SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this week’s sermon, Rich taught that Jesus always seems to be switching the price tags on everything. Things we consider to be really valuable, Jesus says are worthless. And things we consider to be worthless, Jesus says that these are the things that God really counts as important. We spend our lives pursuing “treasures” that ultimately fail us, but the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl teach us that a relationship with Jesus is the greatest treasure.
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. In last week’s study, we talked about taking risks this week to see “greater healing.” Does anyone have a story to share?
2. What is the most valuable thing that you own?
3. As you reflect on the past year, what “treasures” have you been pursuing recently? Is it a new job, a promotion, money, fame, a relationship?
4. If someone in your small group were to evaluate your calendar (how you spend your time) and your checkbook (how you spend your money), what would they say is your priority in life?
5. Why do you think it is so easy for us to get sucked into pursuing false treasures?
6. How is your relationship with Jesus right now? Is it better than it was a year ago, or is it worse? What did you consider in arriving at your answer? Briefly explain.
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 Philippians 3:7-14:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
- For Paul, what is his supreme treasure?
- What is Paul willing to give up in exchange for this treasure?
- Paul says that the beginning point of knowing Christ is righteousness by faith. What do you think “righteousness” means? (verse 9)
- Have you ever tried to pursue a righteousness of your own? Briefly explain.
- What do you think it means to experience the “power of his resurrection”? (verse 10) Have you ever experienced this power?
- What do you think it means to become “like him in his death”? (verse 10)
- What analogy does Paul use to describe his journey of pursuing Jesus?
- As you examine your life in light of this passage, would you say that you are “pressing on toward the goal”? Are you moving closer to the goal or further away?
3. In this week’s sermon, Rich talked about the “Half-Christian,” people who follow Jesus just enough to give them a really uneasy conscience about their whole lives, but they have yet to fully experience the abundant life that Jesus offers. They can’t enjoy the “world” because they feel guilty, but they also haven’t experienced the “power of his resurrection” because they are afraid to fully and wholeheartedly surrender their lives to Jesus.
- Can you share from your personal experience of how you are growing in your ability to surrender more and more of your life to Jesus?
- Is there an area of your life that Jesus may be asking you to surrender to him today? What barriers can you anticipate as you step out in this journey? How might this small group help you in this process?