Dr. E. Dale Locke and  Rev. Trevor Johnston

Sermon Series:  Friend Request

Week 3:  Share

1.  Continue to memorize our verse for this sermon series – Acts 2:46, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” 

2.  Pastor Trevor said that our culture is experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.”  What do you think are the causes of this?

3.  Describe a time in your life when you felt lonely and what helped you through that. 

4.  Read Galatians 6:2–10
      “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
     7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

What questions or comments come to your mind as you read this passage?

5.  During the 1995 Chicago heat wave, over 700 people died.  But in the neighborhoods where people had strong connections with their neighbors, there were hardly any fatalities.  How can connections with others nearby help people through difficult times like a heat wave or a hurricane or something similar?

Carrying each other’s burdens is a command for Christ-followers:

6.  The New Testament book of Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to Christians in Galatia, which was in what would be modern-day Turkey.  Take another look at Galatians 6:2. This is about sharing our problems and pain.  Describe the difference between going through a challenging season of life (like grief, divorce, serious illness, being the mom of little kids, caring for an aging loved one, etc.) by yourself, or going through it with a supportive circle of friends. 

7.  Our natural human tendency is to think mostly about ourselves and our own needs.  But Jesus commands us to carry the burdens of others.  Read Jesus’ words as recorded in John 13:34–35:  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What strikes you about these verses?  Why is this a command and not just a suggestion?

8.  What are some practical ways to carry the burdens of others? 

9.  Sometimes people intend to lighten someone else’s burden, but it ends up being unhelpful.  Have you ever experienced that?  If so, describe your experience. 

Jesus loves us by carrying our burdens

10.  Read Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 to understand more about how Jesus loves you.  Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Share with your group how you have experienced what’s described here.

The main way we experience Jesus carrying our burdens is through His people

11.  Galatians 6:2 says to “Carry each other’s burdens”. And Galatians 6:5 says that “Each person should carry their own load.”  These seem to contradict each other, but describe how both can be true at the same time.

12.  Note Galatians 6:10, where Paul urges us to do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.  How have you seen that lived out? 

13.  What are some reasons why a person might avoid getting into community? 

14.  Think of someone you know who needs community.  What are some ways that you could help them give community a try?

15.  Describe a time when you had an especially powerful experience of life-giving community, whether that was in church or somewhere else. 

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