TiO 45 – Grit – The Power of Another (Week 2)
The Main Idea
In our spiritual lives we will face trials and hardships of all kinds: sometimes we will overcome them and sometimes we will fail. We are called to use what we learn and the strength that we get from Jesus to help others to succeed and to recover when they fail.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: How often do you check your smart phone (or connected device) for messages: text, email, social media?
Q2: If you lost your phone, would you be more concerned about the cost of replacement or about not being able to communicate with people?
Q2: Can you recall a specific incident where the encouragement of others helped you to accomplish a goal? What about one where you were the encourager? Tell that story.
Dig a Little Deeper
In his message, Todd spoke of the value of community, whether that community is one person or a group of people. Specifically he challenged us to consider that community is more about us giving than us getting. We are called the be “the other” for those people around us. Todd used two primary passages to reinforce this:
Read 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 together
Q1: In verse 5, Paul writes about the things he was struggling with as he arrived in Macedonia. What are they?
Q2: In verse 6, Paul writes about the agent of relief and encouragement. Who/what is that?
Q3: In verse 7, Paul writes about what he was told. What were the things that encouraged him?
Read Luke 22:31-32 together
Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded to be allowed to test Peter in some way. We are not told specifically what that is, but it does not sound good to be “sifted like wheat.”
Q4: In the first part of verse 32 we are told what Jesus prays on Peter’s behalf. What is that?
Q5: In the second part of verse 32, Peter is given a directive, a command, you might say. What is that command?
Q6: What does the second part of verse 32 imply is the event that qualifies Peter to be of help to other people? What do you think about this idea?
In his message, Todd talked about the value of community and encouragement. Of course, he was not implying that practical help was not valuable or necessary but he challenged us to see that all the things we do to encourage each other are valuable: whether small or large.
At the end of the teaching time, Todd showed a video and told us to stop fishing the barrel and, instead, look to the river that is all around us. Here are the “super-practical” things he told us to do:
- Help distribute the invitations to the neighbourhood. While the specific invitations are a one-of thing, the priciple is timeless: let’s get out and start to talk to people who are standing in the river.
- Pray for the effectiveness of our reaching out, whether that is specifically the invitations we are handing out right now or any interaction that we have with people in our communities: neighbourhoods, schools, work places, etc.
- When you come to church stop thinking that it is all about you. You are there to reach out to others, not just to get something for yourself.
- See yourself as part of the welcoming team at Riverwood. Greet people, ask them their name, tell them who you are, and if they are new to you, ask them how long they have been coming to Riverwood.
- Get yourself into a small group. Be a part of a community of connections.
- Become a small group leader or a small group leader coach. If you are ready for this step—no one really things they are ready, you know—then take the next steps to leading a group or to leading other small group leaders.
Q1: Who are the people who have been present to you in your need?
Q2: Who can you be present to in the next week? Pray that God would reveal these people to you.
The Depth (for optional study)
In this section we are providing an in-depth look into the scriptures that the message came out of. There are two critical steps in good interpretation of the Bible. First, we try to understand what the author meant when he wrote the words and how that would have been applied by the original audience. Second, we then take the principles that the original author was trying to get across to his audience and we apply those principles to our own lives. You may want to read some of these passages yourself and/or have people in your group read them together.
2 Corinthians 7:5-7
5For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within. 6But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us by the arrival of Titus, 7and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was consoled about you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
31“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Acts 20:36-38 (New Revised Standard Version)
36When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. 37There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:7
… for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.