Community Group Questions 11/18/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181400]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • The Fu(d)ge Hangouts
    • Wednesdays Starting 12/5 from 2:30-5pm
    • Waffles of all kinds
    • Students come after school
    • Also looking for volunteers to help out
  • Christmas Eve Service Times
    • We just wanted to give you a heads up that we will be having 2 Christmas Eve Services this year.
    • They will be held on Christmas Eve at 5pm and 6:30pm
    • Start inviting your friends and neighbors now
  • Razzle Dazzle
    • Mark your calendar for 12/12/12 as our Women's Ministry will be hosting an ornament exchange called Razzle Dazzle.
    • It has been declared that when you say Razzle Dazzle you have to do Jazz Hands
    • You can register online of in the back of the auditorium after service today
    • The cost of the event is just $5

Sermon Title: The Untapped Power of Thankfulness

Main Text:  Colossians 3:15-17

Topics:

  • Thankfulness is one of those things we feel like we probably better do. It’s on our list of nice things to do for God. Stop and reflect on his gifts and blessings. That is something that we put on coffee cups and crochet onto pillows.
  • We may even go weeks or months without stopping to truly thank God for things. And when we do, it is routine prayer of thanks before a meal.
  • We might even feel guilty about not thanking God. We are a little embarrassed by our ungratefulness to God. It’s convicting.
  • Scripture is loaded with encouragements to thankfulness. There were laws and sacrifices and feasts dedicated to thanking God. There are Psalms and songs and prophecies demonstrating and discussing thankfulness.  The scripture is jam-packed with commands to thank God. It is in every genre, from beginning to end.
  • But still, it’s just not on our radar that much. Thankfulness is not high on our priority. It is something we just can’t work into our schedule. We are people of action.  We are pragmatic people. We do things that bring results. Thankfulness is a nicety that focuses on what’s behind, we are driven for what is ahead. We don’t have time for thankfulness.
  • But what if there is a far greater tragedy in our underdeveloped understanding of thanksgiving? What if we are missing something far more significant? What if our prayers are not merely thank you notes to God? What if thankfulness is not just politeness but an tapped power?
  • What if when we think of thankfulness we associate pretty stationary, when a closer association might be a stampede. We think thank-you note and we should think tsunami. We think coffee mugs and pillows, when we should think sherman tanks and missiles.
  • What if thankfulness is an untapped power?
  • Colossians 3:15-18 shows how thankfulness undergirds so much of our lives:
  • Thankfulness forges Peace.
    • When I stop and realize what God has done and is doing in my life, when I celebrate it, savor it, praise God for it... It brings peace.
    • It bleaches out envy and jealousy. I am no longer focusing on what others have, that I don’t. I am celebrating what He HAS done in my life.
    • It fuels contentment. Greed always leads me to be blinded to the treasures that are already in my life. We look at commercials, catalogs, websites, and malls full of things we DON’T have. We forget what we do have. Thankfulness is a catalog that reminds us of the treasures we have.
    • It extinguishes anxiety. Thankfulness remembers. It remembers what God has done in my life. And the more I percolate and marinate on what God has already done, how God has come through over and over again in my life... I realize that of course He will come through again.
  • Thankfulness sparks Obedience.
    • When I think of the Words of Christ with thankfulness, I realize that His words bring life.
    • That transforms obedience. It is not a drudge, it is a privilege. It is not shackles, it is freedom. It is not death to my joy, it is life abundantly.
    • This reduces the power of the sins that hang over me.
  • Thankfulness reinvents Ambition
    • When I think about what God has done, I begin to realize He is in control. I begin to realize how little I accomplish without Him. I realize that I can take very little credit for anything.
    • Thankfulness snuffs out my vanity and my pride. God becomes bigger I become less.
    • This makes me want to do things that bring Him glory not myself. That means that my goals and ambitions shift. It is not all about my happiness, popularity or success. It is about His fame.
    • This enables me to serve.
  • Ultimately we as Christians can live in constant thankfulness because of what He has done for us through Christ. He has redeemed our unworthy lives. He has loved us. He lavishes us with constant grace. He has given us eternity. What else is there?

Key Questions:

  1. What are some Thanksgiving traditions you have that actually involve thankfulness?
  2. Read Colossians 3:15-17
  3. How does thankfulness affect jealousy and envy?
  4. How does thankfulness affect contentment?
  5. How does thanking God for what He has done in our lives, affect our anxiety and worry?
  6. How does thankfulness to God affect our obedience in other areas?
  7. How does thankfulness affect our ambition and vanity?
  8. What is the most powerful result of thankfulness that you would like to see in your life?
  9. What can we do to be more intentionally and regularly thankful?
  10. What are some traditions we can start for ourselves or our families to be intentional about being thankful?
  11. What are you going to do this week to pause and be thankful?

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