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When it seems like everything is changing or shaken up in a way you weren’t expecting, it’s important to go back to the foundation. Back to what you know is true. Back to who you know you are. Back to who you know God is. As we move forward in a new year, with all that happened in 2020 still heavy on our minds and hearts, let’s remind ourselves of our foundation––who God is and who we are as a result.

1. Simply responding to Jesus

Matthew 7:24-27
Leader Notes

  • Large trees and skyscrapers both need deep roots and foundations in order to stand tall. In the same way, our foundations determine how well we grow. That foundation is usually unseen and uncelebrated, but it is what keeps us upright.
  • It’s good to remind ourselves of these things even if we have heard them before. How often do we hear things and not do them? As we re-engage with these truths we’ve all heard before, let’s ask the Lord to search our hearts and show us new ways to obey.
  • Our mission is to simply respond to Jesus. Responding to Jesus keeps us from just reacting to everything else. When our eyes are fixed on him, our surroundings and circumstances don’t shake us.

In what new areas of your life is the Lord asking you to be obedient? How are you responding?

2. Because Jesus is real

Ephesians 2:10
Leader Notes

  • As we simply respond to Jesus, we begin to uncover the plans God has for us and the unique ways in which he made us to function in the world. Rather than be distracted by all of the world’s ways of “finding ourselves” we can go straight to our Creator, and ask him to reveal what he had in mind when he made us.
  • We ground everything we do in the “why”––Jesus is real! That changes everything. He is real, and he is with us in our midst, not some distant and detached God, but an intimately connected and loving Father.
  • We need to cultivate time with him to behold his glory, and all our priorities will fall into place. Out of our foundation that Jesus is real, all that we are as a church comes to pass. As we spend time with him, asking him to show us what he has in mind, he guides us toward the good plans he has in the works, that we might walk in them.

Spend some time in prayer about God’s unique plans for you. What do you hear the Lord saying to you?

3. We are a family of faith, fully engaged

Matthew 12:48-50
Leader Notes

  • The Bible is full of family metaphors. A lot of us came from families that weren’t healthy or happy, and they but the family of God is completely unique. It’s the chance to experience the messy, loving, and redeemed family of eternity.
  • We all have different, God-given roles. God doesn’t want all of us to do everything, he wants all of us to do what he’s asking us to. Part of being a family is that we are all just that–a part, and none of us are the whole package.
  • Jesus redefines what a family is. In Christ, families are people who respond to him in obedience. The simple act of becoming God’s children connects us, and as we draw closer to Christ, we also draw closer to each other.

What is your part in the family of God? Are you embracing that calling? Why or why not?

4. Transforming our community and our world

Matthew 5:13-16
Leader Notes

  • Jesus calls his followers the salt and light of the world. Salt brings out the flavors of food. And even just a pinprick of light transforms the darkness. We bring seasoning and illumination to our community and our world.
  • When we get involved in the work of God’s kingdom, we give other people an opportunity to receive Jesus’ restoration in their lives as well. Salvation is an invitation to redemption, restoration, and a global family.

What “seasoning” is your life bringing to your community?

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?