Community Group Questions 9/30/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40180353]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • West Pines 1.0
    • West Pines 1.0 is an event that we have every few months that is all about letting you get to know West Pines better and letting us get to know you better.
    • It's a great first step to thinking through if you should call West Pines your church home.
    • The next West Pines 1.0 is coming up on Sunday, September 30th, right after the second service.
    • We’ll provide lunch and childcare, should you need it. If you’re interested, write “1.0” on the back of your Connection Card.
  • WPWM/WOF
    • We are very excited that our Women’s Ministry is starting back up
    • They will be doing a 6 week study starting on 10/10 - that’s Wednesdays at 10am
    • Childcare is available for a small fee
    • The will be studying - read slide
    • Don’t forget that we have a few WOF tickets left - There is a table in the back with more info on purchasing tickets for that event
  • Baptism Class
    • If you are interested in taking the step of Baptism, we are having a class for you to learn more about that on Thursday 10/11 at 7pm in the MP Room
    • If you are interested in attending the class, just write “Baptism” on the back of your connection card

Sermon Title: Finding Your Sea Legs, Part 1: Hoist the Mainsail

Main Text:  Titus 1:1-4

Topics:

  • Paul is writing a book that trains a young pastor, Titus. In this book he teaches him about how to lead the new Christians in the churches he is looking after.
  • This book contains some of the challenges that each Christian has to survive as they are on this adventure of following Christ.
  • In the first four verses of the book. Paul sets the tone for the entire book. He says, when it comes to Christians it’s our knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.
  • This is an important statement that every Christian needs to wrestle with. Because in our culture we tend to be led by our emotions. We can believe we can attest to the reality of something by what we feel.  We say things like:
    • You know it when you feel it.
    • It feels right.
    • I wasn’t feeling it.
    • I can’t help how I feel.
    • Trust your heart.
  • But having emotions as Supreme Guides of our lives is dangerous. We tend to be very fickle. A bad night sleep, a rude comment, or eating something funky can completely change our mode. Something small can change our emotions and tint our entire day. We know better than to trust our emotions.
  • Emotions are important, but in a very subtle way sometimes this same type of thinking can slip into how we relate with God. We can let emotions guide us, rather than us guide our emotions.
  • There are many ways Christians can let emotions guide us:
    • Don’t confuse what you feel with the Holy Spirit. We use phrases like, “I’m not feeling led to...” But that is a tricky thing to determine. While that is not necessarily wrong, we should make sure that it doesn’t trump truth. There are times we don’t feel like doing something we should. Or we feel like doing something we shouldn’t. If we trust our emotions too much, we can allow ourselves to get convinced of something that is not true or right. When we “feel led” we have to test that with truth.
    • Don’t confuse how you are feeling with how close you are to God. Often we gauge our spiritual temperature by our emotions. After a conference or a camp or a particularly powerful church service, we feel very close to God. Then at other times we don’t feel very spiritual or passionate. At that point we feel like God is far away. But the truth is if we have put our faith in Jesus for salvation, then He has washed us clean. He will never leave us or forsake us.
    • Don’t confuse how you are feeling with validity of a spiritual experience. Emotions can be played with. There is nothing wrong with stirring each other up and motivating each other to godliness. But the true test of the validity of a worship experience is how it aligns with truth. Many Christians hear speaker who are not teaching anything of substance, or even teaching untruths, but miss it because they are stirred emotionally.
    • Don’t confuse how you feel with what is right and wrong. Just because something does not feel wrong, doesn’t mean that it is ok. In the same way, just because something does not feel right, does not mean it is wrong. We can’t trust our emotions to tell us what is right or wrong. Our consciences are not the same as our emotions. Sometimes there is a nagging feeling we have about something, that should trigger us to dig deeper: look to scripture, get some godly advice.
    • Don’t let the lack of emotion, frighten you. Often times we go through a dry time. And sometimes God is intentionally guiding us through that season to strengthen our faith.
  • We must let our knowledge and belief of the truth be what drives us.
  • This doesn’t mean that emotion is unimportant! Not by any means. Emotions are important just not the driving force. If we are in a dry season, we should try to stir up our hearts for God.
  • What to do if we are in a dry season:
    • Change things up in our personal time with God.
    • Quit ignoring things that are getting us down. Pour them out to God.
    • Get back to the truths that fuel our emotions.  Use the gifts God gave us to get us there:
      • music
      • Christian friendships
      • listen to good preaching

Key Questions:

  • What are some small things that can affect our emotions in a big way?
  • Read Titus 1:1-4.
  • Paul says it is the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness. When do people tend to trust their emotions and get into trouble?
  • What are some wise ways to discern if something is right or wrong?
  • If I feel like I am far from God, what is the truth I need to remind myself of?
  • When was a time you felt particularly passionate about your relationship with God?
  • Can someone share a time when God allowed them to go through a spiritually dry season?
  • What should someone do when they feel spiritually dry?
  • What are some truths about God that anchor you when you feel unstable?
  • What are some areas you feel like you let emotions guide you, rather than you guiding your emotions?
  • What truth about God do you most need to remind yourself of right now in this season?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.