**THIS IS THE LAST DISCUSSION GUIDE OF THE SUMMER. WE'LL PICK UP AGAIN IN THE FALL. FOR SUMMER-MEETING GROUPS, SEE SUGGESTIONS BELOW.**
#1 Watch or Listen To "We Are The Resistance (Part 2): Not In Vain"
Consider this Sunday morning’s lesson. You can listen here: http://bit.ly/1gCDfNL
Or watch here [video will be posted by Monday each week]: www.vimeo.com/rrcoc
What stuck out to you as interesting?
Did you encounter any challenging or re-orienting truth?
#2 Hard Won
Do you ever feel like following God is too hard?
Give an example of a time when doing what God called you to do wasn't easy.
Are you going through a difficult season right now? Is it hard to consistently make good choices in some area of your life? Share.
(If group members share here, take a moment and pray. Prayer is one way to unleash God's power in our lives.)
During the sermon on Sunday we read I Corinthians 15:56-58. Because it's so spectacularly great, let's read it again:
"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
Does it help you to know that you will ultimately, in Christ, be victorious over sin and death?
- How does it affect the way you fight here and now?
Consider the following scenarios and ask these questions:
- If victory were uncertain how would you proceed?
- Knowing that victory IS certain, what's the best way to act?
- Having discovered you're a Christian, your boss consistently pokes fun at you at work. Lately she's been overlooking you for leadership opportunities.
- You have cancer. Likely you'll die within the year.
- You're trying your best to overcome an addiction. It is CRAZY hard.
- All your friends spend their money unwisely on really fun stuff. You're trying to commit to regular giving and you want to make better choices about how you spend and save. But you also want to do all the fun things your friends are doing.
- You have someone in your life you're just unwilling to forgive. But lately you're feeling like God wants you to take that step.
- It's possible God's calling you to be a missionary in a foreign country. But you don't want to move away from family and the comfort of the USA.
- Your spouse is incredibly hard to live with. She is consistently selfish, impatient, and unkind.
On Sunday we said the enemy often tells us "It doesn't really matter."
What in your life are you tempted to believe doesn't matter?
Is there a place in your life where you feel like your efforts are in vain?
Share with the group and let your friends encourage you and show you why your faithfulness and hard work matter.
#4 Long Game
Consider this quote from Maria Popova:
“‘Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.’ This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.”
Do you ever want immediate results when it comes to your spiritual maturity?
Does that phrase "tedium of the blossoming" ring true for you? Have you ever been frustrated by the "tedium of blossoming"?
For something similar, watch THIS from Malcolm Gladwell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPCOMtJL6vA
Why do we like the idea of "overnight success" so much?
Does it make you feel better or worse to hear Gladwell say greatness requires 10 years of work?
Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Is that true? Why or why not?
Now read the following passages:
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders..." I Thes. 4:11-12
"Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities." Luke 19:17
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Col. 3:23-24
Do you feel like our work is "insignificant"? Do you feel like it's important to do?
- Why or why not?
Is your group meeting over the summer? Here are a few possible ways to spend your time together:
- Share your personal testimonies. Get to know what God's doing (and has done) in your friends.
- Pray over each family in your group. Pray thoroughly.
- Read a book and discuss it.
- Read through a book of the Bible together and discuss.
- Watch a video series (Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of titles.)
- Do fun things. (Grill out. Meet at a park. Play games. Sing karaoke...)