Week 3 - The Joy of Jesus
Begin with silence and prayer
Gather together as a LifeGroup, as a family or find time alone in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of the living room, etc.). Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time. Then spend a few minutes in silence.
Why silence, even while together? Because we live in a busy, noisy world, under a non-stop assault of distraction. In the midst of all the chaos, it’s hard at times to hear the voice of God, and that of our brothers and sisters. As we gather together as a family, we want to hear what the Father is saying to and through each of us, and respond in turn. A great way to do that is to begin each time with silence and prayer.
Discuss last week’s Practice (15-20 minutes)
(If you’re short on time, skip this and go to the next section)
If you are in a LifeGroup of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender).
Spend a few minutes catching up on life…
Then talk through the following debrief questions:
How was it filling out your block map? What observations did you have from that exercise?
What are some ideas that you came up with during your brainstorming session that you have begun to implement?
What was/is the most difficult part of this Practice for you?
Transition back to one large group (15-20 minutes)
Have a conversation around the following questions:
Any stories from the last week’s Practice that you would like to encourage the whole group with?
Did you listen to this week’s sermon, The Joy of Jesus? What did you think?
What have you learned about reaching out to your neighbors through these exercises and practices?
What are some positive steps that you have experienced from these practices?
What are the challenges that you have faced?
Open the Bible together
Have somebody read Philippians 4:4-9
Discuss the following questions:
1. What does it mean that God is the most joy-filled being in the universe? How does this meet with your experience and understanding of God?
2. What does Paul mean to “rejoice in the Lord always”?
3. What does Paul describe as the fruit of always rejoicing in the Lord?
4. How does Paul encourage people to engage with rejoicing in the Lord, being a person of joy?
4. Describe your experience with this type of joy.
Read over this coming week’s Practice before you call it a night (10 minutes)
Here’s the Practice for the coming week:
Our practice this week is to set our minds on joy. We want to turn our attention to those things in our life that can help us feel, experience, and live as people of joy.
Begin by think of something like paying bills, taxes or something along those lines. How did that make you feel?
In this, your thought life helps shape what you feel. Our minds can be shaped and trained to bring our thoughts on particular and specific things. Write down, make a list of things that give you joy. What about these give you joy?
Here are 3 ways we can position ourselves to better experience the joy of Jesus.
Surrender the illusion of control. We have to let go, let go of our need to control the outcomes. As a result joy and contentment are not contingent on the situation of our life.
Give thanks. Take up the practice of giving thanks. Make a daily list, journal about 1 thing in particular, etc.
Focus our attention on what is good.
Here are some more possible starting points. Circle and choose a few to begin with.
Spending more time with the Lord.
Slow our bodies down.
Celebrate life together
Listen to music
The last thing is to throw a party, throw a party as the family of God to celebrate together the joy of Jesus.
Work through these discussion questions (10-15 minutes)
Any thoughts, creative ideas, or feedback on this coming week’s Practice of becoming people of joy?
Is there anybody in your life who immediately comes to mind that you want to share the joy of Jesus Christ with? How does this connect with our previous practices?
Close in prayer
Share prayer requests and pray for that we would be people of joy and celebrate that with our growing family in Jesus Christ.