Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: Body Building: Building the Body that Matters Most
Week 2: It’s Your Serve
Through this series, we are taking a look at what a fully formed body of Christ looks like. Last week, Pastor Dale spoke about three exercises for an individual to be healthy spiritually. These spiritual aerobics were
- Walking by Faith
- Running with Perseverance &
- Standing Against the Enemy
- Which of these exercises do you find most needed in your life right now and why?
- Going to church is another spiritual exercise that can be mysterious to those outside the church. Who do you know that may never see the inside of a church, yet they do see your life and the way you live it?
- Do you think these people see a difference in you? What do you think the witness of your life is saying?
Read Ephesians 4:11-16. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Now read Ephesians 2:8-10. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Underline verse 4:12. In order for the body of Christ [to] be built up, Christ must equip his people for works of service. These are works which God prepared for us ahead of time. This week we are looking into the first characteristic of being spiritually healthy: serving.
- Have you ever had a meaningful experience serving someone else? Share your story with the group.
- What are some practical ways we can serve each other within Community of Hope?
- What are some practical ways we can serve in the community/world around us?
Pastor Dale said, “When we serve God and we serve others, we push against the self-centeredness of our culture.”
- Would you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
- When has serving helped you or someone you know grow less self-centered?
The Four Levels of Serving:
- Level One: Jesus served out of gratitude
- When Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, he said, “God, I thank you that you hear me. I know you always hear me…” How often do you stop and thank God for what he has done?
Psalm 116:12 says, “What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?”
- How might your life be different if you prayed this prayer every day and listened for God’s response?
- Level Two: Jesus served out of obedience.
Read Philippians 2:8 (Message Translation). Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
- What did it cost Jesus to be obedient to God?
- What might it cost you to be obedient to God? Do you think the cost is worth it?
- Level Three: Jesus served out of vision
In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus shares his personal vision statement. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
- Based on this verse, how does Jesus see the world? And how then, should we see the world?
- Is there a person or situation in your life that Jesus might calling you to see differently? What new vision might you have for that person/ situation if you saw through Jesus’ eyes?
- Level Four: Jesus served out of love
Read Matthew 9:36-38. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Read I John 4:7-8. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
- What is one practical way you serve out of love this week?