Month: March 2018

03.25.2018

GOING DEEPER

03.25.2018 | “Witness 6: The Mockers”

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Breaking Ground

Think about a time when you were influenced by a peer group, your friends, or culture (Remember 80s fashion? Parachute pants, anyone?). What was it? Do you regret it?

 

The Dig

This is one of the more interesting passages in the Book of Acts. People who are opposed to the Church declare that these people are causing trouble “all over the world.” It’s ironic because at this point the church is very, VERY small. In other words, to say that they are causing trouble all over the world is a gross exaggeration.

However, what the passage DOES speak to is the fact that the men and women of the church are “in the game,” proclaiming the kingdom of God and Jesus in the face of the kingdom of Rome.

In the same way, the church is called to live out its faith and proclaim the kingdom of hope, love, and compassion in the face of our modern culture.

What are some UNHELPFUL ways that you’ve seen God’s people “cause trouble”?

What about some HELPFUL ways?

What is the difference? How can we discern when our efforts to live out God’s kingdom in the world may be hurting us rather than helping?

What are some helpful ways that we can be active in our community and proclaim God’s kingdom in Tallahassee and North Florida?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Be active. Don’t just live out your faith inside the walls of E3. Get out and impact your world.

Our impact and “trouble making” starts with the Cross. Lean in to one or more of our Holy Week gatherings this week: Thursday Worship and Communion, our Prayer Vigil from Thursday night to Friday evening, and our Tenebrae gatherings on Friday.

Specific times on www.mye3.org.

03.18.2018

GOING DEEPER

03.18.2018 | “Witness 5: Simon of Cyrene”

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Breaking Ground

Was there ever a time when you had to unexpectedly jump in and help address a situation or help accomplish a task?

What made you respond?

What did it feel like to help?

 

The Dig

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 and then 27-30.

Paul’s teaching here is important: In the first place he is describing the fact that ALL of the church (and we’re talking ALL believers EVERYWHERE, not just at E3) is connected. In other words, we serve each other because literally we ALL belong to each other.

Does your life reflect that reality? How do you think about or interact with believers from other churches or denominations? Are you as willing to help them as you would be someone from you own “tribe” of E3?

Secondly, he is talking about how, even within the same “local” church (e.g., E3), everyone has a role to play and how everyone can contribute.

(One more thing: If you have some time on your own, notice the fact that Paul ends his discussion of spiritual gifts with verse 31: “Use your ambition to try and to get the greater gifts. And now I’m going to show you an even better way.” What follows is 1 Corinthians 13, Paul’s “ode to love.” The key here is that—even though you’ve probably heard this verse read and used at multiple weddings—Paul here uses love to overlay the use of gifts in the church, not for romantic love.)

Though Paul only describes a few of the spiritual gifts here, there are other lists that can add up to dozens and dozens of gifts and abilities that help the church to function.

If you think you know what your spiritual gifts are, what are your top 1-2?

How do you know what they are? How were they discovered and confirmed?

Have you developed them over the years? If so, how?

How would you describe a “spiritual gift” to someone who was brand new to the faith?

Are you using your gifts at E3? If so, how?

If not, what is getting in the way?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

If you do not know what your gifts are (OR if it’s simply been a while since you’ve taken an evaluation), take a spiritual gifts test. There are a few online; start with this one: www.giftstest.com.

Share the results with your Growth Group or Ministry Team Leader and ask how you can get more involved.

If you already know what your gifts are, consider how you can jump in and serve in the most effective and impactful way.

03.11.2018

GOING DEEPER

03.11.2018 | “Witness 4: Peter”

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Breaking Ground

Has there ever been a time when you embraced a new hobby or activity?

Was it difficult? In what ways?

How much failure did you experience before you felt like you were succeeding?

What did it feel like when were able to perform at this new task?
 

The Dig

Do you tend to embrace a “static” mentality, or a “growth” mentality? Put another way, do you embrace change? How easy is it for you to experience real life change?

Read Hebrews 5:7-8

Have you ever read these verses before?

What do they mean to you?

What does it mean that the text says Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered”?

How does suffering teach us?

In what ways do you tend to avoid suffering?

What is it costing you?

What are some ways in which you have allowed suffering to teach you something important?

What did you gain?

IMPORTANT: It’s important to distinguish something like “despair” from healthy grief. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.

Have you experienced these two types of sorrow? How would you describe the difference?

How would you help someone avoid earthly sorrow?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Healthy (“redemptive”) suffering produces in us a desire to grow and hope for the future.

Embrace the idea of GROWTH = Relationship + Truth + Time:

– Where do you need to establish (or fix) a healthy relationship with God? With others?

– Put yourself in a position to hear truth about yourself, through the Bible, a counselor, or trusted friend or Growth Group.

– Allow for time to pass, for God to begin to work the change in you.

03.04.2018

GOING DEEPER

03.04.2018 | “Witness 3: Judas”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Who were (are) your favorite movie villains?

 

The Dig

Read Romans 7:14-25.

This passage is a brilliant description of our struggle as human beings. Simply put, we seem incapable of living up to our own standards. We know what we SHOULD do—whether eating our vegetables and exercising or choosing to be compassionate, humble, and kind—but we mostly find ourselves behaving UTTERLY DIFFERENTLY.

What are some things that you know you shouldn’t do, but find yourself repeatedly returning to?

If you’ve tried to stop, how has that worked?

Paul says this tendency is called (depending on our Bible translation) the “flesh”, the “sinful nature”, or our “self.” Thought it’s not necessary “evil,” it definitely gets in the way of living the life God is calling us to.

How easy is it for you to admit your brokenness, and that you are powerless to fix yourself?

Read verse 24. Can you relate to Paul’s feeling here?

Read 8:1-2.

What’s the solution?

What does it mean to be “set free” from sin (and yet still struggle with it)?

How does this play out in your life?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Be aware of your own capacity for “playing the villain,” in particular by owning your part of conflict and/or disagreement. Be quick to apologize, and

HOWEVER…

Don’t allow this admission to sink into despair. As you face your brokenness, be grateful to Jesus for his love for us in the midst of our weakness.

Say—or WRITE OUT—a prayer of thankfulness and gratitude