We’re in a new series called “Foundations” which builds off of Jesus’ metaphor in Matt 7: “A house built on sand will never be able to stand BUT a house that’s built on the rock will never be able to fall.”
This week, we’re in Practice #4: Grow in Community. Pastor Aaron Armstrong helpfully coached us through the HOWs of community that God desires for His children. When we look at the way Jesus led and loved, we see that He intentionally focused on commitment, truth-speaking, vulnerability, and prayer & care.
Today, let’s consider what vulnerability looks like within your community. Some helpful questions:
- How does your community follow Paul’s words in Romans 12:15 to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”? We can only rejoice and weep when we know the ins and outs of our friends’ lives. How could your group improve in this area?
- At the heart of vulnerability is the exposure of weakness.
- How comfortable are you with admitting weaknesses in front of others?
- Consider Paul’s admission in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10: “Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” What would your group be like if you each felt the freedom to share weaknesses instead of covering them up?
- One of the goals of community is growth in holiness - becoming more and more like Jesus. But holiness requires us to be honest with ourselves and with others so that we can help keep another accountable. How does your community help you choose holiness? How do you help others choose holiness?
Each day this week we’ll close with five intentional minutes meditating on John 15:9-17 (NET).
But, first, it’s good to be reminded what it is to meditate on Scripture. Gail Pitt, in her book “First We Were Loved,” describes the process like this: “Read through the Scripture three times, out loud if possible. Notice any word or phrase that seems to stand out. When this happens, stop and just stay with the word or phrase and see where your heart goes. See where He leads you. Pay attention to your feelings and be honest. He desires honesty and nothing is a surprise to Him. He is sturdy and can handle anything you have to say.”
Here we go:
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Father, make this true of us. Amen.
Published on 10-20-2021 @ 4:52 AM CDT