Community Group Questions 4/29/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40180347]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group:
  • Super Summer Family Movie Nights (Family Movie Night)
    • Normally we would be telling you all about kids camp at this time of the year
    • Many of you have asked what the plan is for that
    • Excited to announce that we are doing something different this summer
    • Our kids ministry wanted to do something that involves the whole family
    • I am going to let Melissa tell you all about it
    • We are doing Super Summer Family Movie Nights
    • Several Friday Nights this summer
    • Family Safe Movie right here in the auditorium
    • We will have some refreshments, fun games, prizes, and maybe even some wacky characters
    • Invite your friends and neighbors to be introduced to West Pines
    • More details in the coming weeks
  • Family Dedication
    • What is Family Dedication?
      • Family Dedication is for those church family members who want to commit before God and their church family that they will raise their child(ren) in a Biblical manner.
      • We will be dedicating in both of our weekend services on Mother’s Day weekend (May 13th)
      • Great time to invite your friends/family to join your family for this special day
      • Stop by the Family Dedication table after service if you have more questions or to pick up the packet to get signed up
  • Kids Ministry Volunteers
    • We’re growing, which is great, but it also means we need more volunteers
    • Volunteers serve bi-weekly with seasoned volunteers & in teams
    • Everything you need is packed up & ready to go for your team on Sunday morning
    • Currently looking for 9 adults & 3 high school students
    • High School Students, great way to knock out community service hours
    • Fill out Kids Ministry on Connection Card for more information

Sermon Title: Bad Things and Good People

Main Text:  Habakkuk 2:6-3:16

Topics:

  • God will bring wrath against the Babylonians for their crimes.
  • God’s first priority is that His glory is displayed through all of the earth.
  • As Habakkuk remembers God’s wrath his demeanor changes.  He goes from: “this is not fair,” to: “remember mercy.” When we say to God, “this is not fair,” we forget who we are, what we deserve, and what He has done for us.
  • After Habakkuk recounts all of the mighty works that God has done, he says that he trembles before God. He says, he will quietly wait for God’s to do His work.
  • Why is it important for us to see God’s wrath against very wicked Judah and Babylon? It is because we are not much better than they are. That is why Habakkuk’s attitude changes to waiting quietly on God.  We deserve God’s wrath too.
  • But Habakkuk 3:13 changes everything. God saved His people, to preserve His Anointed One, who would crush the head of the wicked. This language reflects the preview of the Gospel in Genesis 3:15, “the offspring of the woman [Christ]... will bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” It is because Jesus defeated the enemy, that we have averted the judgment that we deserve.
  • It is healthy for us to remember, as Habakkuk does, the wrath of God because it enables us to celebrate the magnitude of His grace and our salvation.
  • Often we are tempted to ask the question: “why do bad things happen to good people?” That is a common way we say to God, “that’s not fair!”  But like Habakkuk, when we remember what we deserve we change our cry to, “I need your mercy, Father.”
  • The truth is there was only one good person: Jesus, the Son of God. And God allowed an incredibly bad thing, a history-altering bad thing to happen to Him. So that there is no judgment left for us, only love.
  • But then why do bad thing actually happen to Christians, those who are in Jesus, those wrath has been diverted from? We go back to the first chapter of Habakkuk and remember, God has a plan that is far more complex than we can possibly comprehend.  But for those of us who are in Jesus, it is a plan for good. And that takes incredible faith.
  • Gaining the perspective that Habakkuk gained changes us. We realize that we are in no position to be condemning to others, because we ourselves deserve condemnation. And when we realize that we have been forgiven an incredible debt, we let go of the superiority that stands in the way of forgiving others.
  • We don’t like to think about God’s wrath. But it is necessary to get the full picture of His love for us.

Key Questions:

  1. When you read the 5 woes in Habakkuk 2, which of those evils angers you the most?
  2. As you read about the incredible acts of God in Habakkuk 3, which is the most awe-inspiring to you?
  3. Why don’t we like to talk about God’s wrath?
  4. How does remembering that God has wrath, accentuate His love?
    • it reminds us of what we deserve
    • it reminds us of the magnitude of his grace
  5. How does this passage address the common question: “why do bad things happen to good people?”
    • there was only one good person, Jesus and God brought a bad thing upon Him to save us
    • Other than Jesus there are no good people
    • But for those who have accepted His forgiveness through Jesus, our trying times are part of His loving plan for us
  6. If someone asked you that question, how would you answer that in a gentle way?
  7. How does remembering the greatness of God’s mercy towards us enable us to forgive others?
  8. Has there been a time in your life where you fought to forgive someone? What was that like?
  9. How do you know when you have forgiven someone?
  10. What is a situation in your life that you are sensing God calling you to move further in the process of forgiveness?

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