If your group has more than 7 people, you're encouraged to split into men's and women's groups for "Warm Ups" and "Getting Started." If your group is really large, try same gender groups of 3 or 4.
Warm Ups (10 min)
1. Share your high moment of the week.
2. Share your low moment of the week.
3. What's the most valuable thing you've ever found?
4. Do you have any God moments to share from this past week?
Getting Started (30 min)
On Sunday, Pastor Michael preached on Matthew 13:44-46, which includes two extremely short parables (earthly stories with a Heavenly lesson) told by Jesus. As you examine both parables, discuss the similarities and differences you see.
Both parables begin with "The Kingdom of Heaven is like..." . The Kingdom is a concept that's often mentioned by Jesus. Read the following passages and come up with a definition of "The Kingdom of Heaven" - Matthew 4:17, Matthew 5:20, John 3:3, John 18:36.
Parables typically have one main point. We can sometimes gain additional minor insights from them, but to attempt to extend the allegory beyond it's intended purpose is not helpful. For example, we would be going too far if we said that the parables teach that we can buy our way into the Kingdom of Heaven. What do you think the true main point of these two parables is?
Going Further (35 min)
Pastor AJ here. The men in the parables went all-in for the treasure they discovered. I remember when a High-School classmate of mine decided that for him, dedicating his life to Jesus meant getting rid of his entire CD collection. Have you ever had a moment where you knew you had to be all-in for God? What did you do?
In the two parables, we often identify with and imagine ourselves in place of the two men. What if we could also understand the parables as saying that Jesus is the one selling everything He has for the sake of purchasing us? In what ways did Jesus "sell everything" for you and for me?
Matthew 19:16-22 records how Jesus once spoke to a rich young man who seemed unwilling to give up his riches to follow Jesus. Is there anything you can think of right now that you're having a difficult time sacrificing for the sake of following Jesus?
Memory Verse: "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." - Matthew 16:24.
Prayers (5+ min)
- In your prayers for this week, please consider those in your life who don't know Jesus.Pray for them by name!
- Give everyone a chance to pray. Click herefor creative ideas on how to pray as a group.
Optional Worship Song (5 min)
- If you'd like, you can sing one of the following songs as a group. Be sure to turn up the volume so that less confident singers feel comfortable.
- Check out our LIFEGroup Advent/Christmas playlist at sjdenver.org/songs
Serve Our City
- Has your group planned an opportunity to serve our city for this semester? Click Here for a list of Service Ideas!
- Was there a glitch in today's material? Want to request a song? Do you have a suggestion? Click Here!