Community Groups Week of April 17th

Announcements :

  • Men’s Ministry ---  We will continue our study in the book of Romans.  Each week is a stand alone topic, so please jump in!
  • "Walk For Compassion" -- Sat. May 14th, 2016 @ Doral Central{Park, 9am! Go to, www.walkwithcompassion.com  
  • Church, we’re excited to let you know that NEXT Sunday, April 24th will be our annual Mobilization Sunday.We’ll be talking about getting involved in foreign missions and the ways you can get involved, whether it’s going on a trip or sponsoring a child.
  • Mother’s Day is only three weeks away and we’re asking the women at West Pines to get your families to join you for church on Sunday, May 8th for Super Mom Sunday! Whether you’re a mom or not, you, as a woman, have influence in the lives of those around you. You get them here, we’ll make sure they are welcomed, encouraged, and clearly present the Gospel for them.

 

Check out the Service Projects Tab for more opportunities

Sermon Title:

Against All Odds, Part 3: Entitlement

Main Text: Nehemiah 5:14-19

TOPICS ( Not to be read or e-mailed to your group.. this is for the leader's review and recollection )

  • There was a famine in the land and the poor Jews were forced to sell themselves and even their children into slavery until they could pay off their debts. In the meantime they were being given loans from their fellow Jews at aggressive and greedy interest rates that were taking advantage of their economic situation.

  • Back when they were living in Mesopotamia, sure they weren’t in their homeland but their families were at least together. Now, after the joyful return back to Jerusalem, their families are being torn apart—children sold into debt slavery. They left exile only to be sold into slavery by their own brothers. And so there arose what Nehemiah describes as a great Outcry among the people.

  • -The precedent that was established before Nehemiah was that governors would exact a tax on the people. This was the norm and this is what was expected. It wasn’t shocking or surprising. Nehemiah had a right to continue this practice. Even the servants of former governors benefited from these practices. So Nehemiah didn’t just set an example by obeying the law to not exact interest, he also surrendered what was rightfully his for the good of others.

  • MAIN QUESTION: Do I see the things I’m entitled to as an invitation from God to bless others or permission from God to indulge myself?

  • Games Christians Play 1) I-Don’t-Want-To-Live-Out-What-The-Bible-Is-Teaching-So-I’ll-Somehow-Explain-Away-the-Passage-So-That-It-Doesn’t-Apply-To-Me Game. The way you play this game is you read a passage from Scripture, decide you either don’t like what it says or don’t want to change your life to what God said and so you employ creative tactics to make what God said conform to what you wanted him to say.

  • Games Christans Play 2) the Insert-Yourself-Into-The-Bible-Story-As-The-Good-Guy-Or-Girl-And-Do-Whatever-He-Or-She-Does Game. We read the story, think about how we’re the good guy, and ask about how we can emulate what the good guy did. Now this one is trickier because there’s a large part of this game that is good and helpful. But we need to see beyond this and see how this Bible is revealing to us who God is and what He’s done for us.

  • The reason he was able to break the precedent set before him by the previous governors, the reason he was able to refuse to demand what was rightfully his was because he feared God. This idea of the fear of God is present all throughout the Bible as a consistent theme. We’re instructed to fear God. We’re told that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Here’s what it means to fear God: It means to see God as he truly is and in light of who He is, we’re able to see ourselves as we truly are. This produces a healthy fear, awe, trembling, reverence before God.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

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

  • ICEBREAKER: What is the tallest mountain you’ve ever climbed or the longest trail you’ve ever hiked?

  • READ:Nehemiah 5:1-13; 14-19

  • Summarize the situation in Nehemiah 5:1-13.

  • What made this moment so fragile for the Jews as they were seeking to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem?

  • How did Nehemiah model generosity and selfless leadership?

  • What are the dangers of entitlement and what are some ways that a sense of entitlement can keep you from becoming the person that God is calling you to be?

  • What are some of the norms or precedents set in your workplace or home that you have the opportunity to influence and reset into a new norm of generosity and service to others?

  • Read 1 Corinthians 9:6-16 - How did the Apostle Paul model the same principle we saw in Nehemiah’s life?

  • How do Nehemiah’s actions in Nehemiah 5:14-19  reflect the message of the gospel?

  • Why does believing the gospel lead to surrendering our rights for the sake of others, while believing in self-righteous religion leads us to demanding our rights for the sake of ourselves?

  • What’s one thing that is rightfully yours, but that you can give up or share for the good of another?

  • Will you do it?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.