The Best is Yet to Come
Are You an Accuser or an Advocate?
Last week, we learned that God’s heart is for the One, not just the Ninety-nine. This week, we learned that Knowing who God is changes the way you live. Once we know His heart, we can change the way we think about life, other people, and our own purpose. Once we know His heart, we can drop the stones and pick up a towel.
1. Talk about a time when you felt like someone was throwing stones at you… maybe they were hurling insults your direction, or said something that made you feel disrespected, unloved, or incapable.
2. In the message, the pastor told a story found in John 8, about a woman caught in adultery. (1) The woman made bad choices and got caught, (2) the Pharisees followed the rules but had no compassion, and (3) Jesus had compassion without compromising on what was right. Who do you think you identify with more in your perspective on life? The Pharisees, the woman, or Jesus? Why?
John 8:1-12 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
3. Jesus said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” In what ways do you “throw stones” at other people? How do you think that hurts the other person? How do you think this impacts your relationship with God?
4. Jesus, being sinless, was the only one Who had the right to accuse and condemn the woman, but He didn’t. Instead, He advocated for her and defended her. If God Himself has grace toward people who make bad choices or treat you in hurtful ways, how does that change the way you treat others?
5. Read Matthew 9:13. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” What does Jesus mean by this?
6. The pastor talked about how we must Drop the Stone and Pick up the Towel. Read John 13:4-5 & 14-15. How would your life change if you followed Jesus’ example by dropping the stone and picking up the towel? How would it change the lives of those who know you?
You weren’t created to live for yourself, you were created to live beyond yourself. This means that the only way we can know that the best is yet to come is if we continue to look forward and continue growing in our personal relationship with God. The best way for you to live like Jesus is to serve like Jesus. To stop Accusing and start Advocating. To have a Christ Perspective instead of a Critical Perspective. The speaker said, “When we throw stones, we become a mob. When we carry towels, we become missionaries. Whether we become a mob or missionaries depends on our Mindset.” So… decide right now and share it with the group: How will you be a missionary this week?
CHANGING YOUR MIND
John 13:14-15 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.