We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
Mark Twain called it the "greatest story ever told". It's Jesus' most famous story and has inspired countless retellings. In this series, we are looking at Jesus' "Story of the Lost Son" from the vantage point of each character.
The older brother Is not very excited when his way were younger brother comes back home. In fact, it cost him dearly and he speaks up about it to his forgiving father. Jesus doesn’t give us the ending to the older brother’s story, but still gives us plenty of ways to relate to him!
Breaking the Ice
Have you ever gotten news that changed your life dramatically in an instant?
Others' good fortune
The older brother in Jesus' story was not happy that the younger brother got a celebration when he came home. Instead, he is jealous and angry.
Can you relate to the older brother? Have you ever had trouble celebrating when someone gets great things after squandering what he's been given?
Jodi said that because the older brother was focusing on what he wasn't getting in that moment, he was forgetting what he always had because he was with the father.
Comparison and disdain
The older brother can't forgive or love his brother because he believes he is superior. And because of that comparison, it leads to disdain.
How can you regularly stay rooted in your own need for grace and forgiveness so you can more easily celebrate the grace in others' lives?
the unconditional love of the father was free for the younger brother - but it cost the older brother a very real portion of his inheritance. And if we are honest, unconditional love always costs us something.
What has love cost you?
Who has sacrificed for you without expectation of something in return? how did that impact you?
Where are you shine away from relationships in your life because you know that unconditional love will cost you something?
Have a life to give away
It cost Jesus his life to bring us back to God - but he did so willingly, and with the power of resurrection waiting for him.
where are you getting your fill so that you have a full and abundant life to give away to others?
part of the party
Because of the older brother’s attitude, he didn’t get to be a part of his younger brother’s homecoming party.
Are you a part of the party? Have you gotten to celebrate with people that you’ve invested in as they find and follow Jesus?
READ. PRAY. DO.
There are lots of parallels between the Prodigal Son story and the story of Jacob in the Old Testament! Read Jacob's stories and try to find the parallels!
Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Father, forgive us. Forgive us for Our constant comparison to the grace in others’ lives. And forgive us for standing outside of the party because you wanted something different than what you’ve so graciously given us. Help us humbly love those around us, and give us the unconditional love we need so we can pour it out on others.
Confess! Come home!
There's always something attempting to wedge itself between us and God. And God is always ready to forgive us and throw that party - no matter what we've done or how long we've followed him. So confess what is wedged between you and God, and know that he forgives and loves you completely!
1 John 1
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in himthere is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.