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Love in Action: Experiencing the Joy of Serving

(Paperback - Jul 2005)
$7.99 - Online Price

Overview

Discover the joy of serving others. How can you identify full devoted followers of Christ? Their servant lifestyle gives them away In our me-first culture, servanthood is the earmark of men and women who have discovered the joy of giving. But the secret to servanthood isn t running yourself ragged trying to be everything to everyone it s pouring freely out of a full cup the things you were designed to give. Love in Action shows how you can break the back of self-centeredness and experience the satisfaction of serving others wisely and effectively. You ll discover how sharing your unique personal resources and spiritual gifts can become a source of strength to others, worship and praise to God, and a personal delight that nothing else can match Interactions a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study. It's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ."

Details

  • SKU: 9780310266075
  • UPC: 025986266073
  • SKU10: 0310266076
  • Title: Love in Action: Experiencing the Joy of Serving
  • Series: Interactions Small Group
  • Qty Remaining Online: 14
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
  • Date Published: Jul 2005
  • Pages: 87
  • Weight lbs: 0.34
  • Dimensions: 9.04" L x 6.08" W x 0.32" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Theometrics | Mainline;
  • Category: BIBLICAL STUDIES
  • Subject: Biblical Studies - General
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Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Session 1

Exposing the "Me-First" Mind-Set

THE BIG PICTURE

What is the message of our culture today? What is the common thread of thought that weaves its way through almost everything we do? What is the core value that drives and guides the lives of most people? All we have to do is walk around in our society and we will begin to develop this particular mind-set almost by osmosis.

It is a "me-first" mind-set. This mind-set says indulge yourself, fulfill your desires, satiate your appetites, pursue pleasure, take off all restraints. As much as we might want to pretend that this value system died in the eighties, let's be honest: it is alive and still thriving.

With this mind-set comes an elusive promise: If you seek first your own good and satisfy your own desires, then you will be happy. In print, on television, and in the movies, over and over we hear the lie. The road to contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, and true joy is marked with a street sign flashing "Me First."

The truth is, this perverted and backward view of life is leading to modern day madness. Our society is on the verge of internal collapse. Escapism is running rampant. Perversion of sexuality has become almost common fare. Unwanted pregnancies by the thousands are being terminated every day. Men and women walk away from their commitment to spouse, children, job, and many other life responsibilities with growing ease. People are pathologically self-centered and ignore the needs of others. The "me-first" mind-set is controlling many lives, even the lives of those who call themselves followers of Christ.

A WIDE ANGLE VIEW

1 What are some signs that the "me-first" mind-set is alive and thriving in one of these areas:

In the marketplace

In the church

In families

In your country

In the media

A BIBLICAL PORTRAIT

Read Mark 8:31-38

2 What do you learn about Jesus' view of Himself in this passage?

What do you learn about Jesus' view of His followers?

3 Jesus was clear about His commitment to suffer and die for His followers. Why do you think Peter tried to stand in the way of Jesus' plan?

Why was Jesus' response to Peter's resistance so severe?

SHARPENING THE FOCUS

Read Snapshot "Grappling with Greatness"

GRAPPLING WITH GREATNESS

Jesus tried again and again to expose and attack self-centeredness in His disciples. He wanted them to have a "Father-first" mind-set but often saw their "me-first" mind-set prevailing. Once, while walking down a road toward a city called Capernaum, some of Jesus' followers were debating among themselves which of them was the greatest. In the gospel of Mark we read these words: "They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest" (Mark 9:33-34).

Jesus had just preached a powerful sermon on servanthood, yet the disciples still did not get the point. In an effort to drive the point home even more clearly, Jesus added: "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35). While the disciples wanted a position of greatness, Jesus called them to have a passion for service.

4 What are some of the warning signs and symptoms you see in your life when you are striving for a "position of greatness"?

What would your life look like if you developed a greater passion for service?

Read Snapshot "Indiscriminate Service"

INDISCRIMINATE SERVICE

Jesus calls us to serve indiscriminately. In Mark 10:13 people began bringing little children to Jesus so He would touch them. The disciples got angry and rebuked the crowds. In their minds, these little children were not important enough to waste Jesus' time. After all, children weren't powerful people, and they had no influence or authority, so Jesus shouldn't give them the time of day.

When Jesus realized what was going on, He became angry. He insisted that the disciples permit the little ones to come to Him. He did not want them to hinder or get in the way of the children. He wanted His disciples, and the whole world, to know that the kingdom of God belonged to such as these.

In receiving the little children, Jesus was calling His followers to turn from arrogance to humility, to stop serving only those who could return the favor and to begin serving indiscriminately. Jesus was saying, "Change your mind-set. Get off the 'me-first' bandwagon and adopt a 'Father-first' look at life."

5 What might our service look like when we approach it with one of the following attitudes:

I will serve those who have influence, power, or who can repay my kindness.

I will serve those who are like me . those whom I understand and around whom I feel comfortable.

I will serve those with needs, regardless of their status, age, or position in life.

6 Who were some of the people Jesus served when He walked on this earth?

How does His example influence your view of whom you should serve?

Read Snapshot "I Want to Be First"

I WANT TO BE FIRST

Again and again Jesus drove the message home: Don't be consumed with a "me-first" mind-set. You might think that after all of Jesus' clear teaching on the topic the disciples would have gotten the point. But it had still not soaked in. In Mark 10:35-37, James and John approached Jesus and made a "little" request. They said, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask." When Jesus asked them what they wanted, James and John replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." They wanted the two most prominent and powerful positions in the universe next to Jesus!

7 How does our culture encourage and praise those who strive for positions of power and prominence?

How does our society treat those who don't compete for first place?

What implications does this have for the Christian who is committed to following Christ's example?

8 Describe one area in your life in which you are presently working to gain a position of power and prominence.

How do these efforts look in light of Christ's teachings on the "me-first" mind-set?

PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE PICTURE

An Honest Look at My Mind-Set

Take time in the coming week to reflect on where you see a "me-first" mind-set in your life. Make note of any indications of a "me-first" approach to life in the following areas:

In your home

In your workplace

In your friendships

In your church life

In your social settings

In other areas

Filling Your Mind with a New View

Often our thought patterns are formed by what we feed into our minds. Take time in the coming week to memorize the passage below and to reflect on what it means. How does this truth from the lips of Jesus impact the way you see yourself and others?

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 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" (Mark 10:42-45).

(Continues.)

Reviews

Also in "Interactions Small Group" Series

Excellent Living: Giving God Your Best [Paperback] (Dec 2009) $7.99
Influence: Maximizing Your Impact for God [Paperback] (Dec 2009) $7.99
Jesus: Seeing Him More Clearly [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
Prayer: Opening Your Heart to God [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
Marriage: Building Real Intimacy [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
Reaching Out: Sharing God's Love Naturally [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99

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