When we gather as a group, these are some ways we ensure the best group discussion:
We make the circle safe by staying honest and transparent - leave the masks at the door.
We keep it inside the circle. Each person’s story is theirs alone to share.
We look to the Bible for wisdom and truth, and work together to let it shape how we see the world.
We don’t try to fix each other in front of each other or give unsolicited advice. We lovingly save hard conversations for private moments.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
All throughout the biographies of Jesus, we hear him talk about the Kingdom of Heaven. He described it with everyday examples - he drew a picture so we could understand. One of the first illustrations he used was a treasure. At first glance, this illustration is challenging and important - but with a deeper reading, it comes alive even more and we see that the treasure is different than we expected.
Remember, the questions are not a checklist to be completed, or in the perfect order! They’re simply guardrails to help you have a natural discussion about what we learned on Sunday.
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
What was your most prized possession growing up? What made it so valuable to you?
Our world’s treasures
What are the most valuable treasures that our culture tells us we should be chasing after? How does the
CONNECT WITH THE MESSAGE
Mike said we have a treasure problem. Where we live, even the least among us is wealthy by the world’s standards. As we get older and get more of what we want, the things that used to inspire awe in us lose their value.
Throughout your life, what treasures have let you down? Have you ever chased after something, gotten it, and then realized that it didn’t bring the kind of joy that you were hoping for?
Mike talked about the 3 kingdoms we can leverage our lives for: the kingdom of me, the kingdom of evil, and the kingdom of Heaven.
Mike said that everything we do goes toward building one of these kingdoms - can you identify times in your life that you’ve invested in the kingdom of me or the kingdom of evil?
some kingdom definitions
Kingdom of Me
I’m leveraging my life and influence for me, my comfort, my safety, and my pleasure at the expense of God and others.
Kingdom of Evil
I’m rebelling against what God says is good and saying yes to the very real enemy that is fighting for my soul. Evil comes with arrogance, violence, hatred, lust, and anything that pits people against each other.
(the kingdom of me and the kingdom of evil, if you haven’t noticed, aren’t that different… and they’re both opposed to the kingdom of heaven…)
Kingdom of Heaven
I’m allowing anywhere God’s rule and reign to be present in and through me, and His purposes are the most important thing to me.
If anyone is having trouble figuring this out, encourage everyone to look at their lives from the outside - specifically at what their money, time, and attention say is important to them. Those things aren’t really out treasures - the treasures are what they’re going to.
Life with God is worth everything
In Matthew 13, Jesus says “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Jesus says confidently that life with God is worth everything we have. The chance to be rescued by Him, live with Him, and become more like Him is worth more than anything. What do you sense is competing with life with God as the most valuable treasure in your life? What are you most afraid to lose?
Jesus’ parable is a metaphor, so “selling everything you have” isn’t the only way to live life with God. But it’s a strong metaphor that should make us think: If life with God is really worth everything, what do you need to “sell” to secure it and actually live it out? What in your life doesn’t align or fit into your life with God?
You are the treasure
There’s another way to read Jesus’ parable: YOU are the treasure that HE leveraged everything to rescue. Your value, your worth is defined by the price he was willing to pay for you.
Humans don’t have an easy time assigning worth to ourselves - on the whole, we consistently act as if we are less valuable than God says we are. Why is that so common?
Mike said this truth, that we are the treasure God sold everything to rescue, should be the thing that defines us above anything else. What other voices are in your life are trying to define you differently? What are they saying?
This also means that every person we meet has the same value - God leveraged everything to rescue THEM. If you want to act as if that is true in your day-to-day life and interactions, what has to change about the way you relate to friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, people on social media… etc.?
Jesus was incredibly compelling! He up-ended the religious system of his time and showed the world what God is like by the way he lived, taught, died… then lived again! Read Matthew as one big story and get a better perspective of just what Jesus was like!