Community Guide for October 23rd
Let your group know what to expect during prayer time, something like: “As we start our group time, I will open with a word of prayer, there will be a minute or so of silent reflection, and then I will read the scripture from Sunday and then close in prayer, and we will enter into our discussion time.”
- Open with a brief word of prayer: “God, we thank you for this time together. We open our hearts to how you might want to meet with us. Allow us to hear your voice and experience your spirit at work. Come Holy Spirit.”
- Sit before the Lord in silent prayerful reflection for 1-2 minutes
- Read the scripture listed below aloud for the group to reflect on.
- Close in a word of prayer: “God, thank you for your word, come holy spirit and allow us to understand what it means for our lives, lead us in our time of discussion together. In Christ’s name, amen.”
Scripture from Sunday
Read this Overview Together
1 // The importance of spiritually discerning friends
Jonathon as a spiritually discerning friend, literally saves David’s life from his jealous father, Saul. (vs. 1-7)
What does it mean to you to be a “spiritually discerning friend”? (or share an example in your life of a “spiritually discerning friend”)
Pastor Tim gave this statement on Sunday “Spiritual Discernment is listed as one of many of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. We need friends with spiritual discernment to tell us hard truths when we have
become disillusioned and to stick up for us when spiritual bullies want to destroy the good work God is doing in and through us.” What do you think about this statement?
Consider & discuss these application points from Sunday:
+ Who are the people we might need to stick up for?
+ Are there people that are under attack from others but don’t seem to have done anything wrong?
+ What is your role in that?
2. // The importance of friends who can get scrappy
Living amidst contested space requires wisdom & community. David would not have survived these circumstances without others being a part of his life! In verses 8-1 7, we read about Michal’s brave scrappy choice to help save David’s life by giving him a way to escape Saul’s attempt to kill him. Most of us probably haven’t had a friend help us escape someone who was trying to kill us. Or maybe you have (in that case, please share that wild story).
Considering your own life, how much value do community and wisdom from friends hold in your life?
When you think of those closest to you, how comfortable are you with bringing others into your contested space to help bring wisdom or help?
Thinking through this portion of David’s story, how has this changed your mind on the importance of sacred friendship? If at all.
3 // The Spirit of God as our refuge
The reality is that even Spiritual Friends and Faithful Mentors are imperfect; they will mess up, not be able to show up, and let us down. That needs to be ok, we need to allow our mentors and spiritual friends to be human. To offer shared support, empathy, and kindness when the tables turn and others cannot show up how you might hope. This is a reminder that we have an even greater source of refuge, support, comfort, and peace; God.
Read the following passages. What word or phrase resonates most with you as an image or reference of God’s character? Choose someone to read through each of these passages slowly. Then take a moment to go around and share that word or phrase.
Psalm 46:1 (MSG) “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.”
Psalm 46:1 (NIV) “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 4:8 (ESV)- In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me
dwell in safety.
Proverbs 18:10- “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
1The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
2He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside
me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in
the house of the LORD forever.
As we wrap up our discussion today, are you sensing an invitation around friendship with others or with God that needs to grow or have action taken on? Take a moment to share as a group.
Practice in Prayer
Weekly prayer practice:
Consider writing down your word or phrase from point #3. Use that word or phrase as a prayer reference of gratitude and centering word(s) each day this week. Allowing it to help shape your thoughts and emotions as you navigate your everyday world. (For example: “God, thank you that You are my space place where I can find refuge”. Then share freely with God what you may be experiencing or carrying.)