Community Group Questions 9/9/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40179392]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • WPMM Guys Night Out
    • Men’s Ministry is starting back up
    • Guys Night out tomorrow night
    • Fun and Competition
    • Wings from Flanigans, Pizza
    • 7pm in The Multipurpose Room
  • Kids ALL Team Meeting
    • For all Kids Ministry Volunteers, and anyone that is interested in serving in Kids Ministry
    • Today immediately after the 2nd service
    • lunch, games, prizes, plus ministry focus for the year
    • Go to the MP Room right after the Gathering
  • Student Ministry Guts
    • Looking for a place to serve but not so sure about what happens in student ministry?  What are they going to make me do in there if I decide to serve?
    • Student Ministry Guts will give you an inside look at students ministry to see if its the right fit for you because we need people just like YOU!
    • This will also serve as a parent meeting for those interested in where we are headed this upcoming ministry year!
    • Next  Sunday Sept 16th immediately following the 2nd service
    • Lunch & Childcare will be provided

Sermon Title: Out the Window of Opportunity, Part 2: Empty the Barn

Main Text:  Luke 12:13-21

Topics:

  • Luke contains some of Jesus’ most extreme teachings. Jesus is in a huge crowd of people. A man speaks up wanting Jesus to tell His brother to give him his part of the inheritance. It is interesting that this man shouts this out. He doesn’t ask Jesus politely. This is literally a command. Obviously this man is obsessed with this issue. He shouts it out to Jesus in front of a crowd, in the middle of the teaching. This was the one thing the man addresses Jesus with.
  • Jesus sidesteps the opportunity to be Judge Judy, and turns it into a teaching opportunity. He says be aware of all covetousness. He says that our lives do not consist in the abundance of possessions.
  • Jesus thens tells a parable of a man who had a very successful crop. He has such a big harvest that he can’t fit it all into his barn, so he builds a bigger barn. He then tells himself that he will kick back for several years and relax and eat.
  • Archeologists have speculated that for this hypothetical man to be wealthy enough to be able to relax and have others tend to his fields, he would be among the top 1% wealthiest of the area. The vast majority, if they owned farms would work them, themselves.
  • In the parable, God’s response to the man is to demand his soul from him that night. God calls the rich man a fool for his atrocity.
  • Jesus ends his lesson by saying, this is what happens to the one who stores treasure for himself and is not rich towards God.
  • Why did Jesus react so strongly to the guy’s complaint? Jesus is making it clear that he is not here to simply help things remain comfortably in the status quo. He showed up to turn upside-down what is in humanity’s heart. It is an up-rooting, a shake-up. He wants to turn everything on its head. He is not simply wanting to help humanity continue to pursue their idolatry. He is not intending to help us build our treasures for ourselves. Through His gruesome, grisly sacrifice He broke chains to bring us back to our rightful worship of the Sovereign of the Universe. To bring us back to being rich towards God.
  • But hold on a second, let’s go back. What was the “Rich Fool’s” great atrocity? He built a bigger barn. He had a large crop, stored it up, so he could relax and live the good life. Is that so wrong?
  • That sounds a lot like what is the typical status quo of American society. We build our “nest egg,” so we can retire and live the good life. We build up our wealth so we can travel, play golf, buy more houses or enjoy our hobbies. Is this so different from building bigger barns? In fact we literally buy houses with storage space. We complain about our jam-packed garages. We actually buy storage space to contain all of our stuff.
  • Interestingly, several sources have estimated to be in the top 1% of the worlds wealthiest, one would have to have an annual income of 34K or more. Maybe we are not so different from the “rich fool” as we would like to think.
  • But life does not consist in the abundance of possession. And there are all kinds of covetousness.
  • What would be the one question you would ask Jesus? For success on that deal, finding that spouse, having that child, getting that job, finding that house, reconciliation for that relationship... What would be the ONE thing. Chances are that is the treasure we are boiling down our life to. And we should know that is NOT what life consists of. On the other end we will find emptiness.
  • What if Jesus is saying, the status quo of America is wrong? What seems normal is twisted and upside down? What if sometimes as Christians, we go to Jesus demanding that He help us build our treasures? Jesus has no intention of making one comfortable in their idolatry. He intends to jack hammer down to our souls recreating it into a worshipful one.
  • But what would be a life worth living? What does it mean to be rich towards God. God said, “whatever you did to the least of these you did to me.” (Matthew 25)
  • At the end of the parable, after God demanded the soul from the fictitious rich fool, He asked him, “all your stuff, now whose is it?” The problem is we look at all of our stuff and we say, “mine.”  Is it really ours? Should it really stay ours?  Particularly, if we follow after Christ who gave up all for us, should we not also become poor to reach the poor? (2 Cor. 8:9)
  • Here’s an example of one life that lived it up. It may have been a short life, but it wrung out every last drop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXpkBJ5r0Qg
  • How are we going to actually respond? We are going to Empty the Barn. We are going to bring stuff of value that is sitting in houses collecting dust and turn it into live giving clean water. For just 10K West Pines Community Church can drill a well for a village in Africa and give them clean water.
  • What we can do:
    • Find things of value in our homes: sports memorabilia, furniture, exercise equipment, jewelry, other collectables.
    • Bring them to the church offices.
    • We will sell them on Ebay or Craig’s list, and then eventually in a yard sale.
    • Examples of things NOT to bring: clothes, shoes, stuff that is broken or doesn’t work, stuff that we will probably end up having to throw away.
  • Aren’t we already doing a fundraiser?  Yep. Isn’t that foolish to do two fundraisers at once? Yep. Why would you do both at the same time? Because the Poor Widow didn’t save one of the copper coins for herself, she put both in at the same time. So West Pines is going to give her money to invest in the kids of South Florida, and her stuff to drill a well to save a village in Burkina Faso. Are we to chose between our kids or their kids? No! We are compelled to reach both.

Key Questions:

  1. Who is someone you know who has been an inspiring example of being “rich towards God”?
  2. Read Luke 12:13-21
  3. What type of emotion do you think is driving the brother to shout out of the crowd and make a demand on Jesus like that?
  4. What are some examples of various types of covetousness?
  5. What does it look like in our lives when we start seeing of life as consisting in the abundance of our possessions?
  6. Do you think this leads to a fulfilled life or not? Why?
  7. Can someone recap the parable in your own words? What would be a parallel to that parable in our culture?
  8. Read Matthew 25:31-40. According to this passage, what is one way of being “rich towards God”?
  9. If you can, show the video again for your group: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXpkBJ5r0Qg. How does this story inspire you?
  10. Of all the various areas of covetousness, which do you think you most easily slip into?
  11. What can you “empty out of your barn” to use for the needy?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.