Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The counter-cultural King

This week's small group curriculum focuses on our Savior King.

Big Idea:
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He didn’t enter with pomp and circumstance. He didn’t enter with military power and worldly might; rather, He entered humbly on the back of an ordinary donkey. Who is this Savior King?

Summary:
Throughout the life of Jesus, He confounded conventional wisdom. He never fit into the world’s mold. Jesus came, the first time, as a humble servant born in a stable. Throughout His entire life and ministry, He didn’t live like the royalty of this world, but lived simply and modestly. His entry into Jerusalem was no different, as He triumphantly entered on a donkey. God’s kingdom is vast and without end, set apart from the kingdoms of this world. It started with a few unimportant people who passionately pursued the Man on the donkey. It has not grown by a large takeover or great force, but by one person at a time accepting the Savior King and His ways.

The message of Christ has always been a counter-cultural message. His kingdom has never been in-step with the kingdom of this world. His kingdom is opposite world: a kingdom where the last shall be first and the first shall be last; a kingdom where the greatest of all shall be the servant of all; a kingdom where those who give their lives away shall find in return a greater life, and those who seek to preserve their own lives shall lose them. It’s a kingdom where the best seats at the banquet table are reserved for the least, the last, and the lost. A kingdom where the broken are healed and the seemingly whole are broken. A kingdom where the outcasts are the inner circle and the “know it all’s” are left outside.

The power of God is concealed in what the world considers weak and despised. The glory of God is revealed in what many of us overlook as insignificant. How many times have we missed the presence of God because our eyes where searching for what the world considers greatness? How many times have we missed the supernatural because we were searching for the spectacular? If we are looking for the presence of God, we had better get our eyes off of the things of this world and humbly tune into the heart of God and His kingdom by surrendering our lives to Him and focusing on the things of God – the pure, holy, righteous, and lovely. Remember, God’s ways are not necessarily our ways.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Jesus riding into town on a donkey seemed foolish to the world. Has God used something “foolish” to get your attention or draw you to Him? Share an example where you personally or someone in God’s Word has missed a move of God because it wasn’t recognized.

Isaiah 55:6-11
How are God’s thoughts and plans learned? Share personal experiences or insights from the Word that demonstrate that His ways are different from our own.

Matthew 5:1-12
How does Jesus describe a citizen of opposite world? Discuss how these character qualities should be demonstrated in our lives. How does this differ from the qualities promoted by this world?

Taking Action: Make a concerted effort this week to tune out the noise of the world and tune into God by spending time in His Word and in prayer. Make your ways, His ways.

Ministry Time

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