GRACE CHURCH NWA

2828 NORTH CROSSOVER ROAD

FAYETTEVILLE, AR  72703

SUNDAY WORSHIP  10:15 AM

Grace Church Learning Guide / Week of August 6, 2017

OH THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! / Abby Huddleston

Key Text: Psalm 134 (MSG)

 

THE SET-UP

As Eugene Peterson says, the way of discipleship that begins in an act of repentance concludes in a life of praise.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

  • We tend to be pretty casual about the way we throw around the word “bless.” So much so that its meaning is diminished and, for some, even lost. When Psalm 134 tells us to bless God, we’re given a word that in Hebrew means to respond to God in adoration, with bended knees, because of what God does in each believer and in all of us together as the Church. Does this validate or change the way you understand blessing? What are some specific ways your relationship with Jesus informs your worship? How does it shape the way you bless God?

  • In A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson suggests that verse 1 uses the word “bless” as an “invitational command.” It welcomes us all into God’s presence regardless of our circumstances and instructs us to be on-purpose about praising God. Do you ever feel that because of your choices, your sin or your frame of mind, God isn’t interested in your worship? Is your worship ever affected by distractions or by unawareness of where God is working in your life? If so, how does Psalm 134 encourage or challenge you?

  • If we’re honest, most of us would admit that sometimes we don’t praise God because we don’t feel like it. Can you relate? What do you think would happen in those moments if you pushed through and engaged in worship anyway? Have you ever tried that? If so, what happened?

 

 

REFLECTION

 

Do you live your life in a way that’s consistent with what you really believe to be true about God? Is your worship consistent with what you believe about who God is and what He’s done in your life? In the life of the Church? Spend some time this week meditating on Psalm 134. What message do you take away from it?

 

 

 

CAR TALK FOR KIDS

 

Sunday morning, on your way to 2828, talk with your kids about what it means to “bless God.” Think together about how God loves us and sent Jesus to make a way for us to know Him; how He created the world we live in, and gives us joy. We have a chance to praise Him and thank Him during worship before children are dismissed to GKG, so see if your kids can come up with some specific ways to express praise and thanksgiving—to “bless God.”


 

THE LINKS 

 

LOOKING AHEAD

On our own, it’s nearly impossible to get our heads around the reality of God’s goodness, power and provision. So the Bible gives us lots of help to grow our capacity to understand and believe. Read about it in Ephesians 1:16-23 and 3:16-22, and 2 Peter 1:3-4 (NET).

Grace Church Learning Guide / Week of August 20, 2017

PRACTICE / John Ray

Key Text: 2 Peter 1:3-11; Philippians 4:8-9; Micah 6:8 (NET)

 

THE SET-UP

Knowing what is right and doing what is right are two different things. In order to consistently do what is right, we must practice.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

  • Unless the Holy Spirit shows us, do you think it’s possible for us to see what Kingdom living can be? On our own, can we see our potential to serve? Can we see all that it takes to apprentice Jesus? Bottom line: How does having an active Gospel imagination help us practice Christlike living?

  • How does repentance impact your prayer life? Based only on what you read in Scripture, is it reasonable for believers to be expected to automatically make right choices? To be fast learners? Bottom line: What are some specific ways that repentance, repetition and resilience help us practice Kingdom living?

  • If God intends for us to live in community, can we learn and practice the ways of an apprentice of Jesus on our own? Can you think of specific times when the Holy Spirit taught you through the example of another believer? Encouraged you to persevere? Bottom line: How does community help us to be disciplined and to not give up?

 

 

REFLECTION

 

Reflect on Micah 6:8 this week. What are some practical things you can do right now to promote justice, be faithful and live obediently before your God?

 

 

 

JUST FOR KIDS

 

Kids’ Creation Connection: Start a new practice with your family this week. Spend some time sitting outside and praying together. Look around, and take turns thanking God for everything you see—glittery lightning bugs, for example, or the beautiful sunset that brings color into our lives every night. See how many things we have to be thankful for in our very own yards!

Car Talk: Share this video with your children. On the way to 2828, talk about things that require practice—reading, soccer, tying shoes. What kinds of things can we practice if we want to get to know Jesus better?


 

THE LINKS 

 

GRACE IN THE MOMENT

In this week’s blog post on gracechurchnwa.org: Life can bring us debilitating circumstances and crippling pain. But not even the deepest waters and darkest nights can separate us from God. Leave comments! Share it! Tweet it! Pin it! Post it!

LOOKING AHEAD

We grow an active Gospel imagination and practice Kingdom living best when we’re united in purpose and community.

Grace Church Learning Guide / Week of August 13, 2017

JUST IMAGINE! / Norma Farthing

Key Text: 2 Peter 1:3-4 (ICB); Ephesians 1:15-23 (NTE), 3:16-21 (NIV)

 

 

 

 

THE SET-UP

The God who created all things made us in His own image, which means that we share His imagination and creativity. In a relationship with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, we learn both individually and corporately to understand, appreciate and unleash this divine imagination and creativity for God’s glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

  • Our creative God made us in His image, giving us a capacity for creativity and imagination. Do you think it’s possible to know God and comprehend His Word without them? What are some specific things we can do to make sure that our creativity and imaginations are informed by the Holy Spirit? Bottom line: What do creativity and imagination mean in Kingdom living?

  • Jesus defined eternal life as knowing God, not knowing about God. So how can we begin to know our supremely unique God? How do we build an active Gospel imagination? What are some things that stifle it? What preconceptions about God do we bring to our relationship with Him that help or hinder us? Bottom line: How do we bring creativity and imagination to Bible study, prayer and service?

  • God has always and will always want to be known by us. So much so that He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach us and help us grow in relationship with Him. How does prayer help us find and know God? What about personal Bible study, on our own rather than through the lens of someone else’s interpretation? Do you think it’s important for believers to share their stories with one another? Why or why not? Can you name some ways that creativity and imagination inform your relationship with Christ? Bottom line: What are some ways we can look for and find God?

 

 

REFLECTION

 

In your personal time with God this week, commit to putting away study aids and input from others; get alone with God’s Word, and give it your undivided attention. How do you think your experience with the Bible will be different? Your spiritual insights? Your prayers?

 

 

 

JUST FOR KIDS

 

Kids’ Creation Connection: This week, let's use our imagination! Gather some of God’s creation for your family to create something for your backyard together. Try painting on rocks and place them in your flower beds to remind your family of how great God is!

Car Talk: Sunday morning, on the way to 2828, ask your kids to listen for the word “imagine” during worship; when they hear it, it’ll be time to use their biggest imagination and think about what God is like. On the way home, ask them to share their thoughts with you.


 

THE LINKS 

 

GRACE IN THE MOMENT

In this week’s blog post on gracechurchnwa.org: Life can bring us debilitating circumstances and crippling pain. But not even the deepest waters and darkest nights can separate us from God. Leave comments! Share it! Tweet it! Pin it! Post it!

LOOKING AHEAD

Walking out the Kingdom requires a little regular practice. Read about it in 2 Peter 1:3-4, Philippians 4:8-9, Isaiah 30:20-21 and Micah 6:8 (NET).

Grace Church Learning Guide / Week of August 27, 2017

COME TOGETHER / John Ray

Key Text: 2 Peter 1:3-11; John 13:34-35; Revelation 7:9-12 (MSG)

 

 

 

 

THE SET-UP

The Gospel is best and most obviously expressed in how we treat others. The Church is to be the place where the highest expression of love for God and each other is practiced.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

  • Even though you have probably heard the Gospel explained differently at various times, it’s likely that the emphasis was usually on “making a decision” or on where you will spend eternity. Both important things, no doubt, but insufficient at best. Think about the crowd described in Revelation 7:9-10. Consider the command Jesus gives His disciples in John 13:34-35 or from Paul in Ephesians 4:4-6. Reflect on the instruction that Peter gives us in 2 Peter 1:5-6. What do these passages tell us about the nature of the Gospel and how people come to experience it? Bottom Line: How does unity reveal the Gospel?

  • 1 Corinthians 12 suggests we’re not intended to be clones in the Kingdom. How do we respect our differences and also live as parts of a whole? Are we required to check our thoughts, opinions and individuality at the door? Bottom line: What does unity mean in the Kingdom of God?

  • What role does the Holy Spirit play in creating and nurturing true community in the Church? If we don’t sustain unity on our own, how do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to bring it about? What clues do you find in 2 Peter 1:5-9 and John 13:34-35? Bottom line: What practices preserve unity and foster healthy community?

 

 

REFLECTION

 

One very simple way of presenting the Gospel goes like this: “Believe, behave, then belong.” Another way is “Belong, believe and then behave.” While both are gross oversimplifications and neither is absolutely right, which one most reflects the way you believe? Which one should? How do your beliefs inform the way you approach the practice of building unity in the Kingdom?

 

 

 

JUST FOR KIDS

 

Kids’ Creation Connection: Take a look at these activities together with your family, and challenge yourselves to complete at least five of them. What do you think you might learn about community in the process?

Car Talk: Listen to this song together; you’ll hear it again during worship, so ask your kids to be ready to sing along when you do!


 

THE LINKS 

 

GRACE IN THE MOMENT

In this week’s blog post on gracechurchnwa.org: Norma Farthing shares some more thoughts about the power of a Gospel-fueled imagination. Leave comments! Share it! Tweet it! Pin it! Post it!

LOOKING AHEAD

The Gospel encourages us to be on-purpose about serving God and others, and nurturing community. Read about it in 2 Peter 1:3-11 (NET).