Community Group Questions 6/10/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181399]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • Soul Refresh Challenge
    • Read the blog everyday for the next 30 days
    • Be at the Gathering each week - live or online
    • Memorize Psalm 103
  • Step Up Sunday
    • Kids are all out of school
    • Anxious to move up to their next class here
    • We have a plan for that
    • Please keep them in their current classes for now and stay tuned for updates as the summer progresses
  • WPWM
    • 8 week study on Malachi
    • Starting back up on  July 11th
    • Wednesday nights from 7-9pm
    • Study guides will be available for purchase at group for $15

Sermon Title: Soul Refresh, Part 2: Renew Your Youth

Main Text:  Psalm 103:5

Topics:

  • Youth is sought after in our culture. It is praised and held up, even idolized. And it seems that once it is gone it is something that is unrecoverable.
  • David says that one of the benefits of God is that He renews our youth.  This seems like it is impossible, but then he goes on to tell us how God does this.
  • He renews our youth by satisfying us with good. God brings so much good into our lives that it brings out a youthful expectation in us.
  • Think about the perspective we so often find in youth:
    • they have an optimism about the world
    • there is an expectation that the fairytale will come true
    • they are ready to challenge convention
    • they expect good news and are surprised with bad news
    • they are ready for fun and laughter
  • What we often say about this perspective is that it is naive and a good dose of reality will cure that dreamer mentality. At some point in life the fairytale is crushed. Whether it happens in early childhood or in adulthood, at some point the “real world” threatens to create a pessimistic expectation in us. It seems like that is unavoidable, because the truth is life is hard. You can’t be on this planet long before reality tramples you.
  • But what if that child-like perspective is not inextricably linked to the number of years you’ve lived on this earth. What if someone doesn’t have to live in a naive bubble to keep that expectation of good?
  • Many of us are blessed to know people well advanced in years who still have a spark about them. There is a resilient optimism about them. There is an unconquerable expectation that good is coming. Almost like all of life is one episode after the next of fun adventures. It seems like within each page of their life, there is reason for joy and laughter.
  • David is telling us that our youthfulness can be renewed by the fact that God satisfies us with good. What we learn from the Bible is that God loves us. Because Jesus died for our sins, there is no more anger or guilt on us. God sees us as perfectly innocent now. So everything God does is for our good.
  • Even when there seems to be a trial, it is actually reason to praise God because He is using it for our good. We can weather the pain of the trial anxiously looking for the good God is doing in it.  We can have an expectation and an anticipation of good.
  • Youth have a perspective of optimism and expectation out of naivete and innocence. Reality makes us at least cautious and reserved, at worst pessimistic and critical.
  • This verse teaches that a youthful renewal of our life can and does come from God. And this comes from the realization of an even more transcendent, an even more true reality: God is CONSTANTLY bringing good into your life.  For the Christian we have an even more “REALER world,” it is that God is turning everything in our lives around for good.
  • Even when my fairytale is crushed, I am still excited because I realize that the epic that God is writing of my life is even better! I in faith, accept that God is running my life and bringing more good into it that I can comprehend.  I can have faith and expectation even when that adventure includes pain and readjustment of my expectations and dreams.
  • When we focus on that reality, that incredible benefit of our God, it will renew our youthful expectation of good.  It will create in us an unquenchable excitement for what God is going to bring next in our lives. It will give us a constant reason to have joy, even if it is in the midst of pain. It will free us to dream again.
  • Why is it so important to have this kind of youthful perspective? Because when you boil it down, it is faith in God.  And God LOVES our faith.
  • How do we really focus on this benefit. One practical way of doing this: a prayer log.  A prayer log is different from a prayer journal, where you write out prayers to God. A prayer log is where you write down specific prayer requests and date them. Then you keep track of when and how God answers those requests. It is amazing to see how often He gives us what we are asking for. And when He doesn’t, we are often immediately glad He didn’t.

Key Questions:

  1. Who is someone you know who is advanced in years but still has a youthful zeal about them?
  2. How would you define a youthful and vibrant perspective?
  3. How would you describe what it is like to be around someone who is pessimistic and critical?
  4. What are the things in life that snuff out that perspective?
  5. Read Romans 8:31-39. On what basis can we expect good from God?
  6. How does realizing God’s goodness restore youthfulness to us?
  7. When is it the hardest to see God as One who satisfies us with good?
  8. One of the benefits that David is commanding his soul to not forget is that God satisfies us with good. What are some ways we can discipline ourselves to not forget God’s constant goodness?
  9. If you were to rate yourself on the youthful scale, where would you rate yourself (1 = pessimistic and critical, 10 = youthful and expectant)?
  10. What is one area in particular in your life, that you are struggling to see God as one who constantly brings good into your life?
  11. What is one thing that you want to do in response to this passage?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.