SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
This week’s sermon was from the Parable of the Good Samaritan that all of us draw lines on how far we are willing to let our compassion go; but God wants to expand past our self-imposed boundaries, especially in the face of urgent global challenges. In order for us to demonstrate the same sort of boundless love exemplified by the Good Samaritan, we must have eyes to see, hearts to feel, feet to step closer, and hands to help.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
1. How would you define “compassion”?
2. Would you consider yourself to be a compassionate person?
3. Did you grow up in a family where generosity was modeled? How has your upbringing influenced your attitude about giving?
4. Have you ever watched the infomercials on TV where these organizations are asking you to give money to feed starving children in Africa? How do these infomercials make you feel? Why?
5. Have you ever experienced “compassion fatigue”? Explain. How do you think one overcomes “compassion fatigue”?
6. In last week’s small group gathering, we talked about committing to living out just one idea this week to broaden our “horizon” (e.g. introducing yourself to someone new, inviting someone different than you over for a meal, etc.). Were you able to stick to your commitment? Briefly share your experience.
INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
1. Briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
2. Read Luke 1 John 3:16-18:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
- According to this passage, how do we know what love is?
- What does it mean that “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”?
- What does it mean for us to “lay down our lives for one another”? (see also John 15:13)
- What do you think it means to have “pity” towards a brother or sister?
- According to verse 17, what is one specific way that we demonstrate that the love of God is in us? (see also James 2:15-17)
- Why is “action” such an important part of love?
3. In the sermon, we said that in order for us to demonstrate the same sort of boundless love as exemplified by the Good Samaritan, we must have eyes to see, hearts to feel, feet to step closer, and hands to help. Take a few minutes and meditate on each of these items, then share your thoughts with the group as openly and honestly as you can.
- Eyes to See
How has God been opening your eyes recently to see the world as he sees it?
- Hearts to Feel
What are some ways that we often numb ourselves so that we do not feel what God feels? Why do we do that? When was the last time your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God?
- Feet to Step Closer
As you examine your life, are you walking closer to those in need (the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the marginalized, etc.) today than you did a year ago? Or have you been walking farther away?
- Hands to Help
We read in 1 John 3:17 that one specific way that we can demonstrate that the love of God is in us is to share our “material possessions.” Can you commit to sharing your material possessions with just one person who is in need this week?