Being The Church

7 & 8.February.2015

Genesis 12:1-3
I Timothy 5
Malachi 3:5


Quick Thoughts

Our entire lives, as followers of Jesus, are about something new. We stand for something different than our culture does. Our families look different, our marriages look different. Why? Because we represent Jesus. In addition, we are only able to be this sort of family of families because of what Jesus has done for us.

When our family defies the odds and we stick together, we show people Jesus. When we take care of the most annoying people in our family (yes even that crazy uncle), we tell people about Jesus. When the family is strong, the church is strong and when the church is strong, it tells of the only way it can be made strong: the Gospel of Jesus. But the flip side is also true. When the family is weak, the church can still be strong because of the Gospel of Jesus.

The fatherless have fathers. The childless have children. We are a family of families, filled with older and youngers and singles and couples and brothers and sisters and moms and dads, all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Three Types of Families

  • Trustee – where family > individual
  • Domestic – relatively autonomous families who operate in a common relationship with one another
  • Atomistic – where individual > family

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. Of the three types of families Noel mentioned this week, what type best describes the family you grew up in? Which type best describes your family now?
  3. Noel talked quite a bit about the importance of the Dad’s role in the family and how it holds a place of honor. If God is our Father then the way we see our earthly dads will have a huge effect on how we see our Heavenly Father. How has your relationship with your dad (or lack thereof) impacted (for better or worse) your view of God as Father? For you dads out there; how do you think you are doing at reflecting God as Father in your relationship with your kids? Or for those without kids yet, have you thought of your future role in this way? For those without kids, how are you doing this within the church?
  4. We learned that the church (Riv in our case) is a “family of families” and that the Gospel “gives our families a new mission”. How are you and/or your family specifically engaged in this mission?
  5. We learned how our faith is a family faith and how when we love those in our family we remind our families of God’s mission to bless all families through His family. As we do this, we show the world His love as they see us orient our lives to bless others. What are ways you see this in your family? What are some ways you can work on this within your family? What are some ways we can do this together as a Life Group?
Being A Spouse

14 & 15.February.2015

Genesis 2:24
Matthew 19:6
Ephesians 5
I Corinthians 11:3


Quick Thoughts

The deepest meaning of marriage is that – scattered across history and around the world in every culture – husbands and wives (merely by being husbands and wives), tell the world about Jesus. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says, “But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” That’s the picture.

Wives submit to their husbands as their husbands submit to the Jesus and Jesus submits to God the Father. The job of the husband is to love his wife. When a man consistently does this, others will ask him about it and he will be able to tell them about Jesus. The same is true when wives submit to their husbands … it’s all about Jesus.

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. Growing up, what was the picture of marriage you saw? What did that picture teach you about the purpose of marriage? How has your understanding of the purpose of marriage evolved as you have studied the truths of Scripture?
  3. Noel spent some time talking about submission within marriage, and how biblical submission is not domineering or controlling but is “consciously and freely yielding to the will of another”, specifically when in a disagreement. Is this your view of submission? Give an example of how you’ve chosen to submit even when you might be “right.” How does this reflect your level of trust in your spouse and in Jesus?
  4. Husbands are to be the primary Bible teacher in their family, and they are to “present her (their wife) to yourself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, whole and without blemish”. Have you ever seen this modeled for you? What are some practical ways a husband can lead their wives in this way?
  5. Take a look at the four steps to resolving an issue within marriage that Noel shared from Gerry Breshears below. If you are a husband or wife, would you be willing to commit to using this process for the next two weeks, and report back to your Life Group how it went? If you’re single, how do you think you’d respond to these steps?

Four Steps

Gerry Breshears, professor of Theology at Western Seminary, has outlined a 4 step process to resolving an issue in marriage:

    1. Husband listens to wife.

      He helps her state her case, listens non-defensively, asks questions without an agenda or making jabs. He respects her by making sure he really understands her position. He makes sure she feels heard, understood, and loved. She, in turn, makes sure she communicates in a way that is not trying to overpower him. Many times, once she has communicated her case, he gets it, agrees and the matter is resolved.

    2. Wife listens to husband.

      She seeks to understand him without being pushy or critical. He states his case without sarcasm…his tone is respectful and considerate. She paraphrases back for him. Many times, once he has communicated his case, she gets it, agrees and the matter is resolved.

    3. Seek common ground.

      Instead of being defensive, you try to see if you can move closer to each other’s position.

    4. Still Disagree?

      If things are still at an impasse and the decision needs to be made, the husband makes recommendation/ decision, expressing it with respect and honor and sadness that the process could not achieve resolution, taking responsibility for the decision. The wife submits gently and respectfully and gives her support to her husband. The limitation on her submission is if it were to be directly contrary to God’s scriptural command. If this happens, then they will need to get help from a wise Christian.

Holt: Being A Child

21 & 22.February.2015

at the Holt Venue

Ephesians 6:1-3
Galatians 3:26
Ephesians 4:14-15
I Corinthians 13:4-11
Ephesians 5:1-2
Philippians 2:14-16


Quick Thoughts

The Bible challenges us to submit, obey, and honor our parents because it’s God’s design for our family. But there’s more to it than that.

When we practice submission, obedience and honor with our earthly parents, who are imperfect, we’re developing healthy patterns that carry over into our relationship with God, who is perfect. The Bible teaches that we are to be child “like” in our humility and thirst for God’s Word, without becoming child “ish” in our actions and attitude toward others.

We should strain after God’s Word because growing in knowledge of the Truth is good for our faith, but we need to be careful not to grow in pride as we grow in our faith.

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. What did honoring, obeying, and submitting look like in your house growing up? What does is look like now?
  3. Can you see any correlation between how you’ve responded to your earthly parents and how you respond to God? What child “like” attitude do you need to bring to your relationship with God? What child “ish” attitude needs to disappear?
  4. What are you currently doing to develop a thirst for God’s Word? Or what are some ways you’d like to develop that thirst? What are some ways our Life Group can help with that?
  5. How does your identity as an adopted child of God empower you to love others in such a way that you become a light in the world?
MSU: Being A Child

22.February.2015

at the MSU Venue

Ephesians 1:3-6
Ephesians 4:17-24
Ephesians 6:1-3


Quick Thoughts

Adoption can describe a lot about who we are in relation to the Gospel, Jesus, and each other. Here are some things to think about in light of that:

  • Our adoption into God’s family becomes the defining reality of our lives.
  • The gospel places us into God’s family through adoption, a family of families.
  • Our adoption into God’s family directs how we live in God’s House.
  • The new life moves us in our literal families toward being children who honor their parents.

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  3. How do you think your childhood affects your perspective on being a child of God?
  4. Check out Ephesians 1:3-6. How do you think the idea of adoption (being chosen by God) has defined your life? How much do you think your identity in Christ has influenced the way you think about yourself?
  5. Check out Ephesians 4:17-24. How do you think the Gospel message influences the way we live in God’s household?
  6. Check out Ephesians 6:1-3. What do you think makes the command to honor your parents difficult for you to obey?
  7. “To honor” means to give weight to or for something to be heavy. What are some of the ways/areas where you can honor your parents?
REO: Being A Child

22.February.2015

at the REO Town Venue

Ephesians 1:2-6
Ephesians 6:1-3
Romans 1:29-31
Proverbs 17:25
1 Corinthians 14:20
Philippians 2:14-16


Quick Thoughts

The Bible explains that all Christians, regardless of their age, are children of God. Accordingly, God calls all of His own to be honoring children.

Honor essentially is the God-given right parents have to great respect; a privileged position where they’re inward and outwardly esteemed by their children. Yet, because we’re all sinful and sinned against, it can be difficult to truly honor our parents.

Thankfully, God has adopted us into His family and given us His Spirit. As we understand our identity as adopted children of God, we will be empowered and motivated to honor our parents and our Father God. Thus, as we experience God’s adoption and honor our parents, we succeed in glorifying God and showing love to His family.

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. What does it mean to honor our parents and why is it such an important thing to God?
  3. What are some positive traits and qualities in your parents that you admire?
  4. Can you see any correlation between how you’ve responded to your earthly parents and how you respond to God? Would you say there are positive or negative similarities?
  5. How can you be more honoring to your parents and how can you pray for them?
  6. How does the doctrine of adoption empower us to honor our parents, especially when they are difficult to honor?
  7. How does your identity as an adopted child of God empower you to love others in such a way that you become a light in the world?
Being A Sibling

28.February & 1.March.2015

I Timothy 5:1-2
I Timothy 4:12-16
Romans 8:29
Romans 8:15
Galatians 3:26
Matthew 12:34-37
James 3:13
I Corinthians 13


Quick Thoughts

Our family should be a place where there is an expectation of maturity – a place where forgiveness is offered. It should be a place of encouragement, discipline, and support. It should a place of identity, security, and acceptance. All of us long to be part of a family like that and the church should be there to fill that desire.

We are a family, because of Jesus and for Jesus. Olders should know that Riverview will always target the youngers, so we need you to be mission-minded. Youngers should in turn make this a place where olders feel honored and served. It’s all about Jesus.

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. Check out 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Do you consider yourself more of an “older” or a “younger” when it comes to your church family? How can you apply Timothy’s message to your stage of life?
  3. Paul says we are to set an example in “speech” and “conduct,” in other words your “talk” and your “walk.” Can you think of a recent time when you set a poor example in what you said or did? How did you respond once you realized your error?
  4. Paul says we are to set an example in “love” and “faith.” Who has been an example of “love” and “faith” in your life? Who do you hope to set an example for going forward?
  5. Paul says we are to set an example in “purity.” Is your life characterized by purity? Why is this challenging for you? How can your church family be helpful to you as you aim to live a life of purity?
Being A Parent

7 & 8.March.2015

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
John 1:17
1 Corinthians 13:11
Matthew 22:36-40
Romans 13:1-4
John 8:42-47
Matthew 18:15-16
2 Corinthians 7:9-12
1 Timothy 1:8
Galatians 3:24-26


Quick Thoughts

There is nothing more important in your life or in the life of your children than the Gospel. You can have well adjusted kids, moved out of your house, making six figures, with a great family, but if they don’t have the Gospel, they have nothing. That is why the singular goal of parenting is to point your kids to Jesus.

How do we do that? Well, the process is the same as it is for all of us: we move from law to grace.

“If you wish your children to be Christians, you must really take the trouble to be Christians yourselves.”
– Woodrow Wilson

Conversation

  1. What stuck with you from this week’s message?
  2. How would you describe the purpose/goal your parents had as they parented you? If you are a parent now, is your purpose/goal similar? How is your mindset different?
  3. If you’re a parent, what are some specific ways you are intentional about pointing your kids to Jesus? Where do you need to grow in this area?
  4. If you’re not a parent, how does this message about parenting apply to you? How are you preparing yourself to one day be Gospel-centered in your parenting?
  5. Are you able to use the word “sin” with your kids? With yourself? Do you pursue repentance with your kids, or do you stop at punishment? How about with yourself?
  6. How can your Life Group or others in your life help you “parent” your kids?