Gandhi (Loving Our Enemies)
The holiday season often includes us celebrating the birth of Jesus. But when we celebrate Jesus, we don’t just celebrate a great teacher or a person who did good deeds—we celebrate the One who rescued humanity and brought hope to all the nations. And because of who Jesus was, our world has seen great leaders who were influenced by His story, like Gandhi. How can we see Jesus’ influence through Gandhi’s legacy, and how can we make sure that others see Jesus’ influence through our lives, too?
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. Who was an influential person in your life when you were growing up? What made you look up to him/her?
2. Gandhi was Hindu, and yet Gandhi followed Jesus in some ways like few Christians today are willing to do. Why do you think this is was the case?
3. Read Matthew 5:3. God honors those who realize their need for Him. What are some areas in your life where you feel you need God the most?
4. Read Matthew 5:43-47. Can you think of a time when you had difficulty “loving your enemy”? What are ways we can act in love toward those who don’t always show love toward us?
5. Read Matthew 5:14-16. God tells us that we, as followers of Jesus, should be a light to the world. What do you think this looks like? How can you bring light into darkness? What personal gifts have you discovered that can help you fulfill this goal?
6. This week, reflect on how Jesus has influenced your life. How can others see this influence? How can the people around you begin to see even more of the “Jesus” in you? And what are some practical ways you can use Jesus’ influence to impact the world around you? Pray about these things, and seek out support and accountability for your goals from your family, friends, life group, and/or running partner(s).
Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:43-47 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Matthew 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider how you can make an impact on the world around you.
1) Consider giving above and beyond your normal giving this year-end. All donations above and beyond our normal operating budget will help us make a difference both locally and globally. Check out more information on our Hope for the Nations: My Impact page, at gatewaychurch.com/hope
2) Consider you who will invite to Gateway this Christmas season. People are much more open to visiting churches during the holidays, so it’s a perfect time to invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers that might be less likely to come during other times of the year. Grab an invite card and extend an invitation.
3) Consider committing to a local serve opportunity this holiday season. Grab a “Christmas Serve Opportunity: Serve through the City” card from the Connect Spot in the lobby to get great ideas for how you can help the people of Austin this December.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/peacemaker