Going Deeper

05.17 -05.22.2021

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

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  • SCRIPTURE

    • Exodus 4:1-17

    • I Samuel 16:1-13

    • Psalm 25:1-11

    • Luke 15:11-24

  • REFLECTION

    I have had the privilege of visiting with people who are several decades my senior.  Often during our time together, they shared various memories – times of war, family vacations, or other life experiences.  I am always amazed by their power of recollection, especially when they start talking about other people, where they are from, or what they did as an occupation.  The gift of detail seldom skips any of them until you ask them what they had for lunch.  I have come to recognize the fact that memory is a fickle thing.  Somethings we can easily recall with vivid detail and other things were to mundane or insignificant for our brains to waste space logging it into our memories. 

     

    The other thing I have learned is that we can be witnesses to the same event, but each of us will recall differing details about the event.  If you want a case study in this, watch the movie Vantage Point.  A great lesson for us to learn, especially as couples, is that we will never recall the exact same details about a shared experience; we will each tell the story of this moment from our own unique vantage point.  It is not that we are telling the story right or wrong but simply from the details about the event that made an impression and that we recall. 

     

    Two things come to mind about this:  first is that to share a story about something, you must be engaged in the event.  Second is the fact that our individual stories are not complete; God is still writing out the remainder of our unique story.  There is much for us to still be witnesses to and to bear witness to.  For me, the most powerful part of my story is God’s grace.  My life’s journey has been marked by it in very specific ways and I am blessed to be able to remember nearly all of them.  I have been the prodigal, I have been the older brother, I have been the tax collector and sinner on the outside, and I have been the Pharisee who takes comfort in being on the inside.  I have been granted the insight to see myself through the lens of each of these characters.  Thank God, I have also been given the spiritual sight to see how God’s grace has and continues to transform my heart, mind, and soul as I strive to be a fully committed disciple of Jesus Christ.  I believe each of us have this ability; the ability to see our story through the mirror of God’s grace.  I propose that it is there that we find all we need to live an abundant life.

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Take a moment and recall your journey in God’s grace and how your story is still being written by God.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS

    Head: 

    • What is one of your favorite memories or who is one your favorite person that you remember?  Why?
    • What are some of the things you wish you could recall or what are some of the things you wish you could forget?  Why?
    • What is the story that you tell yourself about God?

    Heart:

    • Where have you felt the grace of God at work in your story?
    • When you view others, do you view them as insiders or outsiders to God’s kingdom?
    • Can you call a time when you acted judgmentally toward someone?  What was the circumstance and why do you believe you responded this way?

     Hand:

    • On your journey, have you been a prodigal?  Recall the circumstances that cause you to think so.
    • On your journey, have you ever been the older brother?  What are your trigger points that bring out judgmentalism in you?
    • Do you see yourself as a disciple in God’s story?  How have you cast yourself in this drama?

  • PRAYER

    I give thanks to you, God my Father, for mercy that reaches out, for patience that waits my return, and for your love that is ever ready to welcome this sinner.  I praise you that in Jesus Christ, you meet me with grace, embrace me in acceptance, and affirm me as a citizen of a forgiven universe.  I give thanks to you that by your Holy Spirit you move me to change direction, receive your love, and become what I most truly am.  In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help me then, O God, to accept your forgiveness, to believe in your love, and to trust in your purpose.  Through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.