We are in our New Year’s Teaching Series, First Things First! With this series we are seeking to re-align our hearts around the principles, priorities, pursuits and purposes of God. This week marks week 4 in this teaching series! 

Pastor Tim takes us through these main scriptures today: Philippians 1:27-30, Philippians 2:1-18 NLT, John 13:12-17, Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 9:30-35, Matthew 16:21-26

Watch or listen with us!

COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE:

STEP 1- Ice Breaker

Help people to loosen up and share. It will be helpful if someone is new to go around and do names and have each person share about a question and share a bit about themselves. CLICK HERE for ice breaker questions ideas.

Scriptures from Sunday: Philippians 1:27-30, Philippians 2:1-18 NLT, John 13:12-17, Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 9:30-35, Matthew 16:21-26

STEP 2- Take Time For Learning through Observation, Reflection & Discussion

(Group Leader Note: These are set questions meant to spur conversation. It may be helpful to watch/listen to the message together if people did not have a chance to listen on their own time.)

Read through the main scriptures together from Sunday’s message: 

Philippians 1:27-30

“27Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”

 

Philippians 2:1-18 NLT –

1Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

3Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

7Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,

8he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and gave him the name above all other names,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Shine Brightly for Christ

12Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

14Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.

John 13:12-17-

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Matthew 20:20-28-

20 The mother of Zebedee’s children (James and John) came to Jesus with her sons. She got down on her knees before Jesus to ask something of Him. 21 He said to her, “What do you want?” She said, “Say that my two sons may sit, one at Your right side and one at Your left side, when You are King.” 22 Jesus said to her, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to take the suffering that I am about to take? (*Are you able to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?)”They said, “Yes, we are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will suffer as I will suffer. But the places at My right side and at My left side are not Mine to give. Whoever My Father says will have those places.”

24 The other ten followers heard this. They were angry with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know how the kings of the nations show their power to the people. Important leaders use their power over the people. 26 It must not be that way with you. But whoever wants to be great among you, let him care for you. 27 Whoever wants to be first among you, let him be your servant. 28 For the Son of Man came not to be cared for. He came to care for others. He came to give His life so that many could be bought by His blood and made free from the punishment of sin.”

Mark 9:30-35 –

30Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, 31for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” 32They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.

The Greatest in the Kingdom

33After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

Matthew 16:21-26

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

22But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 

  • What stuck out to you as meaningful, confusing, impactful and/or important?
  • What might this message and portion of scripture relate to in your life or our cultural moment?

STEP 3- Take Time To Process

  • Is anyone willing to share some thoughts, questions or curiosities about what you sense God speaking to you about through the message and scripture? 
  • Is there a need for deeper reflection or observation? What might be some ways to dig deeper, if necessary?

STEP 4- Work Towards Application

  • What area of life is God working in through this? (Inner, Outer & Other Life Map)
  • What might God be asking of me in this? What is my response?
  • What might be a practical application or action step to take over this next week?

STEP 5- Prayer 

Please don’t skip prayer!! Cut the discussion short if needed to pray for one another. Try one of these options, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

  • Have people split into groups of 2-3 to share prayer needs and pray for each other.
  • Share requests as a group and pray for one another. Assign requests to people that are comfortable with praying and go around the circle praying for each others needs.
  • Meditation with silence and stillness- A short scripture, word or phrase to focus your group. A time of silence and stillness, set a timer for 5 minutes if you want. Close the time with a prayer for your group.
  • Develop someone in your group as the Prayer Coordinator. Have them write down prayer needs, ask them to pray for those needs during the week, have them send a list to the group to keep in prayer, go through the list regularly to celebrate answered prayers and check off or add on prayers.

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