John 2:14-17 (KJV)
14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.


In Christ we learn to express our emotions in ways that honor God.


What kind of rash decisions have you made because you were emotional?

How did these decisions negatively impact others?

How might the handling of our emotions affect the quality of our evangelism, both positively and negatively?

When it comes to emotions, this is an area where avoiding sin is difficult. We sometimes allow our emotions to govern our behavior and lead us into unrighteous acts. Jesus displayed a broad range of human emotions, but He never sinned in the way He expressed His emotions. We need to learn how to handle our emotions by following the example of Jesus, and in doing so we will limit anything that distracts from the gospel and its message of peace.

Have a great weekend and we will see you in the morning at 9:30am.





Matthew 5:3-10 (KJV)
3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.



In Christ, we become a reflection of Christ’s perfect humanity as we develop and manifest the qualities described in the Beatitudes.


Why do you think people are often drawn to counter-cultural ideas?

What is an example of a counter-cultural idea—whether in your own life, in the life of someone close to you, or from history—that ended badly?

What is an example of a counter-cultural idea that brought needed and celebrated change?

History abounds with instances of leaders coming forward with radical and counter-cultural ideas. In some cases, these ideas caught on and made a positive impact (e.g. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, etc.). In other instances, these ideas crashed and burned and damaged a lot of people’s lives (e.g. Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, etc.). The Beatitudes were a radically counter-cultural set of teachings taught by Christ that will bless our lives and the world around us, if we only let them take hold of our hearts.






In Christ we learn to take the form of a servant.


What does greatness look like in the world today?

In what ways does this idea of greatness contrast God’s idea of greatness?

What reasons might the world have for serving others?

Conversely, what reasons does God urge us to serve others?

In Christ’s kingdom servanthood is the key to greatness, not position or influence. This varies greatly from the idea of greatness in our culture. In the business world, for example, greatness comes from ambition, drive, energy, or ability. Jesus, however, said the truly great in heaven—the servants—will be those who are humble.


READ  Matthew 20:25-28 (KJV)

25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

In God’s kingdom, what is the path to greatness

Do you believe that Christians today have a proper understanding of servanthood? Explain.

According to this passage, who is our example for servanthood?

Why might the world hold a low view of servanthood nowadays?

At the center of the mind of Christ is the servant mind. We have difficulty understanding the real meaning of servanthood today—primarily because we associate it with subjection to authority and our pride pushes back against it—but many people in the Bible were called servants because they chose to worship the one true God. Although servanthood is not a hot commodity in our culture, the Bible gives us two reasons why we should be a servant. First, it is a command. Second, we are to become like Christ. Christ perfectly modeled servanthood, therefore we too must model servanthood.

In what ways are you currently serving your community?


Isaiah 57:15 (KJV)

15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Ephesians 6:5-7 (KJV)

5  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Luke 16:13 (KJV)

13  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (KJV)

1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2   Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

According to Isaiah 57:15, what does our humility free God to do?

What characteristics of a servant mind do we find in these passages?

The fundamental servant characteristic is humility. Humility frees God to manifest Himself in our lives. Jesus showed a humble spirit of servanthood when He washed the feet of His disciples. The second servant characteristic is obedience. Obedience is an attitude that draws no limits on what the Master can order. We obey God because He is God, regardless of consequences, because we recognize His authority. The third servant characteristic is willingness, which we see in Ephesians 6:7. We can be weak-willed, strong-willed (self-willed), or God-willed. To be God-willed, a person identifies his will with God’s. We see this wholehearted willingness in Christ, who continuously served the will of the Father. The next characteristic is loyalty, which means you have an undivided heart. God demands loyalty, for we cannot serve two masters. Lordship, by definition, cannot be partial. We cannot say no and call Him Lord. The fifth characteristic is faithfulness. We must be faithful in both small and great matters. Faithfulness cannot be a one-time act.


Psalm 123:2 (KJV)

2  Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

2 Timothy 2:24 (KJV)

24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

Matthew 25:21 (KJV)

21   His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 7:21 (KJV)

21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

What characteristics of a servant mind do we find in these passages?

Of these characteristics, which do you believe is most lacking in our culture today?

Watchful: This is the sixth servant characteristic. Psalm 123:2 speaks to the expectancy and alertness that the Lord desires. Watchful means you want to know what God says or what He wants you to do.

Not Quarrelsome: This characteristic, and the five that follow it, are all presented in 2 Timothy 2:24. Servants of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, because we are often assigned to work together for the kingdom of God.

Gentle: This characteristic suggests congenial and mild. Some of our tasks as servants will require gentleness. Jesus possessed a gentleness that grew from great strength. Similarly, gentleness frees God to strengthen us.

Able to teach: The ability to communicate God’s message is expected of all servants of the Lord, not simply pastors and bishops.

Patient: We are to become like God, who is patient with us. This servant characteristic teaches us that we must wait on the Lord and be patient with others. Patience frees the Lord to answer prayer in His way and in His time. Waiting on God allows Him to provide the best answer.

Meek: Only Moses and Jesus are referred to as meek in the Bible. This is good company to keep! The word indicates lowliness, which is not to be confused with weakness. Only strength voluntarily submits. Meekness frees the Lord to guide you.

Good: A good servant accomplishes Kingdom work. Goodness frees the Lord to produce fruit in us. It proves we really are the servants we were redeemed to be.

Wise: The servant must use good judgment, keen discernment, and at times intelligent discrimination. Wisdom frees God to invest you with authority. Wisdom establishes that you are a disciple, learning from the Master and becoming like Him.


Help your group identify how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to their lives.

In what ways are you emphasizing God’s idea of greatness in your home, church, workplace, etc?

When are people most interested in serving others? How can we use these opportunities to teach others about the servant mind of Christ?



Weekly Reading

Matthew 26:36-46 (KJV)
36  Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.




In Christ alone we develop the mind to display love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.


As your group time begins, use this section to introduce the topic of discussion.

What are your best qualities?

How did you acquire these qualities (e.g. from family, from practice, from friends, etc.)?

In what ways, if at all, do these qualities relate to your faith?

We have a number of character traits and qualities that we have acquired in various ways, but when if comes to acquiring the fruit of the Spirit we must all rely on the work of God in our lives. Christ makes our virtue possible. In Christ we develop the mental quality of discernment and use it to display love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday.



Matthew 4:1-11 (KJV)
1  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.



In Christ we become pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful, fruitful, steadfast, and honest.


What are some things you have committed to memory?

In what ways has memorizing this information bettered your life?

How might the Church be benefited by knowing the Word by heart?

People memorize a variety of things, such as sports stats, movie quotes, and song lyrics. We know the batting average of our favorite baseball player. We know all the lyrics to all the songs of our favorite pop singer. This information might be a source of pleasure in our lives, but if we were honest we would admit that it accomplishes little else for us. The Word of God, on the other hand, is the wisdom from heaven shared with humankind with the power to accomplish what nothing else can (e.g. keep us from sin, fill a deep spiritual hunger, make us Christlike, etc.).

Have a great week and weekend. See you Sunday!



JOHN 8:31-36


John 8:31-36 (KJV)
31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


God’s goal is your complete freedom from any bondage to this world system.


Did you know that slavery is still a problem in the world today? What comes to mind when you think about slavery?

What bondages and addictions do you see the people in your church battling?

Tragically, slavery is not simply a thing of the past. People are in physical bondage all over the world. People are also in spiritual bondage, suffering from addictions and burdened by fears and past pain. In Christ alone we are offered a life lived in peace with freedom from the bondage of sin.



JAMES 3:18-4:3

James 3:18 (KJV)
18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

James 4:1-3 (KJV)
1  From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.



God’s goal is Christ’s fullness and freedom in your life.


In what ways have people today fooled themselves into thinking they are free?

In what ways is your church currently advertising true freedom in Christ to the world?

Our world is full of false freedoms. Lies are sold to people every day, convincing them that bigger homes, bigger paychecks, and bigger vacations mean more freedom and fuller lives. However, in Christ alone we have true freedom. In Christ alone we have peace with freedom from the control of sin, and as we seek His kingdom we will develop Christ’s desires as our own. Every attempt to experience freedom apart from Christ will ultimately fail.

Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday.