Pastor Thomas mentioned the Latin phrase ‘summum bonum’ which means: the value of values, the highest good of all.
Motivated By Brevity
How do these 4 short passages describe the brevity of life? And what does each suggest is most significant (summum bonum) in light of our brevity?
What values and pursuits do you need to decrease or increase in light of your brevity?
Motivated By Outward Living for God’s Kingdom
How do each of these 4 passages promote a summum bonum that draws you toward living intentionally for the Kingdom of God?
Each of these passages are Jesus’ own words. He intentionally appeals to our joy and longing for a meaningful life. He tells us to live intentionally for maximizing our joy and satisfaction.
Close by reading and praying over Psalm 73:25-26. Allow these words to form prayers of repentance and/or praise and/or requests to God about your place in outwardly living for His Kingdom.
Ice breaker: Since the sermon started by referencing a video game share your favorite “screen” activity excluding TV and movies.
Sermon Recap: Portions of the New Testament teach us that every Christian has two, internal “kingdoms” vying for control of his/her heart. The "old self"/Kingdom of Self operates like I’m in charge, make the decisions, and determine the priorities. The "new self"/Kingdom of God operates like Jesus is in charge, makes the decisions, and determines the priorities. Everything we do is in allegiance to, or pursuit of, one of these kingdoms.
In the preaching series the pastors have defined “the Kingdom of God” as what the world looks like when Jesus gets His way. Working from that definition how could we define the opposing, internal Kingdom of Self?
READ Galatians 5:17, Romans 8:11-14, and Ephesians 4:22-24.
Probing the Kingdoms - What are the motives and mannerisms of each kingdom in these everyday life areas?
1a. How does the Kingdom of Self operate in relationships? Why?
1b. How does the Kingdom of God operate in relationships? Why?
2a. How does the Kingdom of Self operate in using resources of time, abilities, and money?
2b. How does the Kingdom of God operate in using resources of time, abilities, and money?
3a. How does the Kingdom of Self operate in disappointment or misfortune?
3b. How does the Kingdom of God operate in disappointment or misfortune?
4a. How does the Kingdom of Self operate in responding to God’s Word?
4b. How does the Kingdom of God operate in responding to God’s Word?
5a. How does the Kingdom of Self operate in a single person’s life or a married person’s life (answer according to your current position)?
5b. How does the Kingdom of God operate in a single person’s life or a married person’s life?
6a. How does the Kingdom of Self utilize the power of words?
6b. How does the Kingdom of God utilize the power of words?
Comparing your two lists of answers, which Kingdom do you think you'd most enjoy living in yourself?
Do you find yourself wandering back to the Kingdom of Self more than you’d like to admit? In what ways?
What has the apostle Paul discovered swings his heart decisively towards Kingdom of God passions in Philippians 3:8-10? He speaks of at least three things.
Close in prayer to the King of Surpassing Worth: confession, petition, and praise as needed.
A Kingdom Illustration
Pastor Thomas presented a diagram called the “4 Kingdoms.” Below are the titles of each Kingdom. Your job is to explain/write down the meaning of each Kingdom and find two Scriptures that teach those truths (the verses may, but don’t have to, contain the word ‘kingdom’).
How could the “4 Kingdoms” concept be used to share the Gospel with someone? Pass around paper and give a few minutes for everyone to try sketching it out.
Why did Pastor Thomas say that many Christians get stuck in Kingdom 3?
The life of Jesus reveals the Kingdom of God impacting society on both a physical and spiritual level.
The Kingdom Examined
READ Matthew 13:31-32. What truths about the Kingdom are contained in this parable?
READ Matthew 13:33. What further truth(s) about the Kingdom are revealed in this parable?
READ Matthew 18:1-4. What further truth(s) about the Kingdom are revealed in this teaching?
Applying Kingdom Truths
What do you think a Kingdom-centered church that commits to living in the 4th Kingdom (Kingdom Proclaimed) looks like today?
What sacrifices will be necessary by you and/or your church to live out these values of Jesus?
Are there any areas of brokenness in your community that you and/or your church could address?
What is God saying to you about your role in the Kingdom?