Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on May 27, 2018:
- SUNDAY: Mathew 25,
- MONDAY: Romans 2,
- TUESDAY: Deuteronomy 25,
- WEDNESDAY: Genesis 2,
- THURSDAY: Psalm 139,
- FRIDAY: Deuteronomy 10,
- SATURDAY: James 1,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: Justice for All Sermon Title: The Value of Life
Delivered On: May 20, 2018
God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. ([bible] Psalm 68:6[/bible])
Praise God for the way he adopted you into his family as your Heavenly Father, for the intimacy you have with him in the power of his Spirit, and for the ways he’s restoring you from the destructive impacts of sin in your life and injustice in your world. Ask God to reveal his heartbeat for justice to you, and look prayerfully for areas of brokenness he might want to reveal to you in your neighborhood, our nation, and the world. Ask God, “Break my heart with the things that break yours,” and pray for concrete ways, whether small or large, you might be able to participate in his heartbeat of justice for bringing healing and restoration to our broken world.
Dare to Ask During the coming weeks, ask three or four Christians if there is a particular “justice issue” that has gripped their heart over the years. This could be local or international, it could be things like foster care, human trafficking, or the global HIV+ epidemic. Ask what has stood out to them in particular about this issue? Why is it so devastating? What is it like for a person impacted by it? And in an ideal world, what would it look like for the Church together on a broad scale to be a witness to God’s love and heart for justice to people affected by this issue?
Small Group Discussion
When you think of your family experience growing up, was it overall a healthy one or a challenging one? If you feel comfortable sharing, what made it a positive or negative experience?
The sermon made the case on Sunday that “Family is a Justice Issue.” What do you think of that claim? Name some types of injustices that can result downstream when families are broken? What are some unique ways children are impacted by sin in the world?
Read Psalm 68:4-6. What family imagery does this use for God? Imagine being an orphan or widow: what family members have they lost, and how might this make them particularly vulnerable in the ancient world? What action does God take here toward those with a broken family situation?
Verse 6 says “God sets the lonely in families”; he does this through his people. We talked Sunday about foster care and adoption as one way churches can embody the Father’s heart for vulnerable children. What stories from the sermon stood out to you? Why is adoption a powerful representation of what God has done for us in the gospel?
“Sin is generational, but redemption can be too.” Josh talked about letting our kids stand on our shoulders, breaking patterns and cycles of sin we endured in childhood so they can grow healthier and stronger than we are. Is there a pattern you endured as a child you want to break? What would a better vision and future for your child(ren) look like? If you are single, who are people you are investing in and what hopes do you have for how you can raise them up to help them shine?
Josh talked about foster care and adoption as a powerful way to fight both abortion and human trafficking, as 90%+ of youth trafficked domestically are in the foster care system, and providing alternatives for women considering abortion is powerful. What do you think of this quote by Mother Theresa, addressed to leaders in Washington D.C. years ago during the National Prayer Breakfast?
“We are fighting abortion by adoption – by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child . . . At our home in Calcutta we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.”
How can we as churches be not only anti-abortion, but pro-woman and pro-child, providing a grace-filled, compassionate, tangible witness to the glory of Jesus?
Family is your first ministry. Josh shared the story of his friend who used to feel guilty like serving her children was preventing her from ministry. What was the paradigm shift she experienced? How can serving your own family be a tangible way to serve Jesus?
God’s care for vulnerable children is not only about others, it is also about you. Even if you are a healthy adult, God is a loving Father who cares for you as his child, and wants to pour out his compassionate presence in areas where you may have been wounded in your life. If you are comfortable sharing, what is an area in your own life that you would like to pray for healing for, together with your group before God?