Rising Tide: Week 3

This is our last week in our teaching series, Rising Tide.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Generally this term is associated with the idea that an improved economy benefits all participants. We are using this phrase in terms of spiritual economy of opportunity for ministry + discipleship. We are preparing for this rising tide of opportunity to lead, serve and grow in depth and breadth in 2020. 

Listen along with us to learn more about this Rising Tide – This week we engaged with what a Rising Tide looks like by becoming the temple and the trickle.

If you are looking to develop your spiritual life and create more of a rhythm of intentional spiritual practice, check out our resource guide from our series Rhythm here.

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.

(Group Leader Note: Use the Learning/Living Circle to guide your discussion and application of the content. Try your best to keep the “learning” and “living” focus balanced. The goal is working towards practical and personal life application.)

Step 2- Learning- Observe, Reflect, Discuss

(Group Leader Note: Don’t feel the need to go through every scripture, point or question. Pick and choose what you feel will make the most impact for your group. If you are not sure where to start, just ask your group what stuck out to them about the message most and start with that.)

Read this scriptures together:

Ezekiel 47:1-12 (NIV)

“The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; (the bodies of water not connected to the source) they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

Observation & Reflection Questions to Discuss:

  • Anything that jumps out to you as important, helpful or interesting in this scripture?
  • Are there any questions or curiosities you have about this portion of scripture that you would like to look into more?
  • How might this scripture connect with the idea of, “preparing for a rising tide”?
  • What is happens to trickle of water mentioned in v.2?
  • What is the effect of this trickle upon its surroundings? (Hint v.7-12)

STEP 3- Living- Planning, Accountability, Action

  • Read these 2 scriptures together:

1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)- Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1 Peter 2:5- “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.”

  • What does it mean to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit?
  • If God’s Spirit lives in us, how do we live in God’s Spirit?
  • Read these 2 scriptures together:

John 7:37-39 (NLT)- While at the Temple for the festival of Tabernacles in Jerusalem…  37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds,  “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit…

John 4:9-14- The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

  • What does it mean to have Jesus as the source of the living water of our heart and soul?
  • What might be some debris clogging up the flow of this bubbling spring of the Spirit of Christ flowing into and through our lives?
  • What other trickles or streams of spiritual life do we need to partner up with? (HINT- Our layers of relationship are key to this!)
  • Are we watching and aware of how God is turning the trickle of our spiritual life into a torrent? (Ezekiel 47:6- “do you see this?”) How can we be more observant of how God is working to bring about greater and greater renewal to and through our lives?

STEP 4- Prayer And/Or Meditation:

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.
  • Help your group develop a vocabulary of prayer. Pray a wrote prayer together.  Prayerfully read a Psalm or something from the Book of Common Prayer .
  • Meditation with silence and stillness- A 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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