Archive for the ‘Satan’ tag
Last Updated 9.30.08
Colossians #7: Screwtape’s Demise – The Joy of Simple Service for 10.05.08
An old story attributed to various sources (CS Lewis or Jewish Rabbis), describes both heaven and hell as the same banquet room filled with wonderful chairs, a huge table, plenty of guests, and a limitless supply of sumptuous food. The problem is that all the forks and knives are 3 foot (sometimes said 6 foot) long. In hell, the people are arguing and fighting and starving. Mounds of food rot on the plates and rats run to and fro among the putrefying bounty. The forks and knives are too long for anyone to feed himself, so the people fuss and fight and squabble and go hungry. In heaven, however, the same banquet hall, chairs, table, and food furnish the scene of joy and feasting and fun. The difference, in heaven, they feed each other with their long forks. You see, they know the joy of simple service and no one is left out. All are full.
For the followers of Jesus, table fellowship and serving each other around the dinner table was always special. Luke emphasizes it more than any other gospel, but all the gospels show Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners, feeding the crowds, blessing bread, going to feasts, and sharing in the Last Supper. Some of this goes back to His Jewish roots and the importance of feast days. Some of it anticipates His presence in all meals — remember the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 — and His followers sharing in the “breaking of bread” (aka the Lord’s Supper).
Not surprisingly, Jesus reminded His followers repeatedly that the greatest in the Kingdom is a “servant” (diakonos – a table servant and the word from which we get the word “deacon” Matthew 23:11). Jesus is the ultimate example of what this means: 1) He identifies Himself as a table servant (Luke 22:24-27) and 2) he demonstrates himself to be a table servant when He washes His followers feet (John 13:1-17). In both cases, the Lord calls on His followers to be servants to each other (again, all of these words come from the noun or verbal form of the word from which we get the term “deacon.” We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when the early church appointed 7 men to serve at tables to make sure widows are fed in Jerusalem (again, same root word for service).
So rather than a position of power, Jesus is calling us to a life of service. And this powerful, simple and important root term is used to describe this kind of service. (Download study chart which will also downloadable on sh-refresh.com and church website, and can be provided for LIFE groups to use.)
This term is used in Colossians several times (1:7 “faithful minister”; 1:23 “servant; 1:25 “servant; 4:7 “faithful minister”; 4:17 “work” or “ministry”)
Begin with illustration and tie to Jesus in Luke 22 and John 13. Then from there, show it used in Colossians and focus on how the work of the Kingdom only gets done through servants. Overview biblical material related to the term and show how important this is. Focus is on our need for folks who are wiling to be servant leaders — people who lead by their service and not their rank.
Begin with illustration and then go to Luke 22:24-27 and refer to John 13. Key lead in to the Lord’s Supper this week and our call to serve each other in this process.
Shepherding Group Night, but we would have covered other New Testament background for the term “deacon.”
How do we come to value servants as a reminder of Jesus instead of looking down on and treating poorly those who serve us?
What makes being a servant hard?
What are servant kinds of jobs today?
How are these people treated generally?
What are servant kinds of jobs in God’s family that we often take for granted?
Who is someone you don’t want to ever have to serve?
How do you think Jesus could serve Judas both by washing his feet and also sharing the meal at the Last Supper?
What is the most joyous service you have ever offered to someone else?
What made it a joy to serve them?
Who is the greatest example of a servant that you know?
Why did you choose this person?
How have you — or how should you — show that you value this person and appreciate what they do to bless you and others in the Lord?
Last Updated 9/14/08
Colossians #6: Dominating the Dominion – 9/28/08
Key Passages: Colossians 1:13-14; 2:13-15; 3:1-4
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
We have been rescued and brought into safety! What does that mean?
1. Brought from death to live (resurrection of Jesus is important!)
2. Brought into the Kingdom
3. Given forgiveness
4. Had canceled the whole way of works righteousness
5. Disarmed the powers
Focus will be on Jesus disarming the powers against us – spiritual powers and the power of the Law (and all law) to condemn us. (John 12:31-32; cf. Eph 2:1-10)
Focus of Daybreak will be on the power of Jesus to defeat the dark forces of Satan that stand against us. The center of this is the cross.
A. Communion Focus on the Victory Power of the cross
That’s the Power of the Cross
In Christ Alone
Mighty is the Power of the Cross
B. Time in the Word Focuses on “the powers” and Jesus power for us (e.g., John 12:31-32; Ephesians 2:1; 6:10-18; 1 John 4:4; cf. Acts 26:18; )
Our fascination and yet denial of the powers in popular culture — books, art, movies
The incredible victory Jesus won over the powers (Ephesians) & systems of laws (Galatians) that bound us and condemned us
Our opportunity to participate in Jesus’ victory over the powers & systems of laws that bound us and condemned us
Focus at Refresh will be similar, but done by Curt Cloniger through drama. We could get a couple of pieces of Cross-focused backgrounds to use for our Communion Time interspersed with some Scripture references to contextualize them.
Sundown focuses on the meaning of salvation – what Jesus has done for us: rescued, transferred, redeemed, forgave, made alive, qualified … that we find in Colossians. What do these mean? Mark 5 could be used to remind us of Satan’s desire to harm us and God’s power at work in us.
LIFE Group Questions (supplement the above Scripture readings with Ephesians 6:10-19 and Acts 19:13-30 and Mark 5 for the following discussions)
Why do you think we are fascinated with spiritual powers, but seem so reluctant to discuss them and our response to them in our spiritual discussions at church?
Are these evil forces real, or are they products of our own mistakes and fears?
As believers in Jesus, what answers do we have to the threat of spiritual attack from evil forces? What resources do we have to fight these spiritual forces?
How is a reliance on keeping Law a destructive spiritual power without grace? (cf. Romans 7:14-25)
Should we fear the spiritual powers?