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The Grace and Compassion of God

The Grace and Compassion of God

BIG IDEA:                   

Do you see God’s grace, compassion, and mercy in your daily life? Do you feel His presence when things get tough? This week, Pastor Matt Zainea lead us in connecting Ps. 145:18-20 and how we view God’s love to us in our life.

Check out the questions below for reflection and discussion either on your own, or – even better – with a small group.

For more information about joining a group, check out: magnifychurch.org/groups

                                 

Discussion Questions:

In the sermon, Pastor Matt encouraged us to find 3 words we would use to describe ourselves.

Take a few moments to consider this for yourself.

  • Did you find this easy or challenging?
  • What makes it so challenging to assess ourselves accurately?

 

Ps. 145:8 is Exodus 34:5

God is… Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Steadfast Love, Good to All, Has Mercy Over All He Has Made

 

God is GRACIOUS

  • General Grace is that which falls on all people, simply because of how Good God is.
    • “There is never so much evil in the world to drive out all of the good of God.” – Dr. Michael Wittmer
    • We all receive general grace, regardless of who we are.

 

“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45b)

 

Do you notice anyone in the world – or your own life – who seems to do all the right things, but struggles?

Or vice-versa: they seem to lie, steal and cheat, yet ‘get ahead’ regardless?

How does this make you feel?

  • Redeeming Grace is free to all who accept it, but costly to those who do
    • Within Eastern culture, gift giving is a way to build relationships through reciprocity
    • God’s gift to us all of his forgiveness and grace is free to receive, but costly to live out

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34b-35)

“Belief and obedience go hand-in-hand” – Pastor Matt

Have you experienced this personally in your own life?

Have you accepted the free offer of grace from Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins?

If not, PLEASE reach out to us at [email protected] We’d love to help you and talk with you about what a personal relationship with Jesus can look like in your life. The gift is not something you need to get yourself cleaned up enough to be ready. All it takes is simple belief that Jesus is who he says he is and can do what he says he can do.

If so, consider: ‘Has my life looked a lot like that passage from Mark? Or has it looked like something else?’

What area of your life do you think God may be calling you to deny yourself for his sake?

Is your life a gift of obedience, service and giving back to God?

 

God is SLOW TO ANGER

  • We often think of “slow to anger” as:
    • ‘When will this person push me to the point of overflowing rage?’ or
    • ‘How far can I push this person until they become angry with me?’
  • This is not how Scripture describes God’s anger…
    • His Judgement and Anger are present, yet withheld in the present moment for our own sake.
    • Because God is perfectly consistent and full of integrity, he never lets sin “slide”; he cannot simply ignore and overlook the consequence for even one of our sins.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

  • Even ONE of our sins condemns us to death in that moment, yet God withholds his judgement on account of Christ in order that we may experience his grace and share it with others

What’s the difference between earthly anger and God’s anger?

In your own words, describe God withholding anger against you.

Share a story of a time when you extended grace to someone because of the grace you

have received (when you could’ve been angry, but instead extended mercy).

Do you live as if God is rewarding you because I’m mostly good?

Or do you live as if judgement is eventual but stayed for your benefit?

 

God is STEADFAST LOVE

Pastor Matt shared a story of being captivated by the bigness of the mountains on his trip to the Teton Mountains with our high schoolers. This became a picture in his mind of a small measure of just how great God loves us and just how small we are in comparison to his love.

What keeps us remembering the truths of God’s love?

What reminders do you have in your life of God’s steadfast love?

What happens when we only have experiences to know of God’s love? What potential problems may this cause?

What happens when we only have head-knowledge of God’s love? What potential problems may this cause?

How can we both know and experience the BIGNESS of God’s love?

Do you live as if God’s love is as fickle as yours?

 

God is GOOD TO ALL

It’s easy for us to pull out the scales and attempt to balance our goodness against our badness, or our goodness/badness relative to others.

God’s GOOD will always prevail and all who desire it can have it. But we must not live as if God’s goodness is dependent upon our action.

Where have you seen this in your life?

How do you compare yourself to others? 

Who are you tempted to weigh yourself against (for good or bad)?

 

The Lord has MERCY OVER ALL HE HAS MADE

God’s mercy is not just an act, but an element of his character that presides over all he has made.

His mercy is that anything at all that is beautiful and good would be available to us!

Sin deserves complete obliteration and it’s his mercy that we are not.

We are given this as a foretaste as the glorious, ultimate mercy he shares with us one day to be in his presence.

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:

Spend EXTENDED TIME contemplating the truth that His mercy is over all that He has made.

 

Some helpful tips for solitude and silence…

  • Shut off your phone: Take time to physically shut your phone down (not just locked) and remove it from view, so that you are not distracted. This helps curb any temptation to ‘just check real quick’. Our phone is one of our biggest liabilities when it comes to being alone with God.
  • Find a quiet place: as much as some of us like the hustle-and-bustle of a coffee shop or a crowded park, this ultimately leads to some sort of distracting element. Know your tendencies to be drawn to/away from people and intentionally make sure the space creates distance.
  • Bring a physical copy of the Bible, a journal and pen: Even if you’re not “the journaling type”, it can be incredibly helpful to jot a few thoughts down on what you’re experiencing, what you read, and your prayers. This also helps to keep the attention to the task at hand and will aid in solidifying what you’re reading, in your mind.
  • Take moments to just “be still”: Scripture calls us to “be still and know that [He] is God” (Ps. 46:10). This can be quite jarring, if you’ve not gotten in the practice of doing this. Perhaps time yourself for 5 minutes and do nothing but be still and silent. It’s good to rest in what you’ve read, prayed or experienced. This becomes so fulfilling and – contrary to New Age “Mindful/Mindlessness”, allows our minds to be filled with the truths of God’s word, the movement of his Spirit, the thoughts of his People, and the wonder of his Creation!