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A Jesus Who Listens To Us - Luke 11:1-13
Sermon Discussion

Last week Pastor Duane talked to us about Mary and Martha and choosing to listen to Jesus. This week Duane flipped the conversation to talk about Jesus listening to us. Through prayer that is exactly what happens!

What are some things that make a good listener? Would you say you're a good listener?


Let's read the passage:

1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” -- Luke 11:1-13

Before we get into the sermon, did anything interesting, confusing, or challenging pop out to you in the passage?

Pastor Duane pulled 3 things to we can talk about from the passage:

Learning to pray
Learning to honor
Learning to receive

LEARNING TO PRAY (v 1-4)

The disciples see Jesus praying and ask him to teach them to pray. Jesus then lays out The Lord's Prayer to model how to talk to God.
Duane pointed out that the disciples first had to realize they were not good at praying and could improve before deciding to ask Jesus to teach them.

How does prayer get improved? How have you seen yourself get better at praying?

The Lord's Prayer can be analyzed and studied in many different ways, Duane provided some helpful handholds by highlighting 6 parts or emphases.

"Father": Jesus begins by greeting God using one of His names. There are many names for God throughout the Bible, "IAM", "Jehovah", "Adonai", "Yahweh", etc.

How do you greet God when you pray to him? What would make you try a different greeting?


"Hollowed be thy name": Jesus includes this to emphasize perspective; so we remember it's not just a meditation or some flippant conversation.

What separates prayer from meditation? Can you have a casual prayer with God?


"Your kingdom come": a reminder that God is king and to be on the lookout for tastes of the kingdom now in this broken world.

What are some examples of "tastes" of God's kingdom you've seen recently?


"Give us each day our daily bread": every day we should be talking to God, and seeing Him as provider.

What does it mean that God is our daily provider?

"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us":Duane pointed out that for forgiveness is the currency of the spiritual life. A life that based on doing everything right all the time will wear you out. Prayer itself, allowing us to talk to God is because of God's grace.

How would you explain this idea that "forgiveness is the currency of the spiritual life" to a friend or neighbor?

"Lead us not Into temptation": Reminder that there is a tempter, and a spiritual battle happening.

What are somethings we can do as a Community Group to encourage one other in resisting temptation?

LEARNING TO HONOR (v 5-8)


Jesus share a quick story to show that God cares about honoring His name. He often acts throughout the Bible to glorify His own name. In prayer we also have the opportunity to honor His name.

Why does God care about His name being honored?


Prayer means a lot. And praying with others, out loud can be a great tool for sharing what we believe about God with unbelievers and believers.

Do you ever pray out loud? How is it different than silent prayers?

 

LEARNING TO RECEIVE(v 9-13)


Jesus again emphasizes God's place as Father. Provider and Protector of His children. Duane talked a bit about seeking God, and how there are 2 types of seekers: those with honest questions who are researching those that went before and want to learn, and those that already have a decision made and are just looking for confirmation in that decision.

How does God protect his children?


When Pray to God, how can you know which kind of seeker you are going to Him as?


PRAYER


Pray as a group and honor God's name by calling on him to bring His kingdom soon, provide for us, and keep us from temptation

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Shootings, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, cancer…  These kinds of evil are not God's vision for the world. Neither nature itself nor the human person are built to handle such things. So, when a tragic event occurs, what is the Bible's response to how we are to respond?

by Pastor Duane Smets

We Grieve

The Bible instructs us to “weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).”  The God of a Bible is a God of compassion (Exodus 34:6) who grieves with us and for us (Genesis 6:6; Ephesians 4:30) at things which are an affront to His loving character and vision of a world without sin, sorrow or suffering.  We are compassionate and grieve with others because our God does.

We Help 

Everything we have is a gift of God (James 1:17) and are resources to spread His generosity and love.  We are to help others with the resources we have (Titus 3:14) “when it is in our power to do so (Proverbs 3:27).” One of the greatest resources we have to give is the comfort of God.  As 2 Corinthians 1:4 in the Bible says, “God comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  We help with God’s comfort and any other resources we can.

We Pray

The Lord Jesus instructed us to pray and ask God for “His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).”  Jesus promised that in this world we will have  trouble (John 16:33) but He promised to return, make all things new and abolish sin, sorrow and suffering forevermore (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:4-5). Until then we are to pray for the afflicted (James 5:13) and pray for that day (1 Thesalonians 5:1-22).  We pray “Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).”

We Long

The story of the Bible tells us all tragedies are a the result of living in a world that has been broken ever since sin and rebellion first entered into it (Genesis 3:1-24).  This brokenness has had and continues to have catastrophic effects both in nature and in human hearts (Romans 8:20-21).  History has proven no political government or laws of the land can change the human heart.  Thus, our hope is not in societal evolution but in Jesus’ return as the eternal and righteous King.    We long and “wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).”

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The Case For Conversation

I’d really encourage you to take a minute and read this brief excerpt from Sherry Turkle on the importance of having healthy human conversation.


Why a book on conversation? We’re talking all the time. We text and post and chat. We may even begin to feel more at home in the world of our screens. Among family and friends, among colleagues and lovers, we turn to our phones instead of each other. We readily admit we would rather send an electronic message or mail than commit to a face-to-face meeting or a telephone call. This new mediated life has gotten us into trouble. Face-to-face conversation is the most human—and humanizing—thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy. It’s where we experience the joy of being heard, of being understood. And conversation advances self-reflection, the conversations with ourselves that are the cornerstone of early development and continue throughout life. But these days we find ways around conversation. We hide from each other even as we’re constantly connected to each other. For on our screens, we are tempted to present ourselves as we would like to be. Of course, performance is part of any meeting, anywhere, but online and at our leisure, it is easy to compose, edit, and improve as we revise. We say we turn to our phones when we’re “bored.” And we often find ourselves bored because we have become accustomed to a constant feed of connection, information, and entertainment. We are forever elsewhere. At class or at church or business meetings, we pay attention to what interests us and then when it doesn’t, we look to our devices to find something that does. There is now a word in the dictionary called “phubbing.” It means maintaining eye contact while texting. My students tell me they do it all the time and that it’s not that hard. We begin to think of ourselves as a tribe of one, loyal to our own party. We check our messages during a quiet moment or when the pull of the online world simply feels irresistible. Even children text each other rather than talk face-to-face with friends—or, for that matter, rather than daydream, where they can take time alone with their thoughts. It all adds up to a flight from conversation—at least from conversation that is open-ended and spontaneous, conversation in which we play with ideas, in which we allow ourselves to be fully present and vulnerable. Yet these are the conversations where empathy and intimacy flourish and social action gains strength. These are the conversations in which the creative collaborations of education and business thrive. But these conversations require time and space, and we say we’re too busy. Distracted at our dinner tables and living rooms, at our business meetings, and on our streets, we find traces of a new “silent spring”—a term Rachel Carson coined when we were ready to see that with technological change had come an assault on our environment. Now, we have arrived at another moment of recognition. This time, technology is implicated in an assault on empathy. We have learned that even a silent phone inhibits conversations that matter. The very sight of a phone on the landscape leaves us feeling less connected to each other, less invested in each other. Despite the seriousness of our moment, I write with optimism. Once aware, we can begin to rethink our practices. When we do, conversation is there to reclaim. For the failing connections of our digital world, it is the talking cure.

Excerpt from: Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

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A Jesus Who Has Love for All Races
Sermon Discussion

 

Leading question:
When did you first realize that race was a thing, and that it had the power to divide people? (Or- when was the first time you realized that people existed in this world that were different than you?)

Luke 10:25-37.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

observation questions:

what do you notice? What stands out?
What are the questions the lawyer asks Jesus?
What do you notice about the responses of the different travelers? (priest, levite, samaritan)
Why does the samaritan help the injured man? (compassion)
What does he provide for the hurt traveler? (Everything needed for restoration and healing)

interpretation questions:

Why do you think Jesus chose the characters that He did? What do those characters represent in humanity?
What do you think moved the Samaritan to have compassion on the man?
What do you think the expert in the law learned from this parable?
How does Jesus define loving your neighbor?

application questions.

What are some things that keep you from being a good neighbor? (That allow you to ignore others)

Are there certain people you find that are harder for you to love or have compassion towards? How do we grow in our compassion and love for others who seem different than us?

How do you think the church can be a place of racial healing and hope?

Towards the beginning of his sermon, Duane repented of some of the prejudices in his own heart. Do you have any prejudices to repent of? Anything to confess about hatred you might be harboring in your heart towards others?

Our privilege, our giftings, everything we have is from the Lord. How can we use those to bless and give voice to others?

Night of Hope 2.
Does racism still exist? Are people still under racial oppression today? We want to continue the conversation about race in our culture, in our country, and in our church. We are having a night to be "in process" together. Our second Night of Hope will be a night requiring grace, understanding, and honesty. We'll share stories, explore unreconciled and unrecognized wounds in our culture and society, but leave with the hope for restoration and reconciliation that only God offers through His Son.

 

Satisfied in You (Psalm 42)
The Sing Team
Ryan Leech


Have you ever experienced loss or felt despair?

Me too.

I think that is part of what makes us human in a broken world. Unfortunately, I think the Church as a whole has a hard time expressing these emotions. As a musician and worship leader in the church, I feel the pressure to convey every emotion in any given week but this one is hard. Guilt for sin? There's lots of songs for that. Repentance? Sure. Lament and sorrow for loss and tragedy in the world? That's more complicated.

Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?

So, this past week, I introduced a new song called “Satisfied in You” by The Sing Team. It is a slow, sparce tune echoing the words of Psalm 42, a song from the Sons of Korah (who wrote many of our Psalms) that is often titled "Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?" The psalm begins:

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
        so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
      for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
      day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
      “Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?

Have you ever felt this way? When you long for God to be near when He feels so distant from you while you eat your tears day after day and night after night even as you pour your soul out?

You are not alone. The psalmist understands. I too have felt this way. Even more, Jesus knows this, has felt this, and is with you. Scripture says that when Jesus' dear friend Lazarus died, he wept (John 11). He felt the pain of loss. He felt sorrow and anguish. As he was dying on the cross, he felt the pain of losing His Father as he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27).

Jesus knows very deeply what it is to feel distant from God. 

Hope in God, For You Shall Again Praise Him

The pslam ends with this:

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

Hope is the cure of the grief-ridden soul.

Friend, the Lord is with you. You shall again praise Him. Your safety and salvation comes from the same God who sent His Son to experience loss, sorrow, and sadness so that He may be your comfort and hope of the coming day when there will no longer be tears of sadness but tears of joy in His wonderful presence.

May this psalm and song encourage you as it has me.

May the Lord bless and keep you. May His face ever shine upon you.

Lyrics

I have lost my appetite
And a flood is welling up behind my eyes
So I eat the tears I cry
And if that were not enough
They know just the words to cut and tear and prod
When they ask me, "Whereʼs Your God?"

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when You showed Your face to me

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for You
And when I behold Your glory, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

When Iʼm looking at the ground
Itʼs an inbred feedback loop that drags me down
So itʼs time to lift my brow
And remember better days
When I loved to worship You and learn Your ways
Singing sweetest songs of praise

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when You showed Your grace to me

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for You
And when I survey Your splendor, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about Your faithfulness
Let my pain reveal Your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is You
‘Cause all I truly have is You

So when Iʼm drowning out at sea
And all Your breakers and Your waves crash down on me
Iʼll recall Your safety scheme
Youʼre the one who made the waves
And Your Son went out to suffer in my place
And to tell me that Iʼm safe

Why am I down?
Why so disturbed?
I am satisfied in You

I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You

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A Jesus Who Reaches Out
| Luke 10:1-24 |
Sermon Discussion

Duane was hot off a trip to the Basque region, investigating possible church planting conditions in the region. While there he spent time with a lot of the locals who were amazing hosts! They were fantastic at reaching out and they're questions made him feel welcome and interesting.

What is your go to question when reaching out to get to know a new friend?

Let's read the passage:

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.

16 "The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" 18 And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." 23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."

The passage tells of Jesus reaching out by sending out the 72 disciples, and God reaching out to us by sending Jesus.
Duane had 3 points that he wanted to discuss:

- The work and the workers
- The receptive and resistant
- The justice and the joy

THE WORK AND THE WORKERS

In verse 2 Jesus invites laborers into his work, to bring in the harvest. Duane explained that Jesus sent the disciples everywhere, and possibly the 72 disciples were to represent the 72 countries that were recognized at the point in history. He also mentioned that harvests can take a long time to come to fruition, involve quite a bit of financial risk, and have to be done intentionally without getting distracted.

How do you think the act of harvesting relates to the work Jesus has asked us to do in San Diego?

Why do you think God invited us into this work?

What are some things that keep you from getting your hands dirty with the work?

Duane mentioned that the call for workers in verse 2 can bring out 3 different feelings in people

- Some are inspired to get to work
- Some are affirmed in their current work
- Some feel convicted that they should get to work

How does this call for workers effect you?

THE RECEPTIVE AND RESISTANT

Jesus points out in verse 3 that this work is not without risk. There are wolves out there looking to harm you. In verse 5 he continues His instructions telling them to look for "Sons of Peace" who are open to the news and if they find no one open to move on.

Have you ever met a "Son of Peace" Someone who's heart is ready and open to the kingdom message?

What dangers do we face reaching out in San Diego?

Jesus provides a wide spectrum of how people will respond to the 72 from open and receptive to doing His work or resistant, critical, or distracted?

Where are you on the spectrum to being used by God?

THE JUSTICE AND THE JOY

Jesus then explains in verse 13-15, that those who do not believe will end up in hell. Those that believe have their names joyously written in the book of life and will go to heaven. Duane explained that heaven and hell are both real places. And God would be just to send all of us to hell, but through his grace and Jesus work we are made right and able to enter heaven. Jesus then explains to the disciples how great a privilege that they were able to see these works with their own eyes, that Kings and Prophets had desired to see it but could not.

Why would God be just in sending all people to hell?

Why do you think God revealed these things to us and these simple disciples instead of great Kings and Prophets?

God is excited to bring people into His family, it's why He reached out by sending Jesus.

Do you think of God as reaching out to you?

How has God been reaching out to you lately? Trying to get to know you and share Himself with you?

PRAYER
Pray with your group, thanking God for reaching out and inviting us into His family. And asking God to spur us towards laboring on His harvest in San Diego

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Donation Sundays

October 8 & 15

The Resolved Church is hosting Donation Sundays October 8 and 15 where we encourage you to bring clothing, hygiene products, and nonperishable food items so we can create a resource closet to provide for the needs of homeless people and trafficking victims in San Diego.

1 John 3:17-18 says, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

Let us give from our abundance and pray that through our generosity we will be presented opportunities to lead souls to the ultimate Provider. Keep in mind, aiding in the prevention and rehabilitation of homelessness makes a huge impact in decreasing human trafficking.

If you are interested in donating your time and talents email

Here are some things we need:

Clean Clothing:

Socks (new only)
Underwear (new only)
Shoes
Jackets
Shirts
Pants
Gloves
Beanies

Hygiene:

Antibacterial Ointment
Fungal Cream
Blister Pads
Band Aids
Nail Clippers
Chapstick
Hand Sanitizer
Toothbrush
Toothbrush Travel Cases
Travel Sized Toothpaste
Wipes
Tampons
Pads
Tissues
Paper towels
Toilet Paper
Deodorant
Brush/Comb
Disinfectant Wipes
Sun Screen

Non-Perishable Food:

Water
Canned Fish
Canned Beans
Canned Tomatoes
Canned Prunes
Canned Chili
Canned Spinach
Canned Figs
Canned Lentils
Canned Clams
Canned Vegetables
Granola/Breakfast Bars
Dried Fruit
Dessert
Reusable Plastic Utensils

Miscellaneous:

Gift Cards
Birthdays and Christmas Gifts

Donate Skills:

Resume Writing
Tutoring
Cooking Lessons
Life Coach
Legal Services
Budgeting
Transportation
Anti-Trafficking Services

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Loving God Pt. 2; Transforming Love
Pastor Ryan Buss

-When you think about growing up, what were some things that you looked forward to about growing up? What sort of stuff do you look back on with nostalgia?

-Growing Up [vs. 12-14]
1. What are some of the different characteristics about John's portrayal of spiritual maturity?
2. How do we grow in spiritual maturity? Why should we be pursuing spiritual maturity?
3. How does God's love for us help us to grow in maturity?

-Greater Desires [vs.15-17]
1. John gives us the commands to not love the world or the things in the world. How is John using the term "world" in this context? Why is this important to remember as we read this passage?
2. What are the desires of the flesh? What does this look like in our culture today?
3. What are the desires of the eyes?
4. What is the pride of life? How do you find yourself being tempted in these things in your life?
5. How does God's love help us to overcome the temptations of the world? How does God's love help us to find our desires transformed?

-Pray for one another!

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A Jesus Who Many Don't Get
Sermon Discussion

Discuss: A Jesus Who Many Don't Get - Luke 9: 43-52

Duane was back in the saddle this week to teach us about a "A Jesus Who Many Don't Get." To set the table for the talk he listed off a few things he didn't "get". Things like: bringing an umbrella to the beach (to block out that sweet sweet sun), why God created rats, and punny jokes.

What are some popular things that you just don't "get"?

Let's read through the passage and learn a bit about the kind of people who had a chance, but just didn't get Jesus.

43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 "Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men." 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great."

49 John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us." 50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you."

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 60 And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home." 62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." [Luke 9: 43-62]

There is a lot to unpack in this passage. But first -

Did you have something that stuck out to you in this passage? Questions? Favorite parts? Confusing parts?

Duane wanted to highlight how people miss Jesus in 3 ways.

Missing Jesus' Purpose
Missing Jesus' Passion
Missing Jesus' Person

MISSING JESUS' PURPOSE

Jesus' ministry was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. He was healing people, feeding people, meeting with Elijah and Moses on top of a mountain. It was full of power. His disciples had been able to witness that power firsthand and their plans for that power did not always line up with God's plans. They thought He would save them from earthly oppression, poverty, humiliation, disease, and work.

What do you find yourself wanting Jesus to save you from?

Duane pointed out that anytime we get our eyes off the cross we miss Jesus' purpose in the world. Jesus came to save us from God's wrath. He tells the disciples in v 22 He is here to die. He came to settle our account so that we can enjoy fellowship with our creator again.

What does that fellowship offer us? If the disciples knew what they were gaining by Jesus' death how do you think they would have responded?

MISSING JESUS' PASSION

A few of the disciples get into an argument about who is the greatest.

What sorts of reasons do you think the disciples were giving to prove they were "great?"

Duane highlighted the fact they were arguing. They had passion about this idea; unfortunately this idea was all about them. They had placed themselves on the throne of their heart and wanted the glory they felt due.

Is passion a good trait? Can God use it?

Jesus gets into the discussion and recognizing why they were really arguing, informs them that "he who is least among you all is the one who is great"

What do you think Jesus meant by that? How would you explain it to a friend?

The disciples then discuss with Jesus how they are upset because another group has been also performing miracles in Jesus name.

Why was that upsetting to disciples?

Jesus puts a kibosh on that, explaining to them "Do not stop them, for the one who is not against you is for you" [v50] It can be tempting to look at other churches as competitors.

How is your attitude towards other churches? Do you feel jealous? Judgmental? Excited? Apathetic?


MISSING JESUS' PERSON

Finally in this passage Doctor Luke reports about 3 different people who come up to Jesus and "apply" to follow Him.
The first turns away when He finds that Jesus has no earthly benefit to share. The second changes his mind when Jesus asks him be a priority above his family. The third decides not to follow after Jesus denies him the opportunity to brag to his friends and family about how he is going on the road with Jesus.

Which of the 3 do you most often find yourself empathizing with?
Do you ever want more stuff, a bigger house, more money?
Do you ever put off spiritual things for your family?
Do you ever care more about what other people think than what God thinks?

Duane then pointed to the good news: Jesus knows we don't have what it takes to follow Him perfectly.
These stories were recorded to give us hope that we can learn, and fail yet still have hope in the Gospel.

PRAYER
Pray with your CG to remove yourself from the throne of your heart, that we would keep our eyes on the cross, and be able to follow Jesus before all others.

Harvey Relief Appeal from Acts 29 

Hurricane Harvey has been the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years. South Houston has experienced the largest US mainland rainfall due to a single tropical system ever: 49.2 inches (125cm), that is equivalent to the average annual rainfall at Houston Airport.

So far at least 30,000 people have been made homeless but the final figure is likely to be much higher.
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The impact already has been extreme. So far at least 30,000 people have been made homeless but the final figure is likely to be much higher. Tens of thousands are without power, increasing daily as the waters rise. The insurance bill is expected to exceed $10bn and direct losses are expected to exceed $20bn. 50% of cotton harvest for Houston and the surrounding area is lost.

On Monday alone, the Texas Coastguard rescued 3,000 people and the police rescued 1,000 people. People are still being rescued from second-storey windows and flood waters are continuing to rise as dams are overtopped.
Recovery from Hurricane Ike (2008) took at least 6 months. Acts 29 Houston is expecting this to be 12 months or more.

We have over 20 Acts 29 churches in the local Houston area. Some Acts 29 pastors have been directly impacted with cars and property lost and family members having to swim to safety. According to locals, the impact is not exaggerated by the media and the scope of this storm is massive.


How Can We Help?

1. PRAY

Praise God that unity and collaboration amongst churches in Houston and others has been great. Pray for our Acts 29 churches as they have a unique missional opportunity to be the visible church, serving people in need.

2. GIVE

Acts 29 is giving $50,000 towards this appeal and we hope that you & your churches will consider contributing. Donations will be used to provide relief and recovery assistance to individuals, families, and churches impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Finances will be the biggest need as Acts 29 Houston prepares for the recovery effort.

Here are three ways for churches and individuals to give:
US donors can text keyword "HARVEYRELIEF" to "51555" and follow prompts to give via credit card

Anyone can give online at www.clearcreek.org/harveyrelief
Anyone can mail a check to Clear Creek Community Church 999. N. Egret Bay Blvd. League City, TX

If you would like to wire funds please email for instructions.

For options 2 and 3, please indicate it’s from an Acts 29 source to help with tracking and accountability

3. SERVE

Houston Church Planting Network (containing many Acts 29 churches) is compiling a list of churches from outside of Houston that may be interested in bringing in a team to serve, donating supplies, etc., as the waters recede.
If you are interested you can visit http://www.hcpn.org/harveyhelp to give us your information. The recovery effort will be going on for months, so please be patient as they get coordinated for long-term efforts. This will be a marathon and not a sprint. Rescue & Relief are happening now but recovery will go on for months and they envision needing outside support if people are interested.