Week 4 – Becoming Like Jesus Part 3
Mar 21 – 27, 2021
Apprenticing with Jesus involves reorienting our lives around relationships, including loving people in the world.
Ice Breaker & Opening Thought
- Share a memory from when you were eight years old. Perhaps where you lived, a favorite pet, a favorite subject in school, a chore you hated, or even something you invented?
- As we think about what it looks like to apprentice with Jesus and love the world – if you could serve God for just a year in any part of the world, where would you choose, and is there a particular group or cause in which you’d like to invest?
- John 3:16 is probably the most well-known and quoted verse of scripture. Let’s read it to ourselves slowly and silently. Which word or words jump out at you as you read it? Take turns as group members reading it, emphasizing a word or two that most stand out to you. How does changing the emphasis on different words impact your understanding or response?
- Read Matthew 9:10-13. What do you notice in this passage? In what ways can you identify with the Pharisees? The sinners? The righteous? Jesus? Share.
- Jesus loved the world in simple and sacrificial ways. The B.L.E.S.S. practices model for us how we can love the way Jesus did. Reread the BLESS practices. Which step could you embrace this week to love another person in your life?
- When Matthew decided to follow Jesus he had to make sacrifices that cost him both status and money. What type of sacrificial loving might Jesus be calling you in your relationship with him and with the world?
- Sometimes we see so many needs in the world that we feel overwhelmed. As you learn more about a person or place that needs help, pay attention to any deep feelings that get stirred up inside of you. Here are some of the ways you can serve the world through our Community Cares ministry – food insecurity, homelessness, career counseling, incarcerated individuals (Community Freedom), immigrants, parents in need of support (Safe Families), mentoring, and more. Do any of these stir something in your heart? Which ones?
- If you are not sure how God is calling you to love the world, take time to explore all the possibilities offered through Community Cares – communitychristian.org/cares. There are many opportunities and teams for you to get involved with—both near your location and across Chicagoland. You can also text “team” to 331-226-1686 to sign up for opportunities to serve in the church.
The B.L.E.S.S. Practices
- B: Begin with Prayer: Prayer is how we experience God’s love; it’s how we grow in love for others. It’s a great place to ask the Lord for opportunities to live out the other practices and to ask him for the courage to take those opportunities!
- L: Listen: Sometimes we think we know what will be loving to someone else, but the only way to know if we love people well is to listen to them.
- E: Eat: Share a meal with people! Just like Jesus shared a meal with Matthew, and Matthew invited his friends over, eat together! There is something about food that acts as an equalizer. The most powerful and the most vulnerable people in our lives all need food.
- S: Serve: Serve your community—and if you’re not sure where to start, check out our opportunities through Community Cares.
- S: Story: And finally, Share your story and your presence with people. Be ready to tell people about the work Jesus has done in you—even if it’s still messy! Especially if it’s still messy!