Luke 6:30-35; 9:18-25
Lesson 3: Called to Maturity
Spend some time discussing how your time serving together went. What were the parts that felt encouraging and life-giving? What moments or circumstances were frustrating and difficult? What do you feel like God was doing in your heart as you acted in obedience to Him?
You are going to have another opportunity to serve others together after Lesson 4. Here are some ways to prepare yourself for this next opportunity.
In this next video, David Anderson shares how challenging motivation can be as we seek to serve God and others.
The Holy Spirit desires to mature believers more and more into the image of Christ. This means that even in the area of serving, there are things the Holy Spirit wants to teach us and ways He wants to grow us. As we mature, there seem to be three key viewpoints in particular that we need to adopt in order to serve others well:
A mature servant needs an accurate view of Jesus.
Read Luke 9:18-22:
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:18-22 ESV)
1. As you choose to serve others, why is it important to have an accurate view of Jesus?
2. As Jesus describes His own identity, why does He quickly point to His coming suffering and death?
Suffering, pain, and sacrifice are the most surprising and arguably most important aspects of Jesus’ identity. As His servant you should expect to experience these things as well. We follow a crucified Messiah and “share His suffering” (Philippians 3:10).
A mature servant of Christ needs an accurate view of his/her own life.
Read Luke 9:23-25
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:23-25 ESV)
Jesus is teaching His disciples a counter intuitive way of living. Denying yourselves and taking up your cross to follow Jesus involves embracing His viewpoint about who you are and what He is calling you to.
3. How is Christ’s call in this passage different from what the world promotes?
4. In serving Jesus and others, do you remember a time when it felt like you were losing your life but were in fact saving it? In other words, think of a time when you had to give up something to serve someone else, but looking back, you feel like you actually gained more in the long run.
A mature servant of Christ needs an accurate view of how to love others.
Read Luke 6:30-36:
30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:30-36 ESV)
In this section Jesus is describing true love, not the reciprocal “love” that is modeled by this world, in which you give and expect something in return.
5. From your own experience, why is it challenging to love without expecting anything in return?
6. What motivation does Jesus give for this “one-way” love?
7. Which of the three viewpoints discussed in this lesson do you need to grow in the most?
* Spend some time praying together for the Holy Spirit to move in your heart and to reveal ways that you can participate more in these areas.