Community Group Questions - 2/2/14

Pulling Weeds Header

Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about an upcoming serving opportunity: Compassion International's 5K.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 85651468 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

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

CPR Class

  • Next week we will have a trainer teaching a class after the 2nd service that will go over the basics and will provide everything you need to be CPR certified, including the actual certification certificate.

  • If you are interested, the class will be $30 per person and lunch will be included.

  • You can sign up by emailing MelissaMashburn@WestPines.org by Wednesday, February 5th.

Sermon Title: Pulling Weeds, Part 4: Selfishness

Main Texts: Matthew 5:38-42

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

Topics:

  • Jesus starts this section with a famous law. The law, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Is not only found in the Old Testament. It is one of the oldest laws in history. It is also found in Hammurabi's code. It is not a law that was to be carried out interpersonally. It is a principle to direct a government. It is a foundation for a civilizations laws.

  • To our modern ears this idea sounds a little harsh, but it is really the foundation of fair laws. This law is to let the punishment fit the crime. It is both to protect a civilization from having too lenient laws (creating anarchy), and having too severe laws (creating oppression). The idea is fairness.

  • Jesus then says his famous line, “But I say…” Here Jesus is going to push us to consider what true righteousness is. He is going to define this law more deeply. And what He says next is absolutely extreme!

  • He gives four illustrations:

    • Illustration 1: If someone slaps you on the right cheek, give him the other cheek to slap. The idea here is an insult. To backhand someone in the face is one of the highest insults. Jesus is saying put others over our own dignity.

    • Illustration 2: If someone sues you to take your tunic, give them also your cloak. The issue here is one of comfort. There were laws protecting the poor from not having their cloaks, since it was vital to keep them warm at night. Jesus is saying put others over our own comfort.

    • Illustration 3: If someone forces you to go one mile, go the second one with them. The Roman soldiers were able to commandeer help for a task. They could make someone walk one mile. Jesus says even though you only have to surrender your rights to go one mile, go the second mile. Jesus is saying put others over your own rights.

    • Illustration 4: Anyone who asks something of you, give to them. Jesus is saying put others over your own stuff.

  • Jesus is teaching a radical selflessness. Sometimes we define being selfish as wanting more than our fair share. But Jesus is pushing us to be willing to give up what is ours. To regard people more than that which is ours; whether it is dignity, comfort, rights, or simply our stuff.

  • We are being challenged to move our attitudes from “my share” to “share my…”

  • This is only possible when through the transformation that comes by putting our faith in Jesus. Only when God changes our hearts can we do this. Only when we reflect on what Jesus did can we be willing to follow Jesus into radical selflessness.

    • Jesus surrendered His dignity - becoming a human, and being stripped naked on a cross.

    • Jesus surrendered His comfort - being killed torturously and being separated from God

    • Jesus surrendered His rights - He was innocent yet He died a criminal's death

    • Jesus surrendered His stuff - He was on the throne of Heaven, yet He came to earth and had “no where to lay His head.”

  • Radical selflessness is following in Jesus’ footsteps

Key Questions:

  1. HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
  2. ICEBREAKER: What do you think of when you hear the word “miser”?
  3. READ: Matt 5:38-42
  4. How would you define fair?
  5. In what ways do Jesus’ illustrations push us past fair?
  6. What is an example of putting others over my own dignity?
  7. What is an example of putting others over my own comfort?
  8. What is an example of putting others over my own rights?
  9. What is an example of putting others over my own stuff?
  10. Which of those is hardest for you? (putting others over my dignity, comfort, rights, stuff)
  11. How does Jesus life demonstrate putting others over each of those (dignity, comfort, rights, and stuff)?
  12. What is a situation in your life right now that is forcing you to choose between others and one of those four areas of life?
  13. What can you do this week to more fully follow Christ’s example of selflessness?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.