I believe the Church is a collection of people in transformative conversations and relationships with God and each other. When your life hurts your Christian relationships should be safe, supportive, and enduring. This lesson is written for all who hurt, especially those in the Persecuted Church.
To totally say Y.E.S. to God is to be born into the most supportive, safe, and solid family in the universe.
- Totally Yielded – Fully Engaged – Living Sacrifice
God has established the guidelines by which two or more Y.E.S.’s relate to one another.
The one anothers of the Bible are, in essence, the specific actions and attitudes of God’s love between followers of Jesus.
Today we are focusing our attention on a specific time in one’s life in which two or more Y.E.S.’s relate to one another in the times when life hurts.
- Psalm 55:6 – Life is so painful you wish you could fly away.
- Job 2:9 – Life hurts so much that your family encourages you to curse God and die.
- John 1:11 – The deep pain of finding your own and they receive you not.
- John 11:35 – There is so much misunderstanding, confusion, death, and pain around you that all it seems you can do is cry.
- Matthew 27:46 – It is so tough that it feels like God has forsaken you.
Jesus expresses this experience in a powerful way in John 16:33. The word Jesus chose that is translated tribulation is thlípsis – pressure (what constricts or rubs together), a narrow place that “hems someone in”; especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”). http://biblehub.com/greek/2347.htm
Being a place for you when life hurts includes making the commitment that “we are in this together.”
“Remember those who are in prison as though in prison with them.”Hebrews 13:3
- You are “in it” and need someone with whom you are in this together.
- Your friend is “in it” and needs you to be in this together with them.
- Your friend needs support as they are in it together with another.
Psalm 23 shows us that presence communicates, “I am here for you and we are in this together.”
1 Timothy 2:1 shows us a type of prayer (intercession) that communicates, “I am here for you and we are in this together.”
Intercession is prayer (by you) as an intervention at the intersection of God and your friend that enables your friend to hit the bull’s eye of God’s will.
MCA Church Life Group Home Work
Looking back on your notes from this week’s teaching was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
Listen – My Story
- The teaching pastor listed five biblical examples of pains one may experience in life. Have you experienced any of these?
- Was there a moment in your life when someone’s presence and their prayers significantly helped you?
Learn – Dig Deeper
- Please read John 3:30. In the terms of Y.E.S., what is John the Baptist declaring?
- Do you see a difference between John the Baptist in John 3:30 and Paul in Galatians 2:20?
- Please read John 9:1-12. Why do Jesus’ disciples ask such a senseless and cruel question?
- Was there more than one blind person in this narrative? Why are people still asking such questions when others are in a season of life’s hurts?
- Pastor Kent presented “presence” as a significant help to others when life hurts. To be fully present is powerful. When your life is hurting can you tell if the other person is fully present? How?
- Is Jesus fully present for you and me in Matthew 26:36-46? Why or why not?
- Prayer is also a significant help to others when life hurts. One type of prayer for others is intercession. Intercession is praying as if you were fully present in the situation with your friend.
- Consider Genesis 18:20-33. Was Abraham interceding before the Lord? Was his conversation with the Lord effective? Did the Lord change in response to Abraham’s presentation of his case?
Live – Taking It Home
- Does your life hurt right now? Are you comfortable letting your life group know so that they can be fully present and intercede for you?
- Will you mindfully be fully present for someone you love this week?
Lift – Prayers
- Please pray for those in your Life Group.
- Please pray each day for seven days for the Persecuted Church.