DNA Groups

Sermon Review - Jesus Heals A Blind Man (Luke 18:35-43)

Image Big Idea: You'll never ask Jesus for more until you realize how little you have.

Summary: Jesus heals a blind beggar, giving him back his sight. It's a story about poverty, persistence and praise. Luke is reminding us that we're spiritually impoverished and that persistent prayer and spontaneous praise are marks of someone who knows they have nothing and look to Jesus for everything. The absence of prayer and a life that lacks these moments of praise are symptoms of a growing spiritual blindness. The good news is that Jesus is willing and able to give us back our eyes.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • Last fall, Jason Meyer at Bethlehem Baptist Church gave a message about prayer and spiritual blindness.
  • Mark Driscoll's sermon on Luke 18:35-43 and how Jesus heals our spiritual blindness.
  • Tim Keller writes about The Gospel and The Poor.
  • We talked about taking next steps towards covenant community:
    • If you're a guest, just show up next week.
    • If you're a regular attender of our church, sign up for tomorrow night's membership class.
    • If you're a covenant member, show up and serve. This is what it means to be family - we help each other follow Jesus.
  • And if you're looking for a place to go deep with the Bible and with each other, email me (madair@missionathens.com) and let's talk about getting you into a DNA Group.

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Sermon Review - Jesus Tells Us More About The Cross (Luke 18:31-34)

Image Big Idea: Jesus wants more from you so he can give more to you.

Summary: Luke includes a scene in his story where Jesus tells his followers about his impending death. In addition to providing further details, pointing out that what is about to happen was predicted in the Old Testament, and noting the confusion of Jesus' closest followers, Luke includes this story to help us learn about our desire for more. The cross shows us 1) that what we want will never be found by pursuing comfort and self-protection and 2) that it takes the death of Christ to free us from our pursuit of comfort and self-protection. Because Jesus gave all of himself for us, we can give all of ourselves to Jesus.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • Paul Tripp's book, A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You, would be a huge help.
  • Mark Driscoll preached on this same text and helped people see that the Bible is all about Jesus.
  • John Piper has a book about God's glory and his work in the world. You can download God's Passion For His Glory here for free.
  • Most of our community groups will be watching the Super Bowl tonight and this week. While that means most of us won't be talking about the sermon and praying together, we think it's a win for groups to watch the game together. Community groups exist to connect relationally and grow spiritually.
  • And if you're looking for a place to go deep with the Bible and with each other, email me (madair@missionathens.com) and let's talk about getting you into a DNA Group.

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Sermon Review - The Pharisee and The Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14)

Image Big Idea: We need churches that need Jesus.

Summary: Jesus tells the story of a wicked man who experiences the approval of God and a good man who does not receive God's approval. It's a reminder that our external religious actions will never save us - not even the things that can only be attributed to God's grace. Our only hope is Christ alone; and it is that hope that gives us the courage to plant the gospel in our neighborhoods and start churches around the world.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • If you're in a community group, take time to pray this week for God to give us the honesty we need to confess our self-reliance and the hope to believe that we are loved by God because of Jesus.
  • You can learn more about our involvement in starting new churches  around the world by going to the Acts 29 Network website.
  • Our primary focus in church planting is investing 10% of our income as a church in new churches. You can help by a) continuing to give generously or b) beginning to give generously. Setting up an online giving schedule can help.

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Sermon Review - The Rich Ruler (Luke 18:18-30)

Image Big Idea: We need a good God to convince us to give up control of our life.

Summary: A wealthy man asks Jesus to help him find what's missing in his life. Jesus shows him that what he needs is a God who is so good that He'll dive into what controls this man: his money. Like the rich ruler, we'd rather walk away from Jesus than to give up control of our life. And the only way that we'll give up control of our money or our comfort is for God to overwhelm us with his goodness.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • If you're in a community group, take time to pray this week for God to overwhelm our church with his goodness.
  • If you're looking for a way to take in the goodness of God, here is a sermon by John Piper that you can read or listen to.
  • If you have the day off tomorrow for Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday, take time to watch his I Have A Dream speech or read his Letter from Birmingham Jail. See the world through his eyes and give yourself a different perspective.
  • Since God is gathering a people called the church and remaking them into a new humanity that transcends culture, staying where we are as a predominantly white church is not an option. While the path forward is unclear, consider your part in the journey:
    • If you want to help us take next steps in becoming a transcultural church, email me (madair@misionathens.com)
    • Let's all persevere with both patience and persistence. No turning back. No getting ahead of God.
    • Let's pray that where our demand to be in control keeps us from being who God intends for us to be, God will be gracious to us and overwhelm us with his goodness.

You Need A Budget - If you haven't signed up for next Saturday's personal finance seminar, you can change that right here. It's free, it's simple and it will give you a way to change how you handle your finances.

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Sermon Review - Jesus and Children (Luke 18:15-17)

Image Big Idea: Will we trust Jesus with our helplessness and with the needs of the orphan and the unborn?

Summary: When parents bring their infants to receive a blessing from Jesus, his disciples try to keep them away from Jesus. Jesus takes it a different direction, inviting the children to come to him while reminding us that everyone matters to Jesus. Seizing on the opportunity to make a point, Jesus asks whether we will trust him with our helplessness the way that a baby trusts their parents? And since we're near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this story is a good place to talk about the orphan and the unborn.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • If you're in a community group, take time to pray this week for the orphan and the unborn.
  • There will be lots of news over the next ten days about abortion. Pay attention.
  • Pick up a copy of Russell Moore's Adopted For Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches. Pay attention.
  • Press into the needs that are immediately around you - in our church, in the city, in your neighborhood schools.
    • Thank you for the big and small things that you're already doing. Everything matters.
    • If you're not sure what to do next, email us (info@missionathens.com) and we'll start a conversation.

Build What You Love. After the gathering, we had an all-church meeting to say 'thank you' for 2013 and to encourage all of us to 'build what we love.' And what we love is helping each other follow Jesus together as a family. Are you connected relationally? Where are you serving? Let's build something great together.

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Sermon Review - The Parable of The Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8)

Image Big Idea: Let's pray for it to be impossible for anyone around us to ignore the real Jesus in 2014.

Summary: During this week's gathering, we heard Jesus tell us in Luke 18:1-8 to pray and keep praying and then pray some more so that we won't give up. And while that's an invitation to be persistent about anything we need to pray about, the conversation Jesus has in Luke 17 about the kingdom of God gives us a clear application for prayer in 2014. While we wait for Jesus to return and for everything to flourish and for everyone to thrive both anywhere and all the time, prayer is how we express our faith in Jesus' promise to finish what he started.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • Paul Miller's book, A Praying Life, has done more to help me understand prayer than anything else I've read.
  • If you're wondering who to pray for, start with the people who live next to you and work with you. The way we love our neighbor (BLESS) starts by B - beginning in prayer.
  • Our Prayer 2014 series continues each Sunday in January. Next Sunday we'll connect prayer to our involvement in starting new churches.
  • We've created community groups as a place for you to connect relationally and grow spiritually. If you'd like more information about community groups, fill this out.
  • We've created DNA Groups as the place for you to go deep in the Bible as you get deep with other people. For more information about DNA Groups,  read this and that; then drop us a note at office@missionathens.com if we can help you start a DNA Group or get connected with one that's already up and running.

If you have any questions or want to add to the conversation, look at the box on your left and 'leave a comment.'

Have a great week and thanks for allowing us to help you follow Jesus!

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