Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Church - Part 1

As we begin this study, read and contemplate Matthew 22:37-40. Think about what Jesus is saying to those who want to become followers of His.

Read Matthew 4:18-22. Why do you think Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him rather than to believe in Him?

How are following Jesus and believing in Jesus linked together?

Look back at the passage again. What, specifically, did these men have to leave in order to follow Jesus? List those things in the left column. Then list in the right column what was represented by each thing they left.

LEFT BEHIND WHAT IT RERESENTED






Put yourself in the boat that day. How do you honestly think you would have responded?

What would have been the most difficult part of following Jesus in that moment? Why?

Do you think most Christians have left much to follow Jesus? Why or why not?

Do you believe that the life that Jesus demanded those who followed Him is the same life that is taught in churches today?

Read Luke 9:57-62. Journal what Jesus claimed was the cost of following Him.

What do you imagine the response would be if such a sermon were given in a North American church today?

Throughout history individuals have embraced the value of following Jesus. Having done so, they didn’t look with longing on the things of this world. Instead they looked back at what they thought was valuable, only to be dismayed at their shocking lack of vision. There was no comparison between what they lost and what they gained. This is true not only for the individuals but also for the body of Christ. What if a massive force of Christians started following Jesus with reckless abandon?

What are some obstacles that might stand in your way to personally live for Jesus with reckless abandon?

What are some obstacles that might stand in the way of an entire church's desire to live for Jesus with reckless abandon?

Describe a time in the life of your church when you felt it was close to this kind of abandonment.

Do you remember the catalysts?

Did something happen to stop the momentum? What do you think it was?

To experience the great things of God in the church, we have to put everything on the table. The budget, the programs, the classes, the vision—everything must be up for the reconsideration before God. We must release all to Him and ask Him to show us His priorities and purposes.

Let's be clear here...We're not talking about reconsidering biblical essentials and theological nonnegotiables.

What specific things at Trinity do you have the ability to put on the table for reevaluation?

If we want to push forward to shed light in the darkness, we must be unshackled from what holds us back. Put simply we need to let go of some things. And we need to begin by asking ourselves some questions. These questions should not be approached flippantly or timidly. The answers will determine the direction of both your church and your life.

Are you and I personally willing to put everything in our lives on the table for Christ to determine what needs to stay and what needs to go?

Is your church willing to put on the table every program you have created, every position you have established, every innovation you have adopted, every building you have constructed, every idea you have ever formulated, every team you have ever assembled, and every activity you have ever organized? Are you willing to ask God if there's a better way to use the time, energy and money He has given you for His glory in the world?

(Questions by Pastor Ricky LeMons - Trinity Baptist Church)

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