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July 31st, 2022

9:30am I Facebook Live & Zoom

Watch last week's message here

Title

Discovering Grace: Belong

Worship Lyrics

Text

1 Corinthians 12:13 (NET)

Question of the Week:

Where have you found a deep sense of belonging? What is a word(s) you would use to describe belonging?

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July 10th, 2022

10:15am I Facebook Live & Zoom

Watch last week's message here

 

Title

Circles NWA

Worship Lyrics

Text

Mark 10:35-45 (NET)

Question of the Week:

Is it wrong to want to be great?

 

Introduction:

This week we’re hearing from our friends at Circles NWA. Circles NWA is a community-driven program that works to increase upward mobility for individuals and families in poverty in Northwest Arkansas. Their work fits well with our text for the week and serves as a practical example for much of what Jesus teaches us about “greatness”. Remember we are meeting earlier (9:30am) and outside (bring a chair or blanket to sit in the shade).

 

Grace and peace y’all, 

John Ray and the teaching team

Pray:

Mark 10:42 “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Pray this: “Jesus, let your words and your actions form in me a genuine desire to serve as you served. Amen”

 

What's Next?

We dig into the Greatest Commandment.

Resources:

Information on Circles here

Contact Grace Church NWA here

July 24th, 2022

9:30am I Facebook Live & Zoom

Watch last week's message here

Title

Stay Alert​

Worship Lyrics

Text

Mark 13:32-37 (NET)

Question of the Week:

What is the most important thing you will do this week?

 

Introduction:

I remember when we first brought Ladybird, a big fluffy Great Pyrenees mix, into our home. She immediately took to our girls and wanted to be wherever they were. She would often come and lay all of her 100 pound plus self on your feet wherever you were sitting. She was calm, affectionate and just a great dog. But for many years after we got her, whenever an adult man she didn’t recognize would enter the house, her demeanor would change. She would assume a very shy and distanced position, often peeing just a little as a show of submission. It was obvious that before she found her way into our home, she had some very negative interactions with men that conditioned her to expect rough treatment. This took years for her to overcome. It didn’t matter that the new people she reacted to this way were often approaching her to show affection, she expected something different. 

 

I think many of us are conditioned similarly  when it comes to reading certain passages in the Bible like the one we have this week. We have adopted a mental posture that expects rebuke, criticism and punishment. But what if that isn't what the passage intended to communicate at all? What if something else was intended to be said? 

 

Let’s dig in this week and see what we can find. 

Grace and peace y’all, 

John Ray and the teaching team

Pray: ”Abba, what am I to pay attention to today? What is it I need to see and understand to better be ready for what you hold in the future, where you are at work right now?”

 

Big Idea: Jesus’ encouragement to be ready is a natural expression of his love for us.

 

Take Away: 

Jesus’ instructions can feel like a rebuke or criticism, depending on how we’ve been conditioned to read them. But we need to discipline ourselves to consider all Jesus teaches in light of God’s character and nature as revealed in the person of Jesus.

How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?

At Grace we practice hospitality, the invitation to belong, in part because of Jesus’ command to “be alert”. Welcoming and forming deep, healthy relationships with others helps keep us alert to the needs and perspectives of others. In doing so, we learn from them in ways that provide opportunities for us to wisely discern. This practice helps form us more and more into who we are to become. These practices are both reflective of what we believe and inform our beliefs. 

 

Questions for reflection and discussion:

How have you heard this passage taught in the past? When you read the words now, how do you receive them? How does reading them as part of all of chapter 13 inform your understanding and response? What do you take away from this?

 

What's Next?

We kick off our annual “Discovering Grace” series, revisiting our story and digging into who we are and why we do things the way we do.

Resources:

A Deep Dive Into Mark 13

Contact Grace Church NWA here