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April 2019

 

action guide
april 2019


time of discussion


personal abiding practices

  1. How has the Spirit been working as you abide in Jesus through your personal time in the Word recently?

  2. How has the Spirit been working as you abide in Jesus by communing with him in prayer?


group abiding & Active practices
HEAD, heart, hands

What truths do we need to know and believe?
What affections should we guide our heart toward as a result of this truth?
Where do we need to follow in joyful obedience?

PRAYER DIRECTIVES

  1. Head - Confess your need for the Spirit to guide you into all truth. Jesus is the Truth, and without His working on our hearts, no amount of teaching and logic will transform our beliefs and actions.

  2. Heart - Confess your need for the Spirit to grant right affections, emotions, and desires. Our hearts are prone to chase false gods and ideologies of this age, and we cannot perform or force our way into godly affections and desires.

  3. Hands - Confess your need as a group for the Spirit to guide you into right action. Confess your need for the Spirit to give perseverance and courage to obey what it is He is calling you to. Without Him, we will only think about obedience, but will not actually follow Him in what He is leading us to do.


mark 9:14-29

Summary of Text: As we enter the second half of the book of Mark, Jesus comes face to face with something that seems impossible - a young boy is possessed and the disciples of Jesus cannot cast the demon out. While the crowd looks on, Jesus has a conversation with the boy’s father, encouraging him even in his doubts. The situation gets worse before it gets better, but eventually, Jesus casts out the evil spirit and raises the boy up.
Jesus Connection: This attack from the evil one upon the little boy and his apparent death seem to foreshadow the path that Jesus prophesies He is now taking - the path to the cross. This is where Jesus will deal with evil and death finally and completely, once and for all.

Mark 9:21-24
21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

  1. Does Jesus require perfect faith to heal us? (Head)

  2. Is this bad or good news to our hearts? (Heart)

  3. How might this change the way we think about ourselves? about God? How might this change the way we live? (Head & Hands)

MARK 9:30-41

Summary of Text: The disciples had just failed to cast out a demon, which reveals their weaknesses, but they don’t let that stop them from arguing about how great each one thinks he is. They clearly are continuing to miss the point of the Kingdom message Jesus had been displaying and declaring: humility and dependence on the one true King. So, Jesus decides to use the object lesson of children (who were seen as the weakest and most vulnerable of society) to display again this upside-down message that the first will be last and the last will be first. True life in the Kingdom is found in serving, not in being served. And understanding this will lead us to lives of humility that receive with open arms those that others have labeled as “less than”, and frees us up to celebrate others that are experiencing gospel success.
Jesus Connection: Later in Mark, Jesus will wash the feet of His disciples, including one who would betray Him. His entire life is one marked by service and exalting others, namely His Father. In the cross, Jesus will perform the ultimate act of service, and by His resurrection and ascension, the world will see that life is truly found through dying.

Mark 9:35
35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

  1. What is true greatness in the Kingdom? (Head)

  2. How does seeing the life of Jesus, the true and suffering Servant, transform our affections? (Heart)

  3. How might these truths change the way we live? (Hands)

MARK 9:42-50

Summary of Text: Because Jesus desired to see people experience true life, He was not one to avoid controversial topics and hard teaching. Jesus teaches on the negative reality of hell to jolt His listeners into understanding the worth and seriousness of missing the Kingdom message. This is not a game. And seeing God in Christ Jesus is worth scratching, clawing, and fighting sin with all our might, trusting that this aim is worth losing everything for.
Jesus Connection: Jesus proclaims this hard teaching on his way to be crucified and tortured as a criminal on a Roman cross. His body is the one whose was ripped and torn asunder, that we might experience ultimate healing and have access to the Father. He is the one who descended into darkness so that we would never have to, if we only repent and believe the good news of the Kingdom.

Mark 9:43-47
43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,

  1. Spend a few moments discussing the reality of hell and the hopelessness of human effort apart from Jesus. (Head)

  2. What emotions do we have as we discuss this topic? (Heart)

  3. How might these truths change the way we live? (Hands)

MARK 10:1-12

Summary of Text: The Pharisees come to Jesus and ask Him a question, trying to intentionally lead to division, and if they’re lucky, maybe even His death. (This is what happened when John the Baptist spoke against the immorality of Herod.) However, Jesus is not concerned with the polarizing categories than men have fashioned, and instead asks the question that should be asked: “What has God said?” As Jesus always does, He gets to the heart of the matter - the hardness of man’s heart. The question regarding marriage or divorce is not, “What can or can’t I do?” Rather we should be asking, “What is God’s aim for marriage?”
Jesus Connection: We have all been unfaithful to our true spouse, Jesus. But Jesus has covenanted Himself unto us. He is the one who leaves His Father to hold fast to His bride, the church, and to become one with her. He has joined himself unto her, and has promised that one day, she will be presented as the pure and spotless bride, nevermore to be separated. No one or no thing, not even death, can separate us from this love. And this glorious truth is why marriage exists, to display the glory of Christ and His bride to the world.

Mark 10:6-9
But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

  1. Practically, what is the aim that God gives for every earthly marriage? What is the greater truth that this earthly union represents? (Head)

  2. How should this greater truth encourage our hearts, no matter how current state (single, widowed, engaged, married, divorced, re-married, etc.)? (Heart)

  3. How might these truths change the way we live? (Hands)


END WITH PRAYER

Spend time as a group thanking and praising God for what he has done in the gospel, and for how He is teaching and growing us through these truths.


time of planning


family

  1. Regarding your family identity as a Missional Community, were there any ideas that came up during discussion that you would like to plan to do in the coming month? If not, discuss ideas now.

  2. Is there a person or family you could invite to join you at this family gathering?

  3. If anyone plans to ask, stop right now and pray for these people by name, asking God to give boldness to those people who will be inviting others, and favor with those people they plan to invite.


mission

  1. Regarding your servant and missionary identities as a Missional Community, were there any ideas that came up during discussion that you would like to plan to do in the coming month? If not, discuss some ideas now.

  2. If you have a specific group of people or a place that you plan to go to, take time now to pray for that group of people.

  3. As individuals, how do you plan to prepare your heart for this outward-focused gathering?


Flex Week

  1. Where are you feeling the Spirit leading you in regards to your fourth time of gathering this month?

prayer directives to close

  1. Ask the Spirit to give you perseverance as a group to obey what he has called you to.

  2. Ask the Spirit for unity as a group and that he would help each of you to believe that he has made you family by the blood of the Son, Jesus Christ.

  3. Ask the Spirit to guide you during this upcoming month as you scatter on mission to the world around you in your various roles.