Family Under Friendly and Not-So-Friendly Fire
Day 1: This week Pastor Doug taught on Mark 3:20-35. Mary and Jesus’ brothers arrived to take Jesus in hand because “He is out of his mind.” (Verse 21) Doug relayed the story of his family also questioning his sanity when he became a Christian. In the modern western world, aren’t we sometimes questioned for following Jesus and His Kingdom’s ways? What steps can we take in our daily lives to turn our position to one of forgiveness, understanding, and prayer while maintaining a Christ-centered life?
Day 2: Jesus later asks, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”(verse 33)In His time, Jesus’ words would be scandalous. The family unit, the family bond and family lineage would be part of the God-given fabric of thinking and living for the Jewish community. To break that link, would undermine the major pillar in Jewish thinking. However, Pastor Doug taught, “Jesus was not undermining the family but putting it in its proper place.” Read Exodus 20: 1-17.What does the placement of Commandment 5 mean to you? How are your earthly relationships prioritized with your heavenly relationship? Also, how is your view of self reflected in your daily life? Do you follow the self-involved principles of the “me” generation or is God/Christ the center of your life? What or who might you look to help you discern this in your life?
Day 3: Jesus forms a new community – a new family – the church. Read Matthew 16:18. In this week’s passages, Jesus says to those in his presence, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”(Verse 35) God’s purpose for our lives is for us to become members of His family, growing in our following, and to manage his creation. God designed life to be lived in community, for God is community. Pastor Doug asked, “What if the church doesn’t have it together?”How does the community of Christ work inside the walls of LSCC? How does the community of Christ extend beyond the walls of LSCC? We are all sinners; no church is perfect. What can we do to further submit to Christ and to His word as our central focus?
Day 4: As we, the community, committed to taking steps to know and become more like Jesus, are we open to the criticism and judgment that comes our way? Pastor Doug referred to this as “friendly fire or not so friendly fire.” In the past, how have you handled these comments or attitudes? What would you change? How should you respond? How has this criticism affected your walk with Jesus? Pray over each of these bullet points. Take some time to evaluate how you align with Doug’s recommendations:
· Seek to abide in Jesus, to be with Him
· Saturate your family with enduring prayer
· Serve your family in practical, meaningful ways
· Share your faith – at opportune times
· Submit yourself to the sovereign God who loves your family more than you do.
· Sabbath – create the mental space and time needed to begin living the above
Day 5: We ended the message this week with a thoughtful, dedicated time of prayer. In those moments, where did your thoughts focus? Who in your life most drew your attention? In our society, it’s becoming more and more evident that tolerance of opposing viewpoints is waning. Many of us cast aside anyone who thinks differently than we do, politically or otherwise. Pastor Cory preached recently, “We don’t have to see eye-to-eye to walk side-by-side.”Mark 5:44says, “But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”It is easier to pray for those we love. It’s easier to pray for what and for whom we agree. It’s easier to pray for an outcome we see as “right.” However, we aren’t always “right”. We aren’t also conflict free. If you feel wronged, or opposed, or confused by another person or situation, how would praying for that person help you? How would God’s love flowing through you change your outlook? Try to take an attitude of forgiveness and sympathy toward another person. Does this open your eyes to the universal church and its members who Jesus calls, “…my brother and sister and mother”? (Verse 35)