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.
Jake talked this week about how the false identities we’ve given God influence our decisions, relationships, lifestyles and more. We’ve discussed a couple prime examples on how we typically view God as a society: a buzzkill, a God that requires blind faith, and now we want to challenge ourselves to “redo” our views of God. In video games, we hit the redo button until we get it right, but what does God say about redos? God told Moses in the burning bush to tell the Israelites “I am has sent me to you” in Exodus 3, and as hard as it is, God cannot be boxed.
This week we’re studying Peter, a fisherman who wasn’t always the “rock” Jesus built His church upon (Matthew 16:18). He was a flawed man who denied Jesus three times when he feared death.
BREAKING THE ICE
Jake said that Peter’s life is a story of moments of victory followed by spectacular failures. Can you relate to Peter and his roller coaster life?
Your Gifts Are Unique
Jake challenged us to get in the game and use our talents and offerings for God. In fact, the prime reason to be in church is the community it provides. God called us to be together, not alone.
Where do you feel that you can serve? What gifts did God give you? Do you have a gift you don’t feel like you’ve been able to use?
Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these (disciples)?”
- Love The Lord With All Your Heart
Jesus asked Peter a pretty loaded question, "Do you love me more than these (disciples)?” Jesus made clear that if Peter loved Him, then Peter would feed His sheep. He called Peter to love the way Jesus loved.
If Jesus asked you this question, how would you respond?
- Shame, Conviction, Repentance
Jake talks about shame being the humiliation we feel when we’re caught doing something wrong. It often leads to despair, isolation, and depression. Peter, in John 21, was on the verge of living with life-long shame. But Jesus did not want “shame” to be a part of his identity, or any of our identities. He wants to move us towards conviction, which leads us to turn around, and choose a different path. In other words, Jesus wants us to repent!
If you’re comfortable sharing, do you feel like shame has become your identity? What was the moment you got stuck?
- Sin and Conviction
Conviction is different for each of us, for example, many people believe that dancing is a “sin” when many passages such as Psalm 149:3, suggest God enjoys our dancing as a form of our worship. We often misunderstand sin and underappreciate grace.
Are you taking on a sin that may not be a sin?
Is there a sin you may be making excuses for because of grace?
What changes do you think you would see in your life if you included God in your decisions before you make them? Is asking God what he thinks about your decisions uncomfortable?
- Sin is Sin
Jesus knew Peter loved Jesus more than anyone, largely because he knew what Jesus did for him despite his sin. Many of us don’t view our own “sin” as that bad. We think instead in terms of making a “mistake” and thinking we’re not as bad as that person who pre-meditated murder and other comparisons. But we have all "missed the mark."
Why do you think God views all sins as the same? What does this say about who God is?
Saved by Grace
Even if God views our sin as the same, mankind doesn’t.
Do you think that the person who was saved after pre-meditated murder will love Jesus more or less than the person who stole a cookie from the cookie jar? Why?
Does God's view of sin make you think differently about forgiveness?
- The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
Jake said a lot of us just say, “I just don’t have much of a testimony or story.” “My salvation story just isn’t that interesting.” What we’re saying in that moment, is God really didn’t save me from much.
What is your testimony story? And if you haven’t thought about it before, how has God shown His love to you individually?
READ. PRAY. DO.
Jesus came as the solution for our sin. Without His sacrifice, we would be forever separated from God. Even Jesus, when he took on our sins, yelled, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” because sin cannot exist in God’s presence. We only have life through the cross (substitutionary atonement).
- Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Jesus, thank you for your gift on the cross! I am so thankful to never have to face the darkness alone. Please show me what I was saved from and what I was saved for so I can serve you better! Show me how I can use what you’ve given me to feed your sheep like Peter.
Mission is moving soon! When we get there, there will likely be a rush of interest from new people - and that means we have a huge opportunity to help people stick around!
Connection with others is what makes people feel at home. It’s not the coffee, the message, the music, or the comfy seats - it’s the people.
So for the next 4 weeks, we are going to stretch ourselves!
Introduce yourself to someone new at church next week.
I.e. Hey! My name is ___ we haven’t met before!! Have you been around Mission long? Or are you new?
*Try to look for someone who is like you in some way that you can picture getting to know better.