This week Todd encouraged us to live a life prepared for the return of Jesus, faithfully representing Jesus to a world far from God.
1 We do not earn salvation by what we do or don’t do; salvation is accomplished by the finished work of Jesus alone (Eph 2:8-9). This salvation through Jesus by the power of the Spirit produces in the Christian a transformation that naturally works itself out in what we do, so we are known by the fruit we produce (Matt 7:20). Have each person in the group quickly share how he/she came to trust in Jesus alone for salvation. If anyone has not trusted in Jesus alone for salvation, take this opportunity to respond to Jesus’ free invitation to come (Matt 11:28).
2. Todd alluded to imagery from a wedding. Bridesmaids are known by whom they associate with, what they wear, where they stand, etc. In the same way, Christians are known by the changes the Spirit brings about in their lives (2 Cor 3:17-18). Go around the group and encourage one another by celebrating the tangible fruit the Spirit is growing in your lives.
3. Sometimes focusing on prophecy about the end times can get people worked up or anxious. However, Scripture teaches us that Christ’s return is our hope and that the grace and love of God is what compels us to live faithful lives (Tit 2:11-14; 2 Cor 5:14). Does the topic of the end times cause you to feel unsettled or anxious, or does it stir up a hope that motivates faithfulness? Why?
4. In our global climate of volatility there is quite a bit of speculation around signs and prophecies, speculations that can cause extreme responses on all sides. Yet through all of this our call as followers of Jesus is to steady our eyes on him and respond with the love of God in all circumstances (1 Pet 3:15-16). What do you think it looks like for you to serve others, represent Christ, and maintain a faithful presence in the midst of increasing godlessness?
5. Are you prepared to be God’s person to your neighbors? What practical steps can you take this week to accurately represent the love of Christ to the people God has placed around you? Share these steps as a group and hold one another accountable to putting these into action.