Below is a brief review of our meeting yesterday followed by projection from the message as well a few discussion questions for personal study or Community Group this week.
Chris announced the upcoming Starting Point class for new members on October 30-31. He then led the pastoral prayer, focusing specifically on our church’s missional outreach.
Matthew preached a message from Mark 14:1-11, “Extravagant Devotion”. It was the next in our current series, Son of God: The Gospel According to Mark. To listen to this and all past messages, visit the Audio Resources page.
Chris invited newcomers to visit the Connect Desk and closed our time together with a benediction.
After the meeting we shared in a Latin-style potluck.
Projection from the message:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:25-26
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. – Mark 8:35
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. – Philipians 3:7-8
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9
Who has believed what he has heard from us? Or Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. – Isaiah 53:1-11
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” – Revelation 5:9-12
1. Matthew said that there should be nothing temperate, nothing moderate, about our relationship with Christ. Rather, He is worthy of our extravagant devotion. What does this mean to you? What words currently describe your relationship with Christ in this regard?
2. Similarly, Matthew said that there is nothing of greater danger to Christians in America than a casual faith. Why is this? What are some examples from culture or media where you have seen people live with a nominal faith as opposed to genuine Christianity? What have been the ultimate effects of such a lifestyle?
3. What truly constitutes extravagant devotion? What evidences of visible, costly devotion to God have you witnessed in people with “normal” lives?
4. Read the passage above from Isaiah 53 again. It was at His lowest that Jesus showed us His glory on the cross. Why is this significant? How does the cross prove Jesus’ worthiness of our devotion?