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REFLECT

Whatever has the most power over us to affect our happiness and contentment in life is often what we’re most likely to end up in bondage to – it’s what we love, not what we hate, that we serve. One of the most beautiful things about following Jesus is he sets us free from everything else we find ourselves in service to, and the way we choose to live into the freedom he gives us is one of our greatest acts of worship to Him. This Sunday, join us for the next message in our series, Wonder, and find out how living in the freedom we all want is a beautiful way to worship God, too.

REALIZE

1.  Accept people right where they’re at.

Romans 14:1-4a
Leader Notes

  • At the beginning of Romans 14, Paul encourages us to accept others right where they’re at. We often talk about this when it comes to people who don’t yet know Jesus, but sometimes we neglect to extend the same grace and kindness to other believers.
  • We’re all in process, and God celebrates at every stage. As we seek to become more like Christ, it’s important that we let go of judgment toward other believers and work at accepting them even if they do things differently than us.

How are you struggling in judgment toward others?

2.  Keep track of your own life.

Romans 14:4-6
Leader Notes

  • Instead of worrying about the way other Christians are leading, it’s our job to guard our own lives with diligence and make sure our walks with Jesus are what they should be.
  • As we walk with Jesus, it can be helpful to evaluate what aspects of our walk with him are our job to own…and then be honest with ourselves about what we actually are owning. Just because something is our responsibility, doesn’t mean we’re carrying it out. But that’s our single greatest task as a follower of Jesus, to take ownership of what he’s entrusted to us.

When it comes to walking with Jesus, what part is your responsibility, and what percentage are you prepared to own?

3.  We restrict our freedom out of love for others.

Romans 14:7
Leader Notes

  • The mark of a mature Christian is revealed in what they’re willing to give up. We don’t give things up out of fear for what people will say or think. But we do give them up when we realize it may be causing harm to another person.
  • Anytime our actions cause someone else to experience hurt, shame or suspicion – that’s when we need to evaluate whether our freedom in Christ is coming at the expense of another person’s wellbeing. If that’s the case, we need to restrict our own freedoms out of love for other people.

How is God inviting you to change your own lifestyle out of preference for someone else?