Community Group Questions 6/24/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181403]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • Student Summer Uh-Oh-lympics
    • Its the games that didn’t exactly make it into the actual ohlympics
    • Meeting at Price Park
    • This Wednesday 6/27 12-3pm
  • 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 4: Refreshed by Eternity

Main Text:  Psalm 103:15-17, Isaiah 40:6-8

Topics:

  • In Psalm 103, David lists all the benefits of God.  And as we consider them we are refreshed down deep to our souls.
  • However, these particular verses are a bit jarring at first. They shock our system. But until we see these realities cannot appreciate the refreshing truths about God.
  • David has been talking about truths about God and who He is. Before he gets to the next truth, he tells us something about us.
  • This verse reminds us that our lives are short. It reminds us that God is in control of our life span. This challenges our ILLUSION of control.  When it comes to our health and our life we believe it is in our own hands to determine. We also have an ILLUSION concerning death. We avoid the concept, even though it is a guarantee that each of us will die one day. We distract ourselves from it.
  • It reminds us of our true impact that few will remember us when we are gone. David flat out says that we will be by and large forgotten. This is a shock to us, because we instinctually are trying to live lives of significance and meaning. But until we wrestle with this, and face this reality, we cannot get to what IS truly significance.  We have to first get past devoting our lives to INVESTING in our own IMAGE.
  • We try to keep the ILLUSION of control and longevity, putting thoughts of mortality out of mind.  That leads us to desperately make this our lives significance. We try to build our own IMAGES. This is our way of fashioning IMMORTALITY. If we can make a name for ourselves, a legacy, we can continue to avoid the uncomfortable truths are that we are not mortal.
  • This initially sounds depressing and fatalistic. But remember, David is listing God’s benefits.
  • It’s like jumping into a pool. Someone stands on the edge looking into it, knowing that it will be refreshing. It looks so enticing and welcoming. But what the person knows is the initial entry into the water will be a shock to the system. So they are hesitant to jump.
  • In the same way, we need to be refreshed down to our souls, we need to be exposed to our mortality. The first moments in the pool of our immortality is a shock to the system. But on the other side we are refreshed.
  • But verse 17 saves the day.
  • It says that God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. He expresses His love to us not just through our lives but forever. In fact He saw to it that He could by saving our eternity at the price of His son.
  • So here’s what that means: while this life is short it is just the beginning, the prequel to the real story.  It is just the intro to infinity.
  • Let’s reverse engineer things.
  • When we REALIZE we have an eternity. That enables us to REINVEST in RELATIONSHIPS. When we do that we are comfortable with REALITY and that is REFRESHING.
  • It works like this:
    • When we try to live in an ILLUSION, ignoring our mortality we exhaust ourselves trying to keep control.  We are shocked and devastated with any health concerns. And we don’t know how to grieve. We are doing everything we can to avoid reality.
    • When we spend our lives INVESTING in our IMAGE, we live constantly stressed, panicked and frustrated. We neglect relationships trying to build ourselves and make ourselves something significant.
    • This false sense of IMMORTALITY, leads to crisis. At some point we ask ourselves, what are we doing of value? Many times this plays out as a mid-life crisis. We stop at say what has my life amounted to. One only asks themselves that question deep down, if they believe that this life is the main event and not the intro to another.
    • When we REALIZE we have eternity, we start believing all the things we are told about it. We realize that it is really our home.
    • When we are growing in our excitement for that, we can then give up this life. We can REINVEST in RELATIONSHIPS. Think about it, who says on their death bed, “I wish I had stayed at the office a few more hours...” What they do say, is “family and friends are what is important.” When we REINVEST we pour into those that WILL remember us when we are gone.
    • When we REALIZE eternity and REINVEST our lives that leads to a comfort with REALITY. We then don’t mourn like those who have no hope. We don’t mourn our own lives if we get sick or age. And we don’t mourn those who are in Jesus as if this is the end.
  • We should have a robust view of heaven and reverse engineer our lives based on that.

Key Questions:

  1. At the end of your life, what do you think you will look back on and say were the most important things?
  2. What are ways we in our culture avoid the topic of life’s brevity?
  3. What are different ways people spend their lives building their image?
  4. How does living a life to build our own image, exhaust and frustrate us?
  5. What aspect of heaven is the most encouraging to you?
  6. How does reflecting on heaven enable us to reinvest our lives in relationships?
  7. How does reflecting on heaven enable us to reinvest our lives in making God’s name known rather just than our own?
  8. What are some of the realities of life that a robust view of heaven helps us face?
  9. Read 1 John 5:11-13. If someone told you they were not sure if they were going to heaven or not, what would you tell them?
  10. What are some things that are distracting you from the valuable relationships around you?

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