Community Group Questions 12/1/13

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Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about the why we take a break during the holiday season. Check it out.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 80202073 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

*Please let your Community Group know about the announcements that matter to them.

Help Deck The Halls

  • Starting today, December 1st, we are going to start transforming our entire facility for Christmas, and we would love your help.

  • Today, through Saturday, December 7th, we would love your help decking the halls for Christmas. All skill levels needed. And any time you have to help would be appreciated. (good idea to go as a group?)

  • If you’re interested or available, email Noreen Roberts at noreenroberts@westpines.org.

Razzle Dazzle - Thursday, December 12th

  • Ladies - this is what you’ve been waiting all year for: Razzle Dazzle!

  • Razzle Dazzle is our Women’s Ministry Ornament Exchange. It’s taking place on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00PM. You can buy tickets TODAY - in the back. Registration is just $10 per person and you will want to bring a $10 wrapped ornament with you (to exchange as well).

  • This is one night you won’t want to miss!

Sermon Title: Why does it seem like the bad guy is winning?

Main Texts: Psalm 73:1-28

REMINDER: The following Topics are for your preparation purposes only and should not be shared with the group as a refresher.

Topics:

  • Why does it seem like sometimes the bad guy is winning?

  • Answering this question takes us to the writing of a man named Asaph, one of King David's chief musicians.  He was a song writer.  And in this particular song, much like our own modern day song writers, he is writing about prosperity, fame, success, easy living & the high life.

  • Except for one thing.  He isn’t writing about his own prosperity or easy living.  He is perplexed about the prosperity of the wicked.

  • Asaph begins by admitting that he recently got seriously tripped up when he saw the wicked prospering around him.  As his heart becomes more and more envious he creates a laundry list to God as to why things are unfair.  The “bad guys” live/are:

    • Painless lives

    • Healthy and strong

    • Have no troubles or problems

    • They have everything they could wish for

  • We can all empathize with Asaph.  Even though we know the wicked aren’t living perfect lives, sometimes it sure feels like it.

  • Seemingly it get’s worse.  Asaph wonders where God’s reaction is to the wicked, who not only disobey him but also directly go against him.

  • As Asaph continues to wrestle with this question, another question emerges.

    • If the wicked are prospering does my righteousness have any value, is being faithful worth it? Is godliness a lie? Why am I playing by the rules if God is out to lunch.

  • Asaph, now worn out from all his pondering and bitterness, has nothing left to answer the question on his own so he goes to the sanctuary.

  • There everything suddenly changes!

    • The situation doesn’t change. Asaph doesn’t successfully convince God to get rid of the wicked as though God fell asleep and forgot about them.

    • In the sanctuary as He experiences the Living Go, reality comes back into focus

    • Asaph realizes that as he entertained the prospering of the wicked…it became exaggerated in his mind…misplacing reality and created further bitterness.

    • Asaph remembers it is impossible for sin to satisfy.

      • Sin is a destroyer by nature.

      • The reality is that those are are seemingly prospering are actually being destroyed by their sin.

      • Sin only guarantees dismay, destruction and disappointment

  • But even more than forgetting their reality, he forgot his own.

    • Included in the reality of getting God are three guarantees that ultimately changed Asaphs attitude, perspective and emotional state.: Guidance, grip & glorious destiny

      • Guidance: We receive a perfect counselor who guides us daily. God’s presence is our good.

      • Grip: While the world has no where to turn we have God’s perfect strength.  Now weakness, pain and doubt finally have comfort and relief in them.

      • Glorious destiny: Ultimately those who abandon God will perish.  But we are are promised eternity. Even death is not the conclusion but the begins of what is truly perfect...the free gift of heaven!

      • God is better than the bad guys best day

  • Practical Application:

    • Asaph begins by telling us that he slipped and nearly lost his way.  Slipping is not something we intend to do.  We need to stay constantly reminded of the guarantees of sin and the guarantees of God.  In part this why we come together each week, to remind each other of the benefits of Christ.

Key Questions:

  • HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and what was the low point?

  • ICEBREAKER: Who was the quintessential bully or bad guy for you growing up?

  • Read Ps 73:1-15

  • Why does it sometimes feel like the bad guy is winning?

  • Why are the perks of being the bad guy so enticing?

  • How does Asaph exaggerate the benefits of being a bad guy and how do we do the same?

  • Read Ps 73-16-28

  • What do you think it was like for Asaph in the sanctuary?

  • Have you ever had a moment like Asaph?

  • How does being the bad guy stack up to getting God?

  • Which guarantee that we hold in Christ sticks out the most to you: Guidance, Grip (Strength), or Glorious destiny (Heaven)?

  • Who is the bad guy in your life and where does it feels like they are winning?

  • How can we actively remind ourselves of the reality that “God is better than the bad guys best day”?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.