Community Group – January 3, 2012 – Morning – Clay Scroggins
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodyand the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
The last time Paul was in Ephesus he was thrown out, he is writing the letter from prison. At the time only about 1% of the people in Ephesus were believers.
Verses 1-3 – Theory/Perspective – How to think…
Verses 4-6 – Practice – What to think about…
Our perspective drives our practice
What perspective should we have about Christ?
Clay then told the story about the Auburn Toomer’s trees that were poisoned by the BAMA fan. I had never heard about this, but apparently to Auburn it is a huge deal! http://ocm.auburn.edu/news/oaks.html
– The trees are DEAD – LIFELESS, NO HOPE, NO FUTURE – they keep saying there is a “slim chance” of survival, but they are DEAD!!
– Before Christ, that was our state – we were DEAD, with no hope, no future…
– We have to know where we’ve come from, who we were before Christ. Because when we know who we were before Christ, the cross is even more beautiful against the backdrop of our former lives.
(Sin = Every evil thought, deed, etc.)
– Our sin offends God – Punishment = Death
– When you offend someone of a higher power, the consequences/punishment are more harsh.
– If you were to hit Clay (the leader of our community group), you might get in a little trouble with him, but if you were to hit the president you would be in big trouble.
Discussion Question 1:
How does it feel to be called dead? How does that shape the way you think about what God has done in your life?
– Thinking about friends that are un-believers as “dead” is difficult. It makes me want to share the Gospel with them even more. The thought of them as dead literally makes me nauseous. It makes me thankful for what God has done in my life, saving me from death and giving me eternal life. It also makes me want to make His name known even more, set aside my fears and share my faith, I am not ashamed of the One who saved my soul.
– “Dead” makes the gospel more beautiful, because it goes on to say, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not by works so NO ONE can boast.”
– God helps those who cannot help themselves.
-We have perverted the desires God put in us. The current of our culture is to kick our feet up and go with the flow. This ends with living lives we never wanted to live.
– When we “kick back” we begin to live our lives for things other than Christ – How would you feel if you were God and that were happening to you? It’s like a back-stabbing friend or a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend.
Discussion Questions 2 and 3:
Verses 4 and 5 – What hits you in your heart?
– The word MERCY hits me. Not out of pity, but out of compassion, unconditional love that we are saved.
– God is RICH in MERCY – a never-ending supply!
– Also, while we were STILL SINNERS Christ died for us, while we were DEAD he loved us.
Why should this “exchange” be life changing?
– We don’t deserve it. You must realize all other things are worthless in comparison to Christ and we didn’t do anything to deserve it.
This reminds me of Hillsong’s “Beautiful Exchange” :
You were near
Though I was distant
Disillusioned, I was lost and insecure
Still mercy fought
For my attention
You were waiting at the door
Then I let You in
Trading your life
For my offenses
For my redemption, You carried all the blame
Breaking the curse
Of our condition
Perfection took our place
When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
My burden erased
My life forgiven
There is nothing that could take this love away
My only desire
And sole ambition
Is to love You just the same
When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
When only love could break these chains
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
Holy are You, God
Holy is Your name
With everything I’ve got
My heart will sing how I love You
Main Session 2 – Beth Moore
Luke 8:40-55 – * Emphasis on 43-48 *
“Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. *And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Petersaid, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” * While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat.”
– Both women were sick – 12 years in the making.
– Jesus stopped long enough to help the need that was not the priority.
– No one would have looked at the woman with the discharge and called her need a priority, only her – she was seen as unclean.
– This passage makes us uncomfortable, but we are forced to enter into the awkwardness.
“We’re as sick as our secrets.” We have a tendency to hide what needs the most healing.
– We’re scared of how it would damage our reputation. How it will affect us socially. The bleeding woman would have never gone in public because anyone she was near would then become unclean.
“And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.”
“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
– She was seen her as unclean and when she touched them they would have been unclean. Jesus did not look at her that way. When she touched him, she didn’t make Jesus unclean, He made her clean. We are not hidden from God.
“Therefore, brothers,since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
2 Peter 1:9
“For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”
– We need to accept forgiveness and cleansing.
– Jesus’ robe fills the temple – there is enough robe to go around.
“Don’t just sit back and wait for something to happen – reach out!”
“It was the FAITH that drove the TOUCH that brought the HEALING.”
– We all have areas in our lives where we need healing. “Grab onto the garment and be made whole”
– Jesus felt the power leaving, but still has enough power to continue to heal and raise from the dead.
“We cannot consume Jesus, but He can consume you.”
– When you receive healing and wholeness, He feels it too.
– To say you’ve been healed, you must say you’ve been unclean. One does not come without the other.
Our prayer: CLEAN US.
Main Session 3 – Christine Caine
– It’s easy to ignore human trafficking when you take away the name and face and they’re just a number.
– When it becomes personal, everything changes.
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
God tends to interrupt our everyday mundane moments to transform them. He speaks to us and transforms us.
– What WOULDN’T you do if it were your family/child?
– There are 27 MILLION slaves – more people are being trafficked now that ever before.
“Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him andbound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
– Compassion is not compassion until you actively get involved, until you cross the street and DO SOMETHING NOW.
– God wants to use rescued people, to rescue people. The rescued need to rescue lost and broken people.
– Jesus has us in a lost and broken world to bring hope and restoration.
– Those 27 million are NOT a number. How will they ever know if we don’t DO SOMETHING NOW?
– Christine found out at 33 years old that she was adopted – she doesn’t know any facts about her biological family, etc, but said she doesn’t need to know the facts.
– She knows that she is God’s creation and was created for a purpose, just like those 27 million enslaved worldwide. The line between them and us is very thin.
We are set free to set others free.
– We are saved by grace for a purpose – for the works God prepared for us in advance.
Christine told the story about how Australians LOVE Wal-Mart, “Where else can you buy underwear, breakfast cereal, and a gun at 3 am? We tweet “I’m at Wal-Mart” and Americans are like “big deal.” Aussie’s – “I’M SO JEALOUS!” She took her daughter to Wal-Mart and she wanted to buy a flashlight. After they purchased the flashlight she turned it on and you could barely see the light. She asked her mom if they could go find some darkness so they could see the flashlight work.
This is a PERFECT example of how we should be seeking out the dark places in the world because light works most effectively in darkness! We should be seeking out the darkness!
– Don’t fear the darkness – shine your light and dispel the darkness.
Main Session 4 – Francis Chan
– Humanity is Reserved – We can end this if we refuse to be reserved.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
1 Kings 13:11-24
“Now an old prophet lived in Bethel. And his sons came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told to their father the words that he had spoken to the king. And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” And he said, “I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’” And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.
And as they sat at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back. And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD and have not kept the command that the LORD your God commanded you, but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body.”
– Do I know the Bible well enough to call a lie? Do I just trust and listen or do I KNOW the TRUTH?
You must read the TRUTH for yourself.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist,fulfill your ministry.”
– An answer can be found for every question when you are looking in the Bible. But don’t twist it to what it’s not saying.
-Don’t use the Bible to justify what we want.
-There will come a time when people won’t pay attention to sound doctrine, but will go to people who will tell them what they want to hear.
– We twist Scripture to make it match our desires.
– God is literal. He means what was wrote, it’s not a joke
“He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.”
– This is an example of literal. It doesn’t have any figurative meaning. Throw a banquet for the poor, not a “banquet of the heart, but a literal banquet”
– Do you take it literally? Just do it!
– Go and make disciples! This is a solution to trafficking.
1 Samuel 13 & 14
– We should not want to be in that last group – they follow after it’s safe and then jump in. We should want to be like Jonathan and his armor barer. Be the leader in a movement – be the one to jump in first.
– How can we just sit around when all of this trafficking is happening around the world?
– There are some Jonathans in the room the believe God CAN and WILL us them!
“Well done good and faithful servant.”
Community Group – Evening – Clay Scroggins
What stuck out most to you? What did you learn?
– I cannot just sit here and know what is going on in the world, not only around the world, but in ATLANTA. AROUND THE CORNER!
– Focus. I need to focus more on being still and knowing that HE IS GOD.
Francis Chan’s Talk:
When are you ashamed of the Gospel?
– When I fear what others will think
What needs to change in your life to fall more in love with His word?
– Stop looking at the Bible as academic
– I don’t HAVE to spend time with God – I should WANT to and count it as a privilege.
Christine Caine’s Talk:
27 Million – it’s not a number; it’s a person. How is that impacting your present life and your future?
– Present: I want to be involved in some organization in the Atlanta area, maybe with WellSpring Living, through volunteering or supporting them financially to do what they do best!
– Present: Take a stand against companies that use slave labor/child labor. I need to start researching companies.
– Present: Be a voice for the 27 million. Tell others what I learn at Passion, get the word out that it is a REAL problem, not just around the world, but locally.
– Present: Look into the needs in Bolivia. I want to research the problems with trafficking they face – maybe in the future I can work with an organization there to help stop it, since I fell in love with the country and the people.
– Future: I want to learn more. I want to be exposed first hand to what is going on – possibly Cambodia with Michelle Kime? ( I APPLIED FOR THE TRIP THIS SUMMER YESTERDAY!!)
– Future: Continued involvement with organizations that raise awareness, or help with prevention, etc for trafficking.
Beth Moore’s Talk:
Where do you need healing?
– Forgiving others.
I added my answers to questions, feel free to answer them for yourself. The time with my family group was so awesome to process through all of the sessions. I feel like I got a lot out of that time and continuing to process as I type them up is beautiful!
That’s all for Day 2 – Day 3 might have to wait until the weekend, I’ve got a busy week at work! 🙂