Reading Plan for this Week:
Monday, March 23 / 2 Corinthians 12:11-13
Tuesday, March 24 / 1 Chronicles 29:14,29
Wednesday, March 25 / 2 Corinthians 12:14-18
Thursday, March 26 / 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Friday, March 27 / 2 Corinthians 12:19-21
Saturday, March 28 / John 8:12-20
Sunday, March 29 / 2 Corinthians 12:11-21
Sermon Discussion Questions
When my world doesn’t make sense, fear has displaced my calling.
- Certainly, we can all relate to experiencing fear, especially in this last week. What is driving the fear? What consequences can arise when fear does the driving?
- There are extremely powerful antidotes in Scripture that should shake us from our fear back to faith. Colossians 1:17. Ephesians 3:14-20, Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 13:5, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139, Psalm 50:10, Romans 8, Revelation 22:13 just to name just a few. At times, these aren’t helping and then guilt and shame sets in. Can you relate? What am I doing wrong? How can we settle these verses in our hearts from pithy platitude to powerful promises?
- When we are the center of our own universe, we often have a difficult time recognizing our own condition. What guardrails can we put in place to recognize this seismic shift before self-worship become too difficult to bear?
- For a good (and needed) chuckle, check out this “me” centric worship album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XHkMPA1334
When my world doesn’t make sense, worry has displaced my trust in God.
- Why do bad things happen to God’s people?
- Read John 11:5-6, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” It seems quite cruel that Jesus waited for Lazarus to die before attending to him. Why did Jesus wait and why would he potentially stay his hand in averting crises like Covid-19?
- God often uses suffering and trial to shape us. Why does it often take such hardship to get our attention? See James 1:2-4. Does God cause difficult circumstances in our lives or does he allow them? Does it matter? Why or why not?
- Why is important to recall our calling when we are unable to make sense of our circumstances? See 1 Peter 2:9-10
When my world doesn’t make sense, "self" has displaced my surrender.
- Why is a life surrendered to Jesus so important in times of crisis? In Mark 14:36, Jesus said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” How can Jesus' surrendered words remind and cause us into surrender?
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged at Flossenbürg concentration camp on April 9, 1945. The United States forces liberated Flossenbürg on April 23, 1945, a mere two weeks later. Bonhoeffer’s last words were, “This is for me the end, the beginning of life." How does this worldview change how we respond in times of crisis?
- Read Matthew 14:24-26. What does it look like to surrender one’s life to save it? Yes of course: pray, read your Bible and go to church. Go deeper, friend. What can the world see and distinguish as a determined difference between a life surrendered to self versus a life surrendered to Christ in times of great crisis? We have an opportunity to show why “Give me Jesus!” is the only way. Let us tell them. Let us show them. Let us lead them to Christ in Jesus' name.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-25).