One day, a future generation will look back and tell a story about us. What will that story look like? Will it be that we faded quietly into the night, or will it be a story of victory?
Lifegroup discussion questions after the break!
If you are the discussion leader, have your group open this page in their mobile device. If they missed Sunday’s message, encourage them to listen to it later on their own. Entire text of verse references are provided below.
Do you have a favorite Bible character? If so, who is it?
In a sentence or two, what is that character’s story?
Is this really a story about that character?
Isn’t it true that all of the individuals and all of the circumstances found in Scripture weave together to tell one big story? Who is that story really about?
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. -Psalm 9:1-2 NLT
When we think about our own lives, why do we think our individual stories are about us individually?
Why do we lose sight of the big picture so easily? How do we know when we have lost sight of the big picture?
Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe. -Proverbs 28:26
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians that there would one day be a story told about them. The same story should be told about us, shouldn’t it? What is that story?
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. -Philippians 1:27
On Sunday, we talked about living “Gospel-worthy.” Do you remember the definition of that? It didn’t mean to earn the gospel… It meant to respond how? (we will talk more about this over the next couple of weeks.)
What are some ways that I live Gospel-worthy? What are some ways I fall short of that goal? What are things I can put into place in my life that will help me increasingly live a Gospel-worthy life?
So, what does that Gospel-worthiness look like when we all do this together? (See Paul’s description in Phil. 1:27, above.)
Jesus called us to a clear pattern of what this looks like, didn’t he? What did he call us to do?
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:37-40
“…go and make disciples of all the nations,* baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20
Am I working together with the Body of Christ to love God, love others, and make disciples that make disciples? Do I invest my time and energy to support this mission? Am I giving to fund this mission? If we aren’t doing this, why not? What are the typical excuses for our disobedience?
How does our disobedience affect the big story that God is telling through The Orchard Church?
- Dianne and all the children’s ministry volunteers work hard to provide VBS for kids in our community, yet some of our families seemed reluctant to invite their friends and neighbors. What is the result?
- A woman in our church can’t worship with us, due to being unable to drive. She hasn’t been with us in months. What is the result?
- We desperately need to hire a youth pastor, but giving has been too low to bring on an additional staff member. What is the result?
“sunathleo” means to strive, train, compete, and win together. It means that there are always excuses, and things will always be hard… But that we are called to a much bigger picture than ourselves, and that we are to be about standing and fighting together so HIS story will be told.
Jesus prayed for us to be striving together for His Father’s glory, didn’t he?
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” -John 17:20-26
How can each of us do better about standing and striving together for the Good News?