Month: May 2017

2017-05-28

GOING DEEPER

UNDER THE SUN | 05.28.2017

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Breaking Ground

Fill in these blanks: “If I could just ___________________, then I would _______________.”

What would have to happen in order for your life to be amazing?

 

The Dig

Read Ecclesiastes 1:1-2

The Hebrew word for “meaningless” is hevel which actually literally means “vapor”. “Vapor” refers to things that can shift and be blown away with the slightest breath or wind.

List some of the “vapor” in your life (such as houses, jobs, bank accounts, etc.).

How easy is it to keep hold of vapor?

Why do you think the Teacher refers to all of life as hevel (vapor)? Does it encourage your or frustrate you? Stir up fear?

Has there ever been a time when you felt like you did everything right, but things turned out badly anyway?

How about a time when you did everything wrong, but somehow things ended up okay anyway?

Have you ever had a moment of grace or clarity, when all of a sudden all of your vapor lost its important, and you just experienced life?

How did that feel?

What does it mean to you to “seek first the kingdom of God”?

What does the kingdom of God have to do with your vapor?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Living in the kingdom of God means coming to the awareness that life is a precious gift all the time.

Break free of “vapor management,” and begin to cultivate an awareness of the gift of your life RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

You can begin by practicing the presence of God wherever you are at in your day. Just turn your thoughts to Him in love and acknowledge His love back towards you.

2017-05-21

GOING DEEPER

THIS IS US | 05.21.2017 | “Baptism Sunday”

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Breaking Ground

If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Why?

 

The Dig

Read Romans 6:3-6

In this passage, what events of Jesus’ life is Paul equating baptism to?

What do you think it means to be joined with (“baptized into”) Christ Jesus? What about joined with him “in his death”?

What practical implications does that have for your life?

Read Mark 1:9-11

What is the significance of God’s pronouncement at Jesus’ baptism?

What does it mean to you? How does it change your understanding of God and/or your relationship to Him?

Read Romans 6:4-10

What are some of the descriptives of the a Christ follower’s narrative (or theme song)?

Is this the way you’ve understood it in the past?

In 6:11, to “count yourself” dead to sin has the sense of doing a math equation or an accounting problem. It’s not theoretical.

How does that strike you?

What are some practical ways that you can “do the math” and count yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

If you’re a Believer, think about the key words of your new narrative: new life, transformation, no longer slaves, set free from sin, living with Christ, alive to God.

This week, think about how you can live that new narrative this week.

If you haven’t yet adopted this new narrative, what would have to be true in order for you to consider making God’s story YOUR story? Investigate and ask questions.

2017-05-14

GOING DEEPER

THIS IS US | 05.14.2017 | “Future”

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Breaking Ground

When you are building or assembling something, do you read the directions first, or do you just “jump in”?

How has that worked (or NOT worked, as the case may be) for you?

 

The Dig

Read Genesis 1:26-28

God calls us to “rule” over the earth; what does that mean to you?

Do you have any negative experiences with a human “ruler” (i.e., a person in authority)? What made it difficult or challenging?

Do you think ruling is difficult for humans? If so, what makes it difficult or challenging?

From what you know about God, what are some differences with the way He rules, as opposed to the way human beings tend to rule?

How can we close that gap?

From what you know about Jesus’ character, in what ways are you like him? How has God ALREADY gifted you to be like Christ?

In what ways does your character and action NOT resemble Jesus?

How can you close that gap?

Think about where you’d like to see E3 in 5-10 years. How would you like to see God moving?Put another way, what kind of legacy would you want to leave the next generation of Christ followers at E3?

What kinds of things can you do now to start that work?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

What are you waiting for?

2017-05-07

GOING DEEPER

THIS IS US | 05.07.2017 | “Present”

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Breaking Ground

What part of E3’s ministry has you most excited? Where and how are you plugged in, and where and how do you still need to connect more?

 

The Dig

Read Colossians 1:28-29

How would you define “maturity” in Christ?

Where do you think you are on the road to maturity? (Would others agree with you?)

Read Colossians 2: 1-3

In verse 2, “heart” in Greek is the center of life, or our will, and “love” is the “agape”, other-seeking love (the same love that God shows to us).

Why do you think Paul says that these are his “goals” for the Colossians?

Why are they important for us at E3?

On a practical level, how can we give and receive this encouragement and unity?

Similarly, why does Paul want this church to have “complete understanding”?

Is there a difference between “wisdom” and “understanding” to you? What is the difference?

Read Colossians 2:6-7

If you were being honest, how thankful are you? Are you “overflowing with thankfulness”?

Why or why not?

Why do you think it’s important to be thankful?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Think about E3’s pathway of discipleship (worship, growth groups, service).

Is there any aspect of this pathway that you need to more fully engage in?

How can you take a tangible step to do that this week? OR How can you encourage and help someone else to do that?

2017-04-30

GOING DEEPER

THIS IS US | 04.30.2017 | “Past”

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Breaking Ground

What are some of the transforming events of your past? How did they shape you into the person you are today?

What do you wish you would have done differently?

 

The Dig

“You have to allow yourself to be in a place of need in order to experience God’s providence.”

Have you seen this play out in your life? Why or why not?

What does it mean to be in a “position of need”? What are some different ways which someone can be in a position of need?

“Don’t underestimate the impact of your generosity.”

In what ways do you find it easy to be generous?

In what ways do you find it difficult?

What are some tangible ways that you can find to be generous to E3 and the Kingdom of God in the near future?

“The local church is at its best when life is at its worst.”

Have you experienced this in some way in your life?

What was it like?

What response or attitude did it stir up in you?

Are you aware of anyone who is going through a difficult time right now? How can you or your Growth Group respond and reach out during this difficult time?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Find some actionable ways to respond to any (or all) of these truths.