found freedom in, as a follower of Jesus, that continues to amaze you every day.

God longs for a relationship with people like us. People like us broke the relationship, so God took the initiative and moved throughout history to restore a relationship with us, and He did it on a hill called Golgotha with a King on a cross.

Watch the 3-minute video:

  • Share what stands out to you after watching that video.

  • As we move toward Easter Sunday, share something you need to leave at the cross and trust Jesus with.


APPLICATION

Who do you know that you could invite to join you for one of our Easter services? Who needs to hear the hope of Jesus?

This week write out a list of all the ways you have found freedom through Christ. Spend time in prayer thanking Jesus for everything He has done.

PRAYER

Pair up and pray for each other and the people you identified as needing to hear the hope of Jesus. Pray for courage to reach out and invite them.

Pray for the things you need to leave at the cross, and spend time thanking Jesus for making that sacrifice on the cross so that we can find freedom.

Modgnik Week 5: Not To Us

Modgnik Week 5: Not To Us

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's a completely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share your favorite worship song.

 


MESSAGE TITLE

Not To Us

SERMON GUIDE

Jesus was kind, loving, honest and sacrificial. Most people were expecting someone who would show up and take over, kick out the Romans who were occupying Israel, and be more of a political messiah. But Jesus eventually put that to rest when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

It’s different in His Kingdom because people like eloquent while God likes real.

Exactly what does it mean to be real? Real is defined as being exactly as appears or claimed.  Real is also defined as the action of being true to one's self as well as being true to others. That is the kind of relationships we want to have with others and God,

Sometimes we feel the need to be eloquent, but God just wants our heart. He wants us to talk to him, just like we would talk to a friend. We can honestly share our burdens, our praises, and what keeps us up at night.

Public prayer is one of those things that makes many people go into utter panic. They immediately feel inadequate, paralyzed by fear. I’m sure we have all been in a group when the leader asked someone to pray, and everyone’s eyes shuffled back and forth avoiding the leader’s gaze.

God hears our simple prayers. Our cries for help in times of need and our shouts of praise when we have experienced His grace. All we have to do is share with Him, authentically.

  • What scares you most about praying out loud? If you aren’t scared, share how you overcame that fear.

  • Brainstorm ideas for how to make it less scary. Maybe split up into twos or go around and pray one-sentence prayers. The best thing you can do is just be courageous and pray.

Have someone read Luke 18:1-8.

The message from Jesus is pray continually and don’t lose heart. Prayer and persistence matter. It is easy to lose heart when things don’t seem (as far as we can tell) to be happening, and therefore it feels like He doesn’t hear us. The temptation is to question both Jesus and ourselves. Jesus shared the story about the woman and the judge to encourage us to keep persisting and to find hope in the waiting.

  • What is one thing that keeps you persisting in prayer? What are practical things you can do to fight against losing heart?

Have someone read Luke 18:9-14.

It’s different in His Kingdom because people want to look good, but God wants real. We work and live in places where there are unspoken or stated dress requirements. For instance, the Disney Company has a dress code manual with clear “Disney Look” instructions and even a position whose primary duty is to enforce the dress code. The term “maintaining appearances” is something we are very familiar with.

As followers of Jesus we sometimes pretty up our lives, afraid that we wouldn’t be accepted if people knew of our messy pasts or current struggles. Jesus sees through all of that. He is concerned about each of our hearts and the conditions of our souls. He couldn’t care less what other people think.

  • Share a time you showed up dressed differently than everyone else.  How did that make you feel?

  • Have you had moments like the tax collector, when you cried out humbly to God? Share with the group.

Have someone read Luke 18:15-18.

People reward maturity. God rewards real.

No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, God loves you and He wants you to be part of this upside down and backward Kingdom, where desperate widows, tax collectors, prostitutes, sinners, kids and people who sometimes act like kids are all welcome.

All we have to do is read God’s Word to see that Jesus didn’t care about the things we so easily get hung up on. He tells us to come like a child.

  • What does it mean to you to approach God like a child?

  • Have you in the past or maybe still feel like you need to clean up something in your life before you can really be loved by God?


APPLICATION

Spend time reflecting and journaling about ways to approach God like a child.

Practice conversation prayers where you talk to God like He is in the chair next to you. What do you want Him to know? What are you persisting for right now? Pray for hope in the waiting.

Write out a verse that will encourage you to persist in prayer and put it in your car to remind you throughout the day to pray.

PRAYER

Normally, we encourage you to pair up. This week try a new way of prayer. Go around the group and share one thing with the Lord that you are grateful for. Then go around and say a one-sentence prayer for someone in your group.

 

Modgnik Week 4: Not To Us

Modgnik Week 4: Not To Us

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's a completely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share your favorite worship song.

 


MESSAGE TITLE

Not To Us

SERMON GUIDE

This week our focus is on the N in MODGNIK which stands for Not to Us.

Even though it’s thrilling, exhilarating, and fulfilling to be in this Kingdom where we put others first, where we descend into greatness by serving others, and where we encourage generosity to flow through us like a river, it’s not all about us. The first verse in the Bible does not read, “In the beginning, you,” but it reads, “In the beginning, God.”

The topic of this weekend’s message is worship. The word “worship” means the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.

Have someone read Psalms 115:1.

One of the reasons we worship this amazing God is because He is loving and faithful. Throughout the Bible the word Holy is used to describe Him. He is set apart, different from any of us.

Have someone read Isaiah 6:3 and Exodus 15:11.

Whenever Scripture describes people coming face to face with God, there was a healthy amount of fear. These people were acutely aware that they were moral foul ups, screwed-up sinners in the presence of a holy, perfect God. Abraham entered God’s presence and confessed being nothing but “dust and ashes.” When Habakkuk heard the voice of the Lord, he reacted with a pounding heart, quivering lips and trembling legs.

Psalm 96:9 says “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness, tremble before him, all the earth.” When we truly see God’s holiness, we realize that we deserve death, we deserve to be punished for our sins, that we are far from holy. God in His incredible love and grace sent us a Savior to redeem us. That is why we worship Him.

Music is one method of worship and what we first think of when we hear that word. Those of us who grew up attending church may have experienced different styles of worship. Maybe you sang hymns, or perhaps you grew up in a church that did not include musical worship.

  • If you grew up going to church, share what style of worship you grew up with.

  • If you didn’t grow up attending church, share your first time experiencing worship at Eastside.

 

How we were raised can influence how we view or experience worship. If you were raised holding hymnals while singing all the verses of “Amazing Grace,” it might feel weird to raise your hands and sing loudly. You might feel everyone is looking at you (they aren’t). Some of us will raise our hands but aren’t willing go to our knees during worship.

We might think there is only one way to worship, but in the Scriptures we see many different forms of worship. If you want to know the style of worship God loves, it’s not a mystery. There is a book of the Bible, Psalms, that shows us. Psalms is the biggest book in the Bible, with 150 chapters, focusing primarily on worship. It’s like God is saying, “This is really important to me!” For many of us, what we read in the Psalms doesn’t look much like how we actually worship.

Part of the problem is in the translation. You might be reading Psalms in English and come across the word “praise.” In Hebrew, the original language of Psalms, there are seven completely different Hebrew words that have been translated into one English word “praise.”

Gene shared the seven different Hebrew words for “praise,” and how the Hebrew dictionary defines them.

The seven words and their meanings are:

  1. Halal - to rave, boast, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish

  2. Yadah - worship with extended hand

  3. Barak - bless by kneeling or bowing

  4. Zamar - to pluck the strings of an instrument with joyful expression

  5. Shabach - praise Me with shouts, and address Me in loud tones

  6. Towdah – to lift hands in adoration

  7. Tehillah - exuberant singing

Have someone read Psalms 150:3-5.

  • Read over the seven words for “praise,” and select which best describes how you love to worship. Which is the praise word or type of worship you are most uncomfortable with?

  • Share a time you remember feeling especially close to God while worshipping. How did that change or impact you?

Philippians 2 in the New Testament of the Bible talks about how Jesus descended into greatness to serve others, and how He humbled Himself by dying on a cross for us so we could have grace, freedom, hope, and purpose.

Have someone read Philippians 2:9-11.

There is no other name that has more power than the name of Jesus, and someday that’s going to be clear to everyone. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

His name is lifted up in all 66 books of the Bible. Genesis starts with He is our creator and promised Redeemer. Revelation says He’s the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world.

  • Have each person look up a verse representing an attribute of God and share it with the group.

Darlene Zschech, worship leader and author of many songs, including “Shout to the Lord,” said, “Worship is not an event. It is not a Sunday morning ritual. A worshipful life is ‘a Christ-centered, Romans 12, everything-I-do poured-out-as-a-spiritual-act-of-worship’ life.” Which means in your walking, talking, living…You are constantly aware that Jesus is the center of all things for you.”

As followers of Jesus, we are called to a lifestyle of worship. We don’t need a worship band to worship God; we can worship Him alone, at home, even in our car. A worship-filled life takes the focus off of us and directs it toward God. It requires making choices that make worship a priority in our lives.

  • What are you choosing to focus your time and energy on?

  • Discuss this question: If truly worshiping God is my priority, how can I change my daily schedule to reflect that?


APPLICATION

Trying new ways of worship might seem awkward at first.

  • Consider trying to worship God in a new way. Maybe it is lifting your hands up as you worship during a church service or kneeling in worship at home. Try exuberant singing to your favorite worship song while driving (don’t raise your hands though!)

  • Create a playlist on Spotify or iTunes of your favorite worship songs that you can use at home or while driving.

PRAYER

Pair off and

  • Share one thing you are hesitant about in terms of worship. Pray for each to overcome your fears and to experience God in worship with a full and open heart.

 


For Your Reference

List of His name lifted up in all 66 books of the Bible.

Old Testament

Genesis – He is our CREATOR AND PROMISED REDEEMER

Exodus – He is the PASSOVER LAMB

Leviticus – He is our HIGH PRIEST

Numbers – He is our EVER-PRESENT GUIDE, with a CLOUD to guide us by day and a PILLAR OF FIRE by night

Deuteronomy – He is our COMING PROPHET that is greater than Moses

Joshua – He is the CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION

Judges – He is our JUDGE AND LAWGIVER

Ruth – our KINSMAN-REDEEMER

1 and 2 Samuel – He is our SHEPHERD-KING, who rushes out to face our giants all alone.

1 and 2 Kings - He is the RIGHTEOUS LEADER

1 and 2 Chronicles – the RESTORER OF THE KINGDOM.

Ezra – the FAITHFUL SCRIBE

Nehemiah – the One who RESTORES WHAT IS BROKEN

Esther – PROTECTOPR of His people

Job – our REDEEMER AND HEALER

Psalms – our SHEPHERD who hears our cries

Proverbs – our DAILY WISDOM

Ecclesiastes – our MEANING FOR LIFE

Song of Solomon – AUTHOR OF FAITHFUL LOVE

Isaiah – SUFFERING SERVANT AND PRINCE OF PEACE

Jeremiah – our RIGHTEOUS ONE

Lamentations – our WEEPING PROPHET

Ezekiel – the SON OF MAN

Daniel – the STRANGER IN THE FIRE with us

Hosea – FAITHFUL HUSBAND even when we run away

Joel – The RESTORER of all that the locusts had eaten

Amos – our BURDEN BEARER

Obadiah – He is MIGHTY TO SAVE

Jonah – our GREATEST MISSIONARY

Micah – He is the FAITHFUL MESSENGER

Nahum – Our STRENGTH AND SHIELD

Habakkuk – our REASON TO REJOICE, even when our fields are empty

Zephaniah – He is our WARRIOR who saves

Haggai – the CLEANSING FOUNTAIN

 Zechariah – He is the FOUNTAIN FLOWING, taking away sin

Malachi – the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS who brings healing…

 

New Testament

Matthew – the KING OF THE JEWS

Mark – the SON OF GOD

Luke – the SAVIOR BORN IN THE CITY OF DAVID

John – the WORD BECOME FLESH dwelling among us

Acts – the SPIRIT who dwells in His people

Romans – the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

1 Corinthians – the POWER AND LOVE OF GOD

2 Corinthians – He is the DOWN PAYMENT of what’s to come

Galatians – He our LIBERTY that sets us free

Ephesians – our RIGHTEOUS ARMOR

Philippians – the JOY OF OUR LIVE

Colossians – the FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION

1 Thessalonians – our COMFORT IN THE LAST DAYS

2 Thessalonians – our RETURNING KING

1 Timothy – SAVIOR of the worst sinners

2 Timothy – LEADER of the leaders

Titus – our FAITHFUL PASTOR

Philemon – our REDEEMER, restoring us to service

Hebrews – our GREAT HIGH PRIEST

James – He is the POWER behind your faith

1 and 2 Peter – our LIVING CORNERSTONE

1, 2, and 3 John – He is our ADVOCATE pleading for us

Jude – the FOUNDATION OF OUR FAITH

Revelation – He’s THE FIRST AND THE LAST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE LAMB slain to pay for the sins of the world.

Modgnik Week 3: D-escending Into Greatness / G-enerosity Flows

Modgnik Week 3: D-escending Into Greatness / G-enerosity Flows

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's a completely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share a memory, you would consider one of your happiest times.

 


MESSAGE TITLE

D-escending Into Greatness/G-enerosity Flows

SERMON GUIDE

In the backward Kingdom of God, life is radically different. Instead of trying to build our little empire on earth, Jesus tell us the more that people are looking for is found in less. In His kingdom, the way to become full is to empty ourselves. 

Jesus was explaining the pathway to living a great life. A life where we descend into greatness by giving ourselves away and where generosity flows through us.

There are all kinds of unique, colorful, and different people in the world with an unbelievable variety of interests. But there is one kind of interest that unites the entire human family, one thing we all share in common. It is self-interest.

How many of us have fallen for the myth that tells us the more I have, the happier I am?

But what happens is, the more a person has, the more a person wants.

  • Share about one area that you think if you had more, you would be happier. This could be money, tangible things, time, people in your life. What would you consider to be enough?

Have someone read Mark 8:31-35.

Jesus knew that self-interest runs so deep that a few casual reminders will never make a dent. There is a series of three passages that continue to address this issue. In the first passage Peter rebuked Jesus for what he had to say. It is hard for us to imagine rebuking God; however, we have probably done this to someone in our life. We didn’t agree with what they had to say and took them aside to object, but the real reason for our objection was that their idea didn’t serve our self-interest.

Jesus was saying, “Peter, your whole world revolves around you. You’re only worried about you. You’ve missed my entire mission to redeem and save the world.”

And when Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” I think He wanted Peter to understand that self-interest is not just merely a psychological maladjustment.

Now you would think that the disciples would just jump on this and change their selfish ways, wouldn’t you? But me-first mindsets don’t change easily or overnight. So, Jesus needed to keep going after them with the same message.

Have someone read Mark 9:31-37.

When Jesus found out that on their travels to the next city, His disciples had been fighting over who would be first, He called them over. Sitting down, Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to be first (and you guys seem very worried about being first a lot) must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Have someone read Mark 10:35-37.

The disciples couldn’t really comprehend what Jesus was saying. They still were thinking that Jesus was about to overthrow Rome and set up a political kingdom and assert Himself as King of the Jews. They thought they were headed to Jerusalem for the inaugural ball. They were encouraging Jesus to go and make Israel great again. Then they were bickering who was going be sitting at Jesus’ right or left? We chuckle at them now, but we also struggle to comprehend what heaven will be like. We wrestle with the same things.

  • Why is it a struggle for us to be generous? What is the area of biggest struggle — hospitality, food, time or money?

Studies show that in our country, as people make more money, they tend to give less away, proportionally speaking. The more they have, the tighter they hold on to it. In Jesus’ upside-down kingdom, we learn that generosity is His will for us, that giving is the mindset and lifestyle of choice.

Have someone read Luke 6:38.

Jesus was explaining that God is generous, encourages us to do likewise, and that generous people will benefit. “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”

God has done so much. How much more could He do if we all really believe that the more we give, the more we’ll have to give? What if we really believed we are happier giving than receiving?

  • Share mind sets that hold you back from genuinely believing this principle of give and more will be given to you.

  • Share a time when giving to someone else brought you joy.

The Bible says when you honor God with the first percentage of your income, you invite Him into your financial life and your financial affairs. Gene shared how he and Barbara learned an important principle: generosity doesn’t happen until we make it a priority.

  • Each year we offer the 90-day challenge of giving and seeing if God doesn’t meet you, showing up in often unexpected ways. If you have taken this challenge and have a story of how God blessed you, share with your group.

  • If you have not taken this type of challenge, share about where in your financial life you need God to show up.

Now when Jesus explained that people are more blessed to give than to receive, He wasn’t just talking about financial resources, he was also talking about our time, talents, and service.

Noted psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman wrote a book entitled Authentic Happiness, and in his book, he comes down to this conclusion. He says that most all of us think that we would be happy if we could have more of something. Seligman found that when people are involved in acts of service for others, they become less self-absorbed, less depressed. They become more tuned in to others, more capable of empathy. They have a greater sense of community and a decreased sense of loneliness.

  • Share how the Holy Spirit wants to apply this in your life. Share if you feel He is leading you in a certain area or action.


APPLICATION

The space between not enough and too much can never be bridged. Seligman challenged his students. He said, “I want you all to go out and do one act that you know will make you happy. Then I want you to go out and do one act of compassion, one purely altruistic piece of behavior. Then write down your reflections to both of these things.”

  • Consider trying this experiment in your own group or with your family. Write down reflections and bring to share next week.

  • Honor someone this week with a text, a post on their Facebook wall, a handwritten letter, an email or a phone call. Next week share what you did with your group.

PRAYER

Pair off and:

  • Pray for the courage to believe that the more generous we are, we will have more.

  • Share a personal request you could pray for each other this week. Spend time praying for each other before closing.

 

Modgnik Week 2: Others First

Modgnik Week 2: Others First

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's a completely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share the coolest thing someone ever did for you.

 


MESSAGE TITLE

Others First

SERMON GUIDE

Jesus’ Kingdom is not like an earthly kingdom; it’s a backwards, upside down MODGNIK KINGDOM that looks completely different than we would expect.

Our idea of kingdom is shaped by what we see on TV and read in history books, and some of us are disappointed with Jesus because we are confused about what it means to follow Jesus and be part of the Kingdom of God.

Some of us have confused it with the American dream.  We think the end result of following Jesus is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house, two cars, 2.4 kids, and a dog, all behind a white picket fence in a good school district.

Others of us have confused it with going to church, saying a prayer at Thanksgiving, growing up in a Christian home, being a spiritual person, doing good things, or being a “good person.”

Still others may be confused about all the brands of Christianity: Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, non-denominational, Episcopalian, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and just plain unorthodox.

And a lot of people would say, “I don’t want to be a Christian at all because they’re a bunch of backwards, stuck-in-the mud moralists who seem to exist only to judge others and suck the fun out of life.”

But none of those things is really what Jesus invited us to.  Jesus invited us to follow Him and become a part of His upside down, inside out, backwards kingdom where we pray, “Oh God may up there, come down here.” The kingdom of Jesus not only makes life better, it makes us better at life.

  • When you think about following Jesus, what does it mean for your practical day in and day out life?  This isn’t a question about whether you read your Bible regularly (although that’s important), it’s a question about the impact that following Jesus has on your normal, “non-spiritual” activities.

Have someone read Matthew 7:9-12.

Our world and culture are divided culturally, politically, racially, socially, religiously. But there is a single universal ethic espoused by Jesus that all of us can agree on: Do to others what you would have them do to you. The problem, of course, is that we’re not doing a very good job living this out.

In the New Testament of the Bible, there’s a 2-word phrase that keeps coming up over and over again, “One another.” It’s used 59 times.  When we see the same phrase repeated throughout the Bible that is a clue to us that this is important to Jesus.

  • Honestly evaluate your day. How well have you kept the golden rule today?

Have someone read Acts 4:32-37.

“Encourage others” is one of the three “one another’s” we looked at this weekend. To encourage others is to put courage in them. You give them hope, confidence, and spirit by your words and actions. After Jesus died and rose again, believers left behind their jobs and lives to come together. This was exciting, but there was a need for resources.

One of these believers, Joseph, was nicknamed Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement.” He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. This incredible gift helped them do more in less time.

Barnabas was also the one to meet with Saul—persecuter of Christians who later spread the good news of Jesus all around the known world—when others were fearful of him. Barnabas helped give hope and life to the man who ended up having a huge impact for the kingdom of God.

Have someone read Hebrews 3:13 and Hebrews 10:23-25.

  • Who is someone you need to be intentional about encouraging this week?

Have someone read John 13:3-17.

Jesus is in the Upper Room the night before he would be arrested and washed the feet of his disciples. He was saying “serve others,” the second “one another” we looked at this weekend. When we walk through life like this, looking for a way to serve others, it changes our perspective.

Serving others is part of God’s upside-down kingdom and will bring joy like you never knew before.  Perspectives are changed when we sincerely give back and put others first. When we think, “How can I serve others?” we stop walking into situations thinking “What can you do for me?” This shift is life-changing and allows us to be part of the bigger story of what God is doing in the world.

  • Have you ever prayed, “Lord, how can I serve you today?” and had a situation present itself? If so, share with the group what happened and how it impacted you.

Have someone read Romans 12:10.

Honor is not something we talk about much anymore. It means giving others high regard and praise. Honor is showing respect to them.

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards. During his acceptance speech, Fred gave the audience 10 seconds of silence and encouraged them to use the time to think about someone who had impacted their life.  Then he honored the people who had impacted his life.

  • Take 10 seconds now and think about someone who helped you become the person you are today. Go around the circle and have each group member honor that person by sharing about him or her with the group.


APPLICATION

  • Honor someone this week with a text, a post on their Facebook wall, a handwritten letter, an email or a phone call. Next week share what you did with your group.

PRAYER

Pair off and:

  • Pray that God would bring people to mind that you can serve, honor or encourage.

  • Thank God for the people He has put in your life that have encouraged you and helped you to become the person you are today.

 

Modgnik Week 1: More Is Less

Modgnik Week 1: More Is Less

SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's a completely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • What was your favorite mystery book to read growing up?

 


MESSAGE TITLE

More Is Less

SERMON GUIDE

Have someone read Matthew 6:9-13.

The kingdom of God was central to the teaching and mission of Jesus. He told all kinds of stories using metaphors and parables to describe and expand our understanding of God’s kingdom.

When we pray the words “your kingdom comes” we’re simply praying, “Oh God, may up there come down here!” We pray for Your kingdom to be expanded from heaven to earth, that your will be done here, just as it’s done there is heaven.

What is a kingdom? Someone said that a “kingdom” is your sphere of control where you rule. It’s this empire that you control, that’s set to your tastes, likes, purposes, values, and character. It’s an environment arranged according to how you like it.

  • What is your kingdom? Where do you rule? How does it reflect who you are?

God's kingdom is the place that perfectly reflects his character and his values.  It is His domain where things operate the way He likes them to. Therefore, God’s kingdom is a place of joy, truth, grace, healing, compassion, forgiveness, and peace.

God's kingdom is a wonderful place, because He is wonderful. But God’s Kingdom is so different than any other kingdom on this earth. It’s upside down and backwards from what we would think.

This week we took the word Kingdom and looked at it backwards – MODGNIK.

Have someone read Matthew 16:24-26.

M is More is less.

You want the adventure of a lifetime? Then loosen your grip, give up control, surrender to God’s leadership and wisdom. When you do that your life will be a thrilling ride of purpose, passion, joy, peace and deep satisfaction.

It’s counter cultural, but in this upside-down backwards kingdom of God, more is less and less is more.

  • What part of your life is the one you grip on to most? What would it look like to give up control and surrender to God?

Have someone read Philippians 2:3-7.

Jesus redefined greatness, saying that in His kingdom greatness is not something you ascend to. Rather, it is something you D-escend into. This goes against our culture in every way.

The first step toward greatness in your life is making the decision to lay your ego on the altar. Start each day asking the Holy Spirit to remind you throughout the day, that you are not the center of the universe. You say, “Today, in regard to my own self-importance, my own ego, I choose to have the same mindset as Jesus, who laid down his ego even though he actually is the center of the universe.”

In verse 6 the word in ‘very nature’ God is the Greek word ‘morpha’ which means ‘the essence.’ Jesus was the very essence of God, yet He made a choice. He said, “Even though I could, I’m not going to cling to my divine rights. I’m going to open my hands, let it go, lay my go on the altar, and surrender fully to the will of the Father.”

Jesus laid down His self. He crucified his ego and nailed his self-interest to the cross, saving us all from ourselves. And in His Kingdom, all He is asking you and me to do is put O-thers first.

  • Share a place in your life you recognize the need to put others first.

This is not only a kingdom of selflessness, but a place where G-enerosity flows.

Have someone read Luke 6:38.

There are all kinds of studies that show that the happiest people in life are those who give themselves away. Research shows that people who are generous with their home, their hospitality, their food, time, and money tend to flourish in life. People who volunteer, coach, mentor, serve others tend to thrive. Putting others first is real core value of this Kingdom.

As deeply fulfilling as that kind of life is, it’s still not about us. It is all about God working through us. We are just gratefully representing Jesus, bringing His up there kingdom down here.

  • This weekend was our Annual Serve Day, where over 1500 people gave their time and talents away. If you participated, share your experience and observations.

  • Some people make vision boards each year with pictures of what they want their life to look like. What would your life look like if you were to let generosity flow and put others first?

Matthew 5:16 (NLT) says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

In God’s ingenious design of the church, He gave us all different gifts, gifts that we can use to glorify God, letting others see what a life transformed by Jesus truly looks like.

Jesus tells some really great stories how the kingdom of God really works. He tells stories about lost sheep, lost coins, and lost kids. He says the kingdom of God is this radically I-nclusive place where everyone is welcome.  

Have someone read Colossians 2:13-14.

God swings the door open wide and through Jesus Christ looks beyond our faults, flaws, and failures. Instead of giving us justice, which is what we deserve, He gives us grace and unfailing love

  • Who is someone in your life that needs to experience God’s grace?  How can you reach out to them this week?

Have someone read John 12:32-33.

The people of Jesus’ day were looking for the kingdom of God to come. They were expectantly looking for a powerful king to show up. They had a picture in their minds of a ruler who would be an economic savior. They were longing for a political messiah, a strong military conqueror who would come and obliterate Rome.

In John 12, Jesus was talking about a cross and laying down His life. He would be taking the punishment for the sins of the world. It went against everything they knew or expected. Because our King is unlike any other king.  He’s a King who voluntarily gave Himself on a cross for us.


APPLICATION

  1. This week start each day asking God to remind you that are you are not the center of the universe. Each morning pray, submitting yourself and your day to Jesus.

  2. If your group was unable to participate in Serve Day last weekend, consider finding another way you could serve others as a group.  There are opportunities available at eastside.com/servelocally

PRAYER

Pair off and spend time praying for:

  • Help to live a life surrendered to God, one that has an outward, generous orientation.

  • The people you identified as needing to see God’s grace. Ask God for the opportunity and courage to reach out to them