March 8, 2015
Trusting the Shepherd
Ezekiel 34v1-16; 23-29
Faith is sometimes understood as the lack of doubt. However faith is not simply feeling certain about our beliefs. Rather, at its core, faith is trusting a person. We all think we want certainty. But we don’t. What we really want is trust.
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” - Voltaire
- When meeting a potential friend for the first time - what steps do you take to determine whether or not this person is “trustworthy”?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13v12. What does this text tell us about faith and doubt?
- Read Hebrews 11v6. What thoughts come to mind? What is God really after here?
- What is the difference between certainty and trust?
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.
Read Ezekiel 34v1-16; 23-29
- When the Bible calls us sheep, what is it really saying about the nature of humanity?
- Read v. 2. What is at the heart of bad leadership? How have you experienced this in your life?
- Read v. 4. If the motivation of a leader is bad you have either abuse or neglect. How have you experienced this in your life?
- Read vv. 11-12. What is God’s solution to the problem?
- Read vv. 23-24. Who specifically is the prophecy referring to here? How does he solve the leadership crisis?
“God’s purpose in guidance is not to get us to perform right actions. His purpose is to help us become the right kind of people” - John Ortberg
- How has sin acted as a ‘predator’ in your life or in the lives of others? Discuss the challenges you encounter in trying to overcome the wrong habits in your life. What role does God have in your efforts?
- What daily, moment-by-moment, steps do you need to take to surrender your life over to God’s care?
- What obstacles do you expect to encounter in turning your will over to God?
- What is it going to take for you to trust God? How can we help you to take this step?
To you, O Master that loves all people, by your mercy we, [the World, City, Church, etc.] go forth and do your work. And we pray to you; help us at all times, in everything; deliver us from every evil thing of this world and from every attack of the devil; save us and bring us to your eternal kingdom. For you are our Creator, the Giver and Provider of everything good; in you is all our hope, and to you we ascribe glory, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
- Adapted from Saint Macarius
Deny yourself from eating food that you didn’t prepare at home. Keep track of the money you would have spent at restaurants, markets, fast food, etc.
Give the money you saved each day this week to Joppa, to provide access to basic needs for homeless in Des Moines (joppaoutreach.org).
Personal Spiritual Practice
Meditate on the first lines of the Taize Service: “Come, Holy Spirit; come Holy Spirit. Cleanse our hearts; cleanse our hearts. Teach us to surrender.” Pray that God helps you to release to him any specific areas where you are stuck.
Remember to encourage group members to sign up to help at our fifth annual Eggs, Eggs Everywhere on April 4, 2015 (eggseggseverywhere.com).