Following Jesus: Some Assembly Required – Week 1


Week of March 13

Opening Questions
1.    Who was someone that inspired you and that you wanted to be like? It could be a parent, teacher, coach, co-worker, mentor, pastor, friend, etc. What was it about that person that made them so magnetic and inspiring? What did you hope to gain by following that person’s example?

2.    Describe a time that you spent focusing on something or doing something longer than you wanted to, something that you knew wasn’t good or helpful but you had a hard time putting it away (a hobby, routine, habit, etc.). Why did you want to stop and what made it difficult to stop?

Many things in this world compete for our attention, whether they are good things worthy of imitation, activities we’d like to eliminate, or things that we wish we did more often. Following these things, whether good or bad, is one form of worship. Today we will be discussing more about what worship is and how it affects your relationship with God.

Opening Prayer 
God, when your son Jesus first called his disciples, he simply asked them to follow. They were drawn to him and left what they were doing to follow after him. As you extend the same invitation to us, we pray that we too would see past all of the distractions and worship you. Let your Holy Spirit speak to us today about what it looks like to worship you. May we encourage one another, teach one another, and help each other become more like who you created us to be. Amen.

Historical Context
To prepare for his public ministry, Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days to fast and pray (these 40 days are what the season of Lent is based on: sacrificing something pleasurable to cause a period of reflection). During this time, he was visited by the devil and tempted in three different scenarios.

Scripture Readings:
Luke 4:6-8
The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.”

Engaging Scripture
Let’s pause before we think about how these passages make us feel or how it applies to our context. This section can help ground your group in talking about what is written and consider its impact on the original audience.  

1.    What does it mean to you to know that Jesus was tempted to worship something other than God?

2.    Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worshipping him. Discuss whether you feel Satan’s offer was legitimate.

3.    What do you think Jesus meant by “take up your cross?”

Application Questions
  1. How do you define worship? Is it a noun or a verb?

  2. What are some ways that you can worship/experience God?

  3. How does worshipping in a group benefit you in ways that worshipping alone can’t?

  4. What are some things you can do when you are tempted to worship something other than God?

  5. How can you make worship a daily part of your life?

Closing Prayer
God, help us remember that we were created to worship, that we were created to be close to you. Give us strength to overcome the temptation to worship the creature instead of the Creator. We acknowledge that when we worship you, it brings you glory, and brings us joy. Amen.

Taking it Further
Worship is intentional. Dedicate some time this week to engage in an activity designed to worship God. Activities could include going for a walk/run, scheduling a specific time to pray, reading a book, writing things down that you are thankful for, or even spending time in silence. Worship requires effort, and the more we practice this discipline, the closer we become to God and to who he made us to be. 

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