“The Beginning of the Calm” – Discussion Guide – 9.11.22
September 13, 2022
Beginning of the Calm
Matt Zainea (Rockford Campus)
Are your relationships chaotic? Do you face brokenness in your home or workplace? Your friendships? Your marriage? In the start of a new series, Matt Zainea offers encouragement and hope. We were created in God’s image and we were made for loving relationships.
- Men’s and Women’s Ministry Launch – week of September 11
- Life Group Launch – Rockford Campus – Sept 18, 4:00pm (in the Landing)
TOGETHER IN LIFE
**Matt told a story where he described how he goes camping and desires to “get away”…
Share a place where you like to go to get away and find peace in the midst of your chaos.
TOGETHER IN THE WORD
19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”[a]
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
BIG IDEA: In the complex issues we face in life, we must remember to go back to the created order that God intended and consider our PERSON, our HEART, and our PATH.
QUESTION: How do you make sense of the various “big issues” of our world? How do you process them?
QUESTION: How much more challenging do you find it to face the big issues “out there”, when it’s at your front door, in your personal life? Do you have any examples of an issue that is present in society at large playing out at home?
When challenged by the Pharisees in verse 3 about divorce, Jesus doesn’t directly address them right away. He takes them all the way back to the beginning. In essence, takes us back to what it means to be a human.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
For the first 3 days, God forms his creation and creates its boundaries
For the second 3 days, God fills it.
Pastor Matt said, “God creates boundaries to help produce life – crossing those lines brings death”
- Trees of the Garden (Gen. 2:15-17)
- Humans vs. Animals (Gen. 2:18-20)
- Man and Woman (Gen. 2:21-25)
QUESTION: Where else do you see God’s boundaries he created in Scripture? In life?
QUESTION: Are there any boundaries that God has made that are challenging to you?
QUESTION: What is an example of a man-made boundary that we sometimes ascribe to God?
Pastor Matt said, “The tabernacle is made to mimic the universe itself – to remind us of how God desires to dwell with his people everywhere, but because of sin, we have limited access.”
QUESTION: What do you think he meant?
QUESTION: How do we gain access? And where then does the temple then reside?
Genesis 1:26-27 “26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”
This image-bearing nature points to God’s relational trust of his people. God is relational and wants us to use our relationships to establish dominion.
QUESTION: How has God given you dominion? Think in terms of Person, Heart, and Path.
Mt 19:7 “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
Jesus’s response back to their hearts reminds us that there is only one heart that we can effect – our own. The main reason our plans and techniques for dealing with relational discord fall flat is because we cannot force the change of others and we often serve ourselves when we try.
QUESTION: How does framing the various challenges we face (whether big, society-level ones, or smaller, intimate heart-level ones) in terms of our personhood help us see things better?
TOGETHER IN ACTION
Challenge: Take a quiet time this week to pray and think about the hardness of your heart. What issues have you closed yourself to? What have you tried to take control of? Who have you blocked out? Pray that God would want you to repent and to grow.
TOGETHER IN PRAYER
Read John 17 and pray the truths you find there. Pray that God would bring you into unity with those you are near and how he may desire to change your heart and your paths (behaviors) to do so.