AN IDEAL COMMUNITY
We were created to be in relationship with one another. Many of us struggle with this, however, because we have all been wounded and hurt. But God’s table is set for all—we are all welcome. Are you ready to sit at God’s table and be part of a community that is loving, accepting, authentic, growing, caring, and encouraging?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What are some examples of moments when you were able to connect with others around you who you may not have known before? What helps you connect with others?
2. Have you ever been hurt in your relationship with God because of the actions of a person who claimed to be a Christ-follower? What happened? What helped you overcome that pain?
3. Who are the people for whom you have played “matchmaker” by connecting them to faith or to community?
4. Read Romans 14:1. What do you think it means to accept others without passing judgment? What are ways others have shown this for you? How can we do this for others?
5. Read Acts 2:1-8. When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they were given many powers, but the most notable was the ability to speak in and understand other languages. What does this gift from the Holy Spirit tell us about God’s desire for all nations and all people?
6. Read Romans 12:10-16 and Romans 15:1, 5-7. How can we create an authentic, loving, and harmonious community? How can we rely on God to help us pull this off?
7. Read Romans 5:8. God sent His son to die for us even though we all fall short of perfection (we all do wrong). What does this tell us about how God wants us to treat each other? What plans/habits can you put into place in order to begin extending more grace to the people around you on a daily basis? What are some ways you can serve and show compassion towards a neighbor, co-worker, or friend this week?
Romans 14:1 – Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
Acts 2:1-8 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
Romans 12:10-16 – Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 15:1, 5-7 – We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider checking out the book the You Belong Here series is based on, called Not Like Me, written by Gateway’s South Campus Pastor, Eric Bryant.
Not Like Me is for sale in the lobbies of Gateway’s Austin locations (at a discounted price), as well as on Amazon.com.
To follow along with the You Belong Here series, this week read the Forewords, Introduction, and Chapter 1 of Not Like Me.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/relationally-engaged