Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Hebrews 12:26-29; Amos 5:24; John 16:1-3; Matthew 5:1-16
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
On Sunday, Pastor Bo described the power of drift. She highlighted the drifting journey from the apostle Paul who was imprisoned by Rome and used that experience to evangelize to his prison guard, to Charlemagne in 774 AD who beheaded 4500 people who would not profess a faith in Christ. That is quite a drift.
This story should give us pause. In what ways are we far from Jesus’ description of His kingdom on earth in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:1-16)? We are living in a time of drastically varying ideologies. Pastor Bo described dangerous ideology as “ideas that do not align with the ideas of God and become idolatry.” We see this when humans (be it entertainers, politicians, or even celebrity pastors) become the focus of people’s devotion and worship instead of God. As a consequence, these human ideas are elevated above the words and teachings of God.
But God warns us in Hebrews 12. The things created by humans, and living outside God’s vision for humanity, can be shaken by God. And perhaps that is a healthy way to think of the season we are living in right now. Perhaps God is shaking His church to dislodge from us the debris of idolatrous ideologies that have clung to our churches so that we might return to the true essence of what God intended for His followers.
- Talk about the power of drifting. In what ways has the church drifted for what Jesus described in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7). In what ways has the church embodied the ideas of the sermon on the mount?
- Discuss dangerous ideologies that you have seen or heard in the American Church today. Where did these ideas come from? How are they in conflict with what you see and hear in the life of Jesus?
- What is God shaking in your life? What areas of your faith can you see need shaking so you can better embody Jesus’ teaching?
God doesn’t shake His church out of spite. Consider why God would upend wrong ideology, even if that is a painful process for us. What might God be pursuing in His Church?
Spend some time praying for one another. Pray for a clean and contrite heart for yourself and the people in your group. Pray for Jesus’ church to embody the vision Jesus gave us to be “Salt and Light” in the world.