This past Sunday, Pastor Jeremy led us through a bit of a self evaluation. He focused our exploration of Exodus on two key questions, what is our greatest need, and what is our mission.
On your own, or in the trust relationships if your Life Group, process the difference between felt needs and actual needs. One way to easily begin dissecting these two is to consider a child and how they express their needs. The profound feelings of immediacy, the emotional attachment to what is or is not right in front of them. It's easy for us to point out the difference between felt needs and actual needs in this context, but what about in your life?
Just to break the ice, list of your top 3 superficial felt needs. For example, if you’re Pastor Matt, you “need” Safeway glaze croissants at least once a week. Or, you need to use an extra fluffy pillow to get a good night's sleep.
Now to go a little deeper, look back on some of the things you once considered “needs” but now you realize that they were just well rationalized wants instead… not actual needs. Give an example of one of these and talk about what it was that brought you to the realization that it actually was not a true need.
Yet with this conversation of true needs, if we’re honest we can relate to the Israelites. Food and water for your family is about the most concrete need a human has. And still, Exodus says that this was not their truest need. When you hear this, do you feel sympathetic to the Israelites? Why or why not? Would you have acted differently? If so, in what way?
Pastor Jeremy clearly demonstrated that the message of the entire Bible is actually GOD WITH US! He said that having God with us is in fact our greatest possible need. Look at the examples of the tabernacle, the temple, the incarnation of Jesus, and the gift of the paraclete also known as the Holy Spirit and for each, discuss how it is a demonstration of the Bible’s main theme, GOD WITH US! (feel free to point out other verses which illustrate this for each)
If this is in fact the central theme of the Bible, which addresses the greatest need of each human, then it certainly is worth exploring. Pastor Jeremy asked us to look at that idea through the lens of these 4 questions...
For an unbeliever, how does it change their life to know that God wants to be with them? He has been reaching out to make a way. Can you think of someone to share this good news with this week?
How does it change your life to know that you will never be cast out of God's presence. Romans 8, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” in Christ you have Emmanuel, God with us.
As a church, how does this change our church to know that this is our mission.
How much of your week, resources, etc. on our own mission. Why would we work toward any mission other than God's? Are you open to growing in this area? What changes can you make this very week?
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you, your Life Group members, and your church as a whole as you work through these heavy questions.