Up In Out

UP

When we look closely at how Jesus lived His life and ministry, we see that the Son of God lead with a balance in His spiritual life. He taught and modelled this balance to His disciples and us. It is a balance between three areas: relationship with God (Up), relationship with each other (In), and relationship with the world (Out). Regardless of where we are in our lives, we need to remember the importance of being in a space of intimacy in His presence. When we passionately pursue our relationship with God, everything else flows out of that place.

Read Psalm 57:1-11

Discuss
  1. What is your understanding of relationship with God? How are you with Him?
  2. In our reading, David was in a cave for shelter, but he knew that God was his only refuge. What is the difference between shelter and refuge? When you are facing problems, what or who would be your first refuge to go to?
  3. What does Psalm 57:2-3 say about David’s declaration of faith? How about God and His goodness? Why is it easy for us to forget the truth that God is good when we are in a tough situation?
  4. Considering David’s position, what do we see if we compare and contrast his stance in verses 4 and 5? What are the things that you often focus on in times of challenge? Why does the act of magnifying God help us in our circumstances?
  5. Why did David say the things he said in verses 7 and 8? How does this change his attitude? What is the personal fuel that always ignites your passion?
  6. In verses 9 and 10, David shows us that from a place of intimacy with God, we can’t help but declare who God is to those around us. Why? How have you been using the time on your hands to lean closer to God?
    Respond

    Our effort to build relationship with others and the world must proceed from our relationship with God. Being intimate with Him allows us to know what breaks His heart and understand what He wants us to do as His disciples. Now is the time that God wants us to stop and draw close to Him, to know His heart and see His Kingdom expanded across the earth. Will you take the opportunity? What is one practical step you want to challenge yourself to do?

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IN

Community was important to Jesus. From the outset of his ministry, Jesus invited people into his life and they walked together throughout his ministry. Jesus was very intentional and inclusive in building community. He invited people who were on the fringes of society, and these people in turn invited many others into community.

Read John 4:1-30

Discuss
  1. Jesus was always intentional in building authentic relationships. He did so with the Samaritan woman. Where and how many times can you see Jesus being intentional in today’s reading? What other passages can you think of that show his intentionality?
  2. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, he knew from the beginning that he would make them fishers of men. Read Mark 3:14. What was his intention when he called the twelve? In the midst of this pandemic, how can your Life Group be more intentional in caring for one another?
  3. Read Matthew 9:9-13. The way of the Kingdom, as we see from Jesus’ example, is creating community by breaking down barriers with people who are not like ourselves. How is this different from the way our world or society works? What could hinder you from becoming more inclusive?
  4. Read John 4:7-10. In this invitation to engage with the woman, Jesus demonstrated vulnerability by breaking the social norm (verse 9). Is it easy or hard for you to be vulnerable? Why do we need to take the risk of being vulnerable to invite people into community?
  5. Read Acts 2:42-47. Consider the way the disciples did community and how the Lord added to their fellowship. How might your Life Group use this time to be on the front foot?
  6. Read John 4:39-42. Jesus calls us into community not for our own sake, but so that we can bring the Good News and offer community to others. What do you think of the outcome of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman?
Respond

Jesus had twelve people that were closest to him, but he did not close that circle. He constantly invited others to experience relationship and authentic community. Life Group is a place for people to be part of smaller communities at Crossway. How can you and your group be more intentional about inviting people into the group? What is one thing your group is doing well in this regard? What is one thing that could be done differently or better?

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OUT

Jesus sent out the seventy-two with the words, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” These words are still applicable for us today. Jesus has equipped us to share the Good News, and people are more open than we think. The harvest is indeed plentiful!

Read Luke 10:1-11

Discuss
  1. As followers of Jesus, we are included in ‘the workers’ mentioned in verse 2. Why do we often feel that this does not apply to us? What does verse 2 say about God and the harvest?
  2. Why did Jesus tell the seventy-two not bring standard travelling equipment – money, a bag, extra sandals? Is there an area in your life that you need to give some space for God to work on?
  3. Luke 10:5-7 talks about ‘people of peace’ – those who like you, listen to you and serve you. Take two minutes of quiet time, pray and ask God to bring to light one person of peace that God has placed around you. How are you going to make room for them?
  4. The world nowadays pushes us towards independence, whilst Jesus encouraged the seventy two to stay in someone’s house and accept hospitality (verse 7). Why is this important in the context of discipleship? How might this interaction look today? Have you experienced this kind of hospitality?
  5. Read Luke 10:9. Why did Jesus teach them to respond to hospitality in deed – heal the sick, and in word – preach the Kingdom? What is your understanding of “The Kingdom of God is near you now”?
  6. Read Luke 10:17-21. Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Is this something that you look forward to? How can you be like the seventy-two that made Jesus full of joy?
Respond

As disciples of Jesus, we need to be obvious about our faith, without being annoying. The harvest is plentiful, and as workers, we are to be authentically curious about people that God has strategically and conveniently placed around us. Start connecting now and become predictably present as part of their life. Spend time as a group praying for those names that God gave you when answering question three. They are your people of peace. Reach out to them this week.

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