King David had a good friend, Jonathan, whose son was named Mephibosheth. In 2 Samuel 4:4, we read that Mephibosheth became disabled. Many years had passed, but King David remembered Saul’s family and invited Mephibosheth to his table. Jesus did the same thing during His ministry on earth: He invited people to come and join Him at His table.
- Pastor Dale defined the word “tribe” as a community, just as the Holy Trinity is a community of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the past year or so, we have been living in a world altered by the pandemic and at times secluded from others due to lockdowns.
- What does it mean to have a “tribe” in our generation? What are the challenges of being part of a tribe?
- Read Luke 14:15-24. Jesus invited many people to His table. What “tribal culture” could we take on in following Jesus?
- Our table is the extension of the Great King’s table. Inviting others to our table means we are giving them access to our lives. Do you know someone who has a big table that is always open to more people? What is it that they do differently? How can we do better in inviting others to our table?
- Pastor Dale mentioned that we could slow down and be relational. Discuss this idea and how we can avoid “informational transaction” and move into a deeper connection. What are some of the relational activities that we can plan?
- As we learn to extend our ‘tribe’, we can remove invisible walls, cross the culture and open our hearts to others who may be different from us. Is there someone you can invite to your table who is culturally different to you?
We were once like Mephibosheth and yet Jesus, out of His love and grace to us, invited us to come to His table. It is now our turn to extend our King’s table for the people that God has already strategically placed around us. Who can you invite this week? Pray that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind someone who has crossed your path and invite this person to your table.
The impact of current world events has caused some of us to undertake home improvement projects. We love to renovate and redesign our homes and in times of turmoil this may become a welcome distraction. But there is a risk that such outward transformations can avert us from the necessary inner transformation that God wants us to address. God calls us into the renewal and restoration of our inner lives and relationships, towards His perfection and not ours.
- Do you have a favourite television lifestyle or renovation show? What is it about this show you enjoy?
- Our lives are full of imperfections. What are some challenges or frustrations you are facing? Is it the imperfect marriage, imperfect parenting, imperfect career? Why is it easier to focus on material renovations in our home, rather than dealing with turmoil in our inner lives?
- “God isn’t holding up a perfect picture in front of us.” Do you agree with this statement? God wants to create new things in our lives towards His perfection. What are some of the things that could be hindering you from opening your heart to God? Why is this a challenge?
- Read 2 Corinthians 3:18. What would need to change to let the Holy Spirit transform the imperfections in your life? What are some of the things that God may be seeking to adjust in your life today?
- Read Colossians 3:1-9. There are some things that we need to throw away in our lives. What is one thing God is showing you that you need to throw away in your personal world today?
- Read Colossians 3:10-17. There are other things we may need to strengthen, restore or renovate. Why do we find personal restoration hard? What is a barrier to potentially restoring a broken relationship?
- God gives us hope and the powerful resources of prayer and praise to sustain us in our challenging circumstances. Do you find it easy or difficult to utilise praise and prayer? Why might this be so?
We live in an imperfect world, but God is perfect. We can be assured that the Lord is graceful, and He is always there to hear our prayers. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us in our troubles and imperfections. Whatever you are facing today, be open to God’s restoration work and commit all the imperfections to Him. What is one thing God is calling you to throw away today? What is one thing God is calling you to restore in your life? Commit to act upon one of these things this week.
Jesus was sharing with his disciples his concern about the situation faced by the widows in his time. Many of them had been forced out of their houses and living in poverty, but then he saw one widow who “out of her poverty gave all she had to live on.” She was not merely tipping at the temple but was leaving a legacy of a gift for the work God has called her. How is God calling us to offer our “gifts” for His work today?
- Have you come across someone who is very generous or is always big at heart in helping others?
Are they anonymous and humble about their contribution?
- Read Luke 21: 1 – 4. The poor widow had only 2 small coins to live on, but she gave all that she had to the temple treasury.
Do you think this generosity is possible in our generation?
Is it a challenge or an encouragement to you?
- Pastor Tim mentioned that we do not need to be concerned about what we do not have so there is no need to compare ourselves with others. We only need to invest with what we have.
Do you agree with this statement?
How do you respond to this?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12: 27 – 13:3. God gives us gifts for the benefit of others, and we cannot “earn” them. But we can show our love for God by asking Him to teach us how to use these gifts.
Which gifts do you think God has given you?
How are you using them to benefit others?
- Pastor Tim mentioned that we can make an intentional choice to invest our time and energy to develop lasting and deep relationships.
Do you think this is possible? Are we too busy with our work and personal lives?
- We can use our creativity and insight to share our experience with people who may be going through a similar situation.
Is there an experience you have had that you can share your learns with others?
Do you feel it is difficult to share your personal experience?
- In Acts 7 we read that Stephen was one of the disciples who sacrificed his life because of his faith in Jesus but he also forgave those who had caused his death and prayed for them.
What enabled him to forgive so readily?
What would it take for you to forgive like this?
Today, we heard Jesus lift up the poor widow who gave God all she had. What Is the one thing that we can give to God this week? Is there someone God is asking you to reach out to and share your experience with this week? Ask God to bring to your mind someone that you can show grace and be generous to with your time, resources, or experience.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will show you what is the one gift God has given you and commit to use it to serve God and others.
The Old Testament tells us the history of Israel’s exiles. They were often scattered yet they managed to keep passing down the commands, decrees and laws of the Lord from one generation to the next (Deut 6:1-8). Through keeping tradition, the older generations of the Israelites influenced the younger. And thousands of years on from their exile, the vast majority were still practicing the same way of tribal living. God created humankind with the intention that we should grow more deeply and closely to resemble His likeness. As we do so, we have the power to influence others within our tribe to also grow into the likeness of God.
Read Genesis 1:26-27
- Have you ever listened to your parents telling the story of your grandparents’ lives? Did you find them interesting? Why or why not?
- Pastor Heather mentioned that we have the power to influence our families and loved ones. Do you agree with her statement? What might hinder you from positively influencing your tribe?
- Read Exodus 20:8-11. Pastor Heather mentioned that the Sabbath day is a gift from God for us to connect with Him so that we can rest, recharge and rejuvenate. What is your understanding of the Sabbath? Why do you think that we have become a generation that is often too busy?
- In order for us to have a greater impact on others, we need to make space and time for them. What are some activities that could deepen our connections with others? Are there barriers that you might face?
- There are many songs that speak about adoration, such as Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adored You”. Who are one or two people that you adore? Why do you adore them? What does it look like for you to adore Jesus?
- Pastor Heather mentioned that we could encourage our friends and loved ones to adore and worship Jesus. What could motivate you to do this? How might this be a challenge?
- In Genesis 1:26-27, we read that we are made in God’s image and formed in His likeness. When we learn of God’s majestic work in creating nature and mankind, our adoration of God increases. How have you been doing in growing deeper and closer into His likeness? How can you influence others to grow deeper and closer as well?
This week, ask God to bring to your mind someone within your tribe whom you could influence and impact. Commit to make space, and encourage this person to adore and worship Jesus together with you. Pray that you can set aside time and a quiet place to rest, recharge and rejuvenate as you connect and speak with Jesus each day.