• Matt Beaney

#260 – 2021 WILL BE GREAT IF…WE SERVE THE WORLD (7/1/21)


The good news is that, no matter what happens, we can all live a life of true worth in 2021. I know that my dreams can become about having a quiet life where I have no responsibilities… However, If we will have the humility to listen to Jesus, all of us can be truly great! Jesus defines true greatness,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

Yesterday, we looked at serving the local church, however, we must get beyond ourselves! To be truly great we must, like Jesus, learn to love and serve the world.

‘Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’ (Luke 15:1-7)

Take a moment to notice the attitude that we can fall into at the beginning of this reading. Those inside the church can become unsettled when ‘sinners’ come to Jesus. Their language, habits, parenting, use of money… can unsettle us. If we were to see a good number of people come to Jesus, how would we need to serve and be patient with them?

In what ways are you willing to serve the ‘lost one’? How much of your praying and your time is given in service to the lost ones?

Take some time to consider God’s and heaven’s response to the ‘one sinner who repents’. Pray that you, like Jesus, would live a truly great life in service the lost ones.


As we enter 2021, it would be my greatest joy if we were to see large numbers of people coming back to Jesus. However, let’s be under no illusion, only those who are willing to love and serve will be able to handle such a gift from God!


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - 2021 WILL BE GREAT IF...


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Who do you consider to be a great person and why? (Jesus is always the answer but try to think of someone else).


Introduction - please share in your group

This week we took a break from our discipleship series and considered how we might complete the phrase ‘2021 would be great if…’


Too often we can discount what we do as unimportant. The celebrity culture in which we live can cause us to conclude that true greatness is something that is beyond the reach of ordinary people. Too many of us are waiting for our ‘moment to shine’, that opportunity, that point of destiny… when, finally, we will be lifted out of the shadows and take our place of greatness.


Jesus doesn’t want you to waste this year. Jesus makes true greatness available to everyone, and it’s available today. Jesus defines true greatness thus,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)


Discussion questions

1. What were your initial responses to the question, ‘2021 will be great if….’ ?

2. How do you really define greatness? (try to be honest about this).

3. How does Jesus define greatness?

4. How are you tempted to ‘exalt’ yourself?

5. What does it mean to humble ourselves?

6. What is meant by Jesus promise to those who serve in humility?

7. As a group, think of the different contexts (work, home…) that God has put you in on a weekly basis; think of 2 practical ways that you could apply today’s text into each of those relationships


Investing and inviting

i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?

iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our Alpha Course which is beginning on the 25th January?

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