Sunday, September 24, 2017

Others Should On Me

We provide questions each week based on the theme of our service for our Micro Groups to use. If you're not in a Verve Micro Group, feel free to use them on your own.

This week we started a new series called Should Happens and talked about "Others Should On Me". If you missed it, you can listen to it here.

  1. Have you ever had a car run out of gas? If so, let's hear the story! If not, what's the closest you've come?
  2. When have you felt like you were out of gas? What caused you to feel empty or burnt out?
  3. One thing that wears us down is the expectations of others. Often we feel like we have to say yes to what others want. In the message, Vince said, "When I'm obsessed with your yes, my life becomes a mess."
    • When have you experienced your life becoming a mess because you were trying to please others and meet their expectations?
  4. Vince also said, "When I'm obsessed with God's yes, my life becomes blessed."
    • Why do you think staying focused on what God wants for my life (not what others want) leads to living a "blessed" life?
  5. We saw a bunch of examples in the message of Jesus saying no. Often, we feel like we can't say no. Why do you think Jesus was able to say no to people's requests?
  6. The Bible says, in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, "Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts."
    • How does the fact that only God can truly know the motives of your heart impact who you're concerned about pleasing, and who you're not concerned with pleasing?
    • Why does it make sense to make it your purpose to please God, not people?
    • What would need to change if you were to truly live your life to please God?
  7. Weekly Check In Question:  What could we be praying for you this week? (Is this there something good we could celebrate with you, or a challenge you need God's help with?)

September 24 - Proverbs 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Proverbs 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Here are some of the quick hits from today's reading:
    • Let love and faithfulness never leave you.
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
      • Even if something doesn't make sense, trust God.
    • Honor the Lord with your wealth... then your barns will be full.
      • If we honor God with our finances, He will honor us.
    • Do not despise the Lord’s discipline.
      • Sometimes, God allows us to experience crappy situations because we bring them on ourselves, or because He wants us to learn from them.
  • The main thing I want to point out is all the great benefits of wisdom and seeking God for it. With all the pros why are we so stubborn sometimes? Where are you being stubborn today? What should you be giving to God and asking for his help with? What steps will you take to start letting go of some of the control on your life so you can learn to live freely to love God and love others?
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Notice that God never promises us a life free from pain. But he always says that if we love him and love others he will provide for us.
  • A huge barrier to the wisdom God wants for us is our own stubbornness. We don't want to give up our ways of doing things, we don't want to give our finances, and we don't want to sacrifice our comfort. But all of those are essential components of living a full life with God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Where in your life are you being stubborn toward God? 
    • Do you need to be more generous with your  finances?
    • Do you need to accept a sucky situation as God's way of growing you closer to Him?
    • Do you need to trust God in something you don't want to trust Him?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

September 23 - Proverbs 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Proverbs 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In today’s reading, the writer gives us clear steps to finding God’s wisdom in any area of our life:
    • Believe and value his words (verse 1)
    • Listen and apply wisdom (verse 2)
    • Ask for wisdom (verse 3)
    • Search hard for it (verse 4)
  • The rest of Proverbs 2 tells us that God freely gives his wisdom and understanding to those of us who will search for Him. Check out what all it says we can gain by seeking God and gaining His wisdom:
    • We will understand every good path (verses 9-11);
    • It saves us from trusting evil people (verses 12-15) and keeps us from giving into things that will destroy our lives (verses 16-19);
    • And, ultimately, God’s wisdom helps us to live a good and healthy life (verses 20-22).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We should earnestly seek God. As we seek Him, we will begin to see situations the way He sees them, with the perspective of eternity and within the context of God's grace.
  • Without being intentional about seeking God, we can't expect to reap any of these benefits.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How earnestly are you seeking God? Are you setting aside each day to talk to Him and tell Him how you're really feeling? Are you asking Him to show you new things about Himself and about yourself? If not, take time right now to do that. It's the first step to finding God's wisdom.

Friday, September 22, 2017

September 22 - 1 Thessalonians 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Thessalonians 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The Thessalonians are told to "live in order to please God." They are told to avoid sexual immorality. (Sexual immorality would consist of sex outside of marriage.) (In Matthew 5:27-28 Jesus says that even lusting for someone who isn't your spouse is not acceptable.) Paul writes that living this way keeps followers of Jesus from wronging other people.
  • They are also encouraged to love each other "more and more."
  • They are taught to live "a quiet life." Instead of getting into other people's business, we should work hard and serve people and live a life that wins the respect of others.
  • Paul then clarifies a teaching that the Thessalonians were confused about. He says that Christians have hope for life after death. Since Jesus died and rose again, so will those who followed him and then "fell asleep" (died). In fact, Jesus himself is going to come back to bring his followers to be with God forever.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Our lives should be about loving God and loving people. But love isn't just having warm feelings. Loving includes obedience to God and doing what's best for other people.
  • Jesus is going to return, and there is life coming after this life. That gives us reason to hope, no matter what is happening.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • In what ways are you currently not loving God, or not loving people? Here's the test: Where are you not obeying God? (With your sex life, or thought life about sex? By not tithing your money (giving God back ten percent)? By not sharing your faith?) A lack of obedience is a lack of love.
  • Where are you not doing what's best for another person? (By not being a servant in your home? By speaking harshly to people you're supposed to encourage? By having sex with someone you're not married to?)
  • Does the promise of Jesus' return and your future in Heaven encourage you daily? If not, how could you allow it to do so?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

This Weekend @ Verve!

Do you know people who are constantly judging you? People who are always approving or disapproving of you and how you're meeting (or missing) their expectations?

Trying to make others happy is a surefire way to live a miserable life. If you've ever had someone should on you, make sure you're at a Verve service this Sunday morning or Monday night for part three of Should Happens.


September 21 - 1 Thessalonians 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Thessalonians 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul writes about his longing to be with the Thessalonians, as well as his joy upon hearing of their continued faith and love.
  • It’s the Thessalonians’ faith that gives him joy and encouragement. He loved that these people wanted to know and follow Jesus.
  • It seems Paul’s goal in life was to encourage everyone to know and follow Jesus. This led him to go to foreign cultures to tell people about Jesus, to go to prison for sharing Jesus, and ultimately to die for it.
  • Paul tells the Thessalonians that he is encouraged that they are standing firm in the face of trials and persecution, and that he had warned them that this would happen.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We need to have a passion and goal in life for everyone to know Jesus.
  • We need to expect trials and persecution if we are following Jesus.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What are you doing to help other people know Jesus? Who are you showing God's love to? Who are you mentioning your faith to? Who have you invited to church in the past week or two? And, more important, what will you do this week?
  • Are you surprised when bad things happen to you? Don't be. Being a Christian doesn't give you a free pass from trials or persecution. Instead, it almost invites them. But we can stand strong because of God's strength in us. Pray that God will give you his strength when you need it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 20 - 1 Thessalonians 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Thessalonians 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul reminds the Thessalonians how he lived when he was with them. It seems that someone must have been questioning Paul's motives, perhaps claiming that he was only after money. Paul reminds them of his actions and asserts his innocence.
  • Apparently (see verse 14) the Thessalonians were persecuted for putting their faith in Jesus.
  • In verse 20 Paul says, “You are our glory, and joy.” Paul is expressing the goal of his preaching. He doesn’t want material things but rather for people to have a genuine relationship with Jesus that saves them from their sin. This is what got him up in the morning and allowed him to persevere despite suffering. The Thessalonians' faith was the fruit of Paul’s labor, and it gave him great joy.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Paul says he lived in a way that was "holy, righteous and blameless" (verse 10), and therefore his motives couldn't be questioned. We, too, need to live pure lives with pure motives so that we are above reproach.
  • The Thessalonians realized how great a treasure Jesus is. They were filled with joy in having him, even when being persecuted for having him. We also should have joy no matter what happens because we have found the treasure that changes everything.
  • Paul's driving motivation was to see other people come to faith in Jesus. Seeing other people come to know and follow Jesus should get us up in the morning and be the primary purpose we live for each day.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What needs to change about your life so you could honestly say you are "holy, righteous and blameless"? Ask God to help you make those changes, because you want to live completely for him.
  • What would help you to be more passionate about seeing other people come to Jesus? Part of it is actually doing it, so who could you talk to this week about your faith, or who could you invite to church for this Sunday or Monday?