Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on July 19, 2015:
- SUNDAY: Revelation 3, Revelation 3:20,
- MONDAY: Luke 6, Luke 6:46-49,
- TUESDAY: Romans 5, Romans 5:6-8,
- WEDNESDAY: Luke 5, Luke 5:27-32,
- THURSDAY: Luke 19, Luke 19:1-14,
- FRIDAY: Luke 15, Luke 15:1-10,
- SATURDAY: Luke 15, Luke 15:11-32,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: Take it Up a Notch Sermon Title: How to Move From Hatred to Love
Delivered On: July 12, 2015
"I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44)
Confess to God that you have been harsh and unloving with both neighbors and those who have wronged you. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit in a way that will empower you to extend love to those who love you, and even to those who see you as an enemy. Pray for an ability to remember how God loved you when you were living in rebellion to Him and ask for power to love those who are unkind to you…so that people will see that Jesus is alive!
A Bold Kind of Prayer: Identify one person who has hurt you or treated you unfairly. Commit to pray for this person every day for the coming week. Ask God to draw near them, show His love, and draw them close to Jesus.
Growth Group Discussion
What are ways we can show love to our neighbors?
Read: Matthew 5:44
How do you respond to Jesus’ call to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you (treat you badly and unfairly)? What does loving an enemy look like, in your mind?
What are specific prayers we can lift up for an enemy that will honor God and be blessing to that person? Why is it hard to pray this way? How can you begin praying more regularly and more passionately for those who have hurt you?
Read: Matthew 5:45
God shines the sun and gives the rain to all people as a sign of His care and love. What are some of the other gifts and blessings God gives to all people, no matter what they believe or how they live? How are these things a sign of His presence and care?
When we show love, care, compassion, and serve all people, we look more like children of God. What are things we can do (large and small) to all people we encounter that will show the presence and love of God?
Read: Matthew 5:46-47
Why is it so tempting to love those who will do something for us and warmly greet those who we know well? How can we go above and beyond the easy and comfortable encounters with people and stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone? Think specifically about things like who you connect with after church, how you greet people through the flow of the day, and who you spend your free time with.
Read: Matthew 5:48
When Jesus calls us to be perfect, He is talking about maturing into the person God has designed us to be. Tell about one gifting or calling you feel God wants you to develop in your life so you can be more the person He has designed you to be. What can you do to grow in this area? How can your group members pray for you and encourage you as you seek to grow in this area of your life?