Midweek Lesson 4-28-20
We want to focus on unity in the body of Christ in our time tonight. It’s a huge need always, but especially now being separated and all that is going on in the world.
We are going to spend the next 15 minutes in Romans 12.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Living sacrifices. I think for most men we would love to die being the hero that gives up his life for his loved ones or friends. I dead sacrifice seems easier. There is nothing easy about being a living sacrifice. It takes patience, long suffering and diligence. Its not as easy as a one time sacrifice it means daily making Jesus Lord.
* So grateful for all the essential workers! You have been living sacrificially serving the community.
This call to be living sacrifices is because of God’s mercy: we’ve been in need of mercy and will continue to be
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Don’t conform: are we set apart?
Renewing your mind: what are you doing to renew your mind? Are you spending extra time in God’s word? I know at the beginning of quarentine it was easier to be motivated to spend extra time but as it has lasted longer i’ve needed extra effort.
How much news watching? We basically decided that watching the news was not helping us. We get updates and do read articles online but we’re not watching the news very much. It changes so quickly and they seem to be trying to get people hooked.
God good pleasing and perfect will. ive needed to focus on this.
* It’s been encouraging to be studying the Bible with people to be restored in their relationships with God. His word really does renew us. Applying it to our lives brings so much joy.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
The need to be humble- don’t think that your perspective is the only one, the right one or the more spiritual one.
We can get in trouble thinking we know more than we really do.
Not sure if this is the right name, because I’m not an expert, but...
expertise fallacy- read something and quickly our brains think we’re an expert in that subject. We read something on social media, think we know all the details and all of a sudden we are experts. I saw a funny meme, it said, all my friends that were constitutional experts last week are immunologists this week… We need to remember God’s grace and look at ourselves with sober judgement.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We need each other
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
We belong to each other
** in what ways can we do a better job of belonging to OA in Christ?
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
let’s take a quick poll.
Poll 1 Which is easier for you seeing others gifts or your own?
How are you building up God’s church with your gifts? you are all a very talented group!
Think for a minute, what is a gift that God has given you?
Are you cheerfully serving and putting others first? It can be challenging if you’re with the same people all day, every day, to keep cheerfully serving. How’s the “nadab” challenge going at your house?
We are all called to show mercy.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
How are you clinging to what is good? Takes some effort.
Ex: I was talking with a friend who was having trouble getting past some of the challenges she was going through because of quarentine. We talked about keeping a journal at the end of each day of some of the good things that happened that day. We wanted to have the heart of clinging to what is good. She shared about it being super helpful for her.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
What do you think it looks like for you to be devoted to others?
What does it look like for you to honor someone else about yourself?
What’s a way that you feel honored by other people (in the chat?) If you are stuck with what to do, it’s helpful to think about what we personally feel honored by.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Spiritual fervor serving the lord is a different heart.. a different way to serve.
In this time you may have had to get creative in keeping your spiritual fervor in this time. Creative ways to pray, or be recharged. Getting closer to your God in new and exciting ways.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Share with people in need:
EX: refugee stuff… donations for women’s jail
several people have used their stimulus checks to help people in need
Giving overall to hope?
Practice hospitality: really reaching out to people.
What creative things have you done to be hospitable and still social distance? Share some ideas in the chat.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Some of us feel persecuted during this time (social distancing or wearing a mask where other of us feel persecuted if someone doesn’t have a mask on or aren’t social distancing)
How loving are we in these situations… how patient… How much are you blessing?
Would someone feel blessed by what you’re posting on social media? Or what you’re sharing, forwarding.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
We’ve had many things to rejoice about during this time: new births, graduation, engagements, families getting along (and maybe that’s hard for some people who aren’t experiencing that and it’s challenging. We are called to rejoice with people even if we’re not feeling the same joy). But we’ve also had some challenging things… the passing of Mindi, loss of job, stress of home schooling…we need to empathize with these situations as well.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Living in harmony with one another: that’s a lot easier if you’re practicing the things we just talked about. When you see your own need for grace and a relationship with God you will live in harmony with others.
Satan loves to divide us and have us focus on being critical of the people around us and that isn’t pleasing to God.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” n says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” o
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This is a challenging scripture. Do what is right in the eyes of everyone? Seriously? Live at peace with everyone?
Ultimately God is saying you love people, let me do the heavy lifting of handing out justice and passing judgement on people.
I’m not perfect, God is I need to let him be the one to deal with people, because I won’t do it fairly and justly.
Ann is going to read a post that Meegan Zillman posted today.
*Read Meegan’s facebook post
When I said "Jesus is Lord" 25 years ago, I changed my allegiance to him and him alone. That doesn't mean turning my back on my country or my race or my history, but it does mean that his way, THE WAY, as its been called, is now what I pledge allegiance to. And so I follow one who is "our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility...his purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility." I know this passage was not written about black/white race relations in the US, but I think the principle certainly applies. If I am following him, I have to care about this. I deeply believe followers of Jesus--a truly multicultural community of believers--are not only responsible to continue this work of destroying the dividing walls of hostility that humanity continues to erect, but we ARE equipped. We have to engage together in this conversation...and I KNOW first-hand it is wrought with the mine fields of hurt and frustration and pain and things I would rather avoid, but if he is still Lord, I have to engage in this discussion and figure out what the light we are to hold out looks like. Just going to church together doesn't make this happen, we have to engage on these deeply hurtful, divisive, scary places that I would rather not go. But, especially now to my black brothers and sisters, I want you to know I do want to go there, and stay with you no matter how hard or uncomfortable, or how inept my attempts might be. I look forward to the Denver Church's diversity committee's discussion on these topics next week. I know one conversation doesn't solve the issues, but we have to step forward together as a church.
share about untold stories https://www.denverchurchofchrist.org/untold-stories
Vs 21: how can we overcome evil with good? We need to be intentional about this.
Throughout our days we need to think about how can we put Christ’s love into action?
Christ’s love is amazing. We are called to be unified, humble and loving.
We look forward to seeing how God works in your lives as you live out these challenges from Romans 12.
Links to share in the chat.
Celebration of life for Mindi https://forms.gle/p3LZ9YpgYAif4GMj8
Father’s day submissions https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10r_dV8T-1i7xx7tqCUxp6Hh_xLQgx281svvWI1qORIE/viewform?edit_requested=true
Discussion Questions Post in the main chat.
Renewing your mind: what are you doing to renew your mind?
In what ways can you do a better job of belonging to and building up the church and one another in Christ?
How can we overcome evil with good?
Is there anything that you are mourning that you need prayer for?