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Contemporary Worship Online (6/28)

Contemporary Worship Online (6/28)

Background Notes

Dumb Idea #4: God Has a Blueprint for My Life    --- Thrive Group Notes

Message June 28, 2020

Remind your group members to bring a Bible with them to your Thrive Group. There is value in opening the Bible together with others...and making use of them as we seek to live lives of following Jesus!

Background Notes

Basics: One of the best-known stories in the Bible is the story of Noah. The earth has become a very evil place. “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God asaw how corrupt it had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people...So make yourself an ark of cypress wood...This is how you re to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubs wide and thirty cubits high. Mkae a roof for it,leavingt below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and maker lower, middle and upper decks…” And on the story goes.

Is there any doubt of God’s plan for Noah? God has a blueprint for Noah’s boat. It sure seems that God has a blueprint for Noah’s life.

Is that the Lord’s normal way of operating in our lives? Many have come to assume that because of multiple stories in Scripture that show God giving very specific guidance or direction to people, that that is the normal way of operating.

But is it?

Clearly God does give very specific directions to particular point at certain moments in their lives. And he is free to do that in our lives. But it appears that he has given us lots of direction about what to do and not to do as we follow Jesus and trust him with our lives in the day to day of our lives.

For other matters, though, we need to think carefully and learn to make decisions in the areas God has given us freedom. We have great latitude. We have great freedom. We exercise that freedom in light of what God has made clear.

What’s most clear? He wants us to love him with all our hearts. He wants to us love our neighbors as ourselves ( and pray for them, bear each other’s burdens, forgive one another, put up with each other, speak out on behalf of those who are wronged, etc.)

Thrive Group Conversation

Dumb Idea #4: God has a Blueprint for my Life   --- Thrive Group Notes

Message June 28, 2020

  1. Use conversation starter/ice-breakers (10-15 min) to get your group talking. We want to build connections and relationships with each other.
  2. So listen to this phrase: “God has a blueprint for my life.” Have you heard that phrase or one like it before? What does it mean? Try this on for size: do you think that God has a specific college or a specific career in mind for you? A special person to become your husband or your wife? A special house to live in?

Now think again. Before listening to the message this week, or giving this much thought recently, how would you have responded to that statement that “God has a blueprint for my life”? Mostly agree? Mostly disagree?

Why?

  1. Read this passage from Larry Osborne’s book Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe to your Thrive Group:

“Imagine what would happen if God’s will for our life was actually like a blueprint, detailed down to the parking space he has set aside for us during the holiday rush at the shopping mall.

“What happens when, in a fallen world, others decide to ignore God’s blueprints for their lives? It’s not so bad if they take our parking space. But what if they buy the house God has picked out for us? Or cheat on an entrance exam and take the last open spot in the college we were supposed to go to?

Oh no, you say. That can’t happen. God knows everything and would step in and stop it. Really? If so, isn’t humankind’s free will just a sham?

Or what happens if, in a moment of spiritual rebellion, Joe Christian dates and marries the wrong woman? If God won’t allow that to happen, then we’re not much more than puppets on a string. If he does allow it, Joe might have just put the whole world in a jam.

Here’s what I mean. The poor girl he was supposed to marry is stuck, her blueprint ruined forever. Same for the guy who was originally intended to marry Joe’s new wife. Unless those two both stay single or marry one another, Joe may well have started a chainr reaction that will eventually mess up marriages worldwide -- which just might explain a lot of things.”

How do you respond to Larry’s hypothetical questions about the guy marrying the wrong woman?

  1. Why do you think that the idea of God having a very specific blueprint for our lives -- especially for the big decisions in our lives -- so popular?

What’s the benefit of a blueprint? 

What are the downsides of a blueprint approach to God’s will?

(It can leave us paralyzed. We’re stuck between choices, waiting for God to say something. It gives us a few of God where he has specifics in mind for us, but then he hides them and leaves it up to us to find the clues or make guesses. Why would God want to make it difficult for us to know his will?)

(Larry Osborne writes: “Another problem with a blueprint mentality is that it tends to turn our focus toward the wrong things. Instead of worrying about the weightier matters of godliness -- justice, mercy, and obedience -- we fixate on finding the right mate, choosing the right career, or renting the right apartment. I’m not saying these decisions are unimportant. They are. Decisions ultimately create destiny. But they aren’t nearly as important as a life of daily obedience.” )

  1. “God has a blueprint for my life.” That is a common way of looking at things. But an alternative way of looking at things is this: that God has a game plan for my life. Why does “gameplan” fit more the way God works in our lives?
  2. Take a look at James 4. 13-18. James warns us about boasting about the future. Instead it emphasizes something else to focus on. James moves us away from trying to figure out the future. Discuss the following questions:

Why does he think we should not focus on figuring out the future? Why does he diminish the importance of figuring out the future? What does he invite us to focus on instead?

  1. Want to know God’s will? Start with the Bible. Start with the basics. Start with a commitment to obey the points of God’s will that are clear and are black and white. They exist. There are plenty of them.

For other matters, seek to think about things in light of what we know from the Bible. Seek to gain a biblical perspective. Ascertain the facts. Seek out counsel from multiple sources. Discern who are the best voices to listen to. But always go back to the basics. The Ten Commandments. The Sermon on the Mount. Paul’s description of Christian character and the fruit of the Spirit.

  1. Listen to a number of different passages from the Bible. What do these words tell us about God’s will?

Assign a couple of different passages to members of your group members of your group read. Discuss briefly.

Proverbs 4. 18-19

Ephesians 4. 25- 5. 2

Ephesians 5. 17-18

I Thessalonians 4. 3-8

I Peter 2. 13-14

Prayer

Include in your prayer...prayer for a heart to know God’s will, courage to make decisions in light of what we know of God’s will, wisdom in making decisions and trusting God’s presence and work in our lives…

Speaker: Craig Swanson
June 28, 2020
Senior Pastor

Craig Swanson

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