Outline and Small Group Questions

1. We are created in God’s image as workers.
...and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…your heavenly Father knows you need them. (v. 26; 32)
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the
earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24 (NIV)
For the Life of the World
Part 14—Creative Service: The Letter
February 7, 2016
Key Idea: We cherish our everyday work as a gift that shapes our souls.
Key Verse: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these
things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
2. Our work shapes our soul.
Do not worry… (v. 25)
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands
have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your
God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and
so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is
today. Deuteronomy 8:17–18 (NIV)
3. In exile, we cherish our work for the good of the city.
...but seek first his kingdom. (v. 33)
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those
I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and
settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.”
Jeremiah 29:4–5
Key Passage: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life
more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds
of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And
why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all
his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes
the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into
the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do
not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What
shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your
heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom
and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25–34
This is the glorious promise of our calling—for us and for the world:
to live life abundantly. In Jesus’ terms, that means being a people
who live in deep loving communion with the God of the universe,
where life has been give away in love so a broken work can flourish…
When God’s people fail to live our call, the church buries the gospel.
That’s where we are. That’s the crisis we must face.
—Mark Labberton, Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following
Jesus Today
• What did you dream of becoming as a young person? What did you
not want to become? Why?
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: In a society that seems to perpetuate anxiety,
we must learn how to turn down the external noise of our lives and
discipline ourselves to engage in those spiritual practices that we find
helpful in connecting us with God. In devotional reading (Lectio Divina)
we listen for Gods voice in real time, trusting that the Holy Spirit makes
God’s word living and personal. It is rooted in scripture as we prayerfully
encounter the living God, surrendering ourselves to hear and obey God’s
word. Journal your thoughts using words or pictures. Allow a time of
silence between readers.
Pause: Take a moment of quiet to rest your heart and mind in the
presence of God. Invite God to show you what he wants you to
notice or be attentive to through this practice.
Reader #1: Read Matthew 6:25-34 aloud. Circle or underline words
or phrases that stand out to you.
Reader #2: Slowly reread the text aloud. How does what you circled
relate to your life right now?
Reader #3: Reread the text. What might God be inviting you to be
or do?
Group Sharing: What did you see or hear from God? How does it
connect with your life?
Group Debrief: What was it like to allow scripture to guide your
dialog with God?
• Optional: Read the letter from Evan; watch the FLOW video module
#14: The Letter; or watch the full Episode 3 to wrap-up our last week
on Creative Service (password in the Order of Worship).
Read the key idea and passage aloud. What stood out to you from
this week’s scripture, message, or video?
What is the most dramatic thing that would change in your life if you
honestly believed what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34?
How does Matt 6:25-34 challenge the common understanding of the
American Dream?
The primary question of this message series is “What is our salvation
actually for”? How does our perspective on work (our daily labor)
influence our answer to that question?
What schedule changes, conversations, or other arrangements would
you need to make in order to create space in your life to seek and
enjoy the abundance of God’s kingdom?
What guidance or counsel would you offer to parents who want to
raise their kids to understand Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 6:25-34?
What would you want children/students to know?
• In what way do you need God’s guidance in the places where you
live, work, play, and worship?
Each morning, prayerfully consider, “what is the essence of my calling
today (outside of my job, position, or projects)?” At night, identify
experiences or influences that shaped your soul today. Reflect: In what
way did you experience closeness or distance from Christ today? What
would help you to seek and connect with God tomorrow?