Stress, Worry, Anger, Resentment,
Jealousy, Fear, Withheld forgiveness,
Picked up and held offenses, Uncertainty,
Lies, Past experiences
THE POWER OF COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, AND RECONCILIATION IN DEFEATING DISTRACTIONS THAT HARM RELATIONSHIPS:
Luke 5:11-32 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
12While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in from of Jesus. 20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home, praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with him. 30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 31Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:13–14 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
2 Corinthians 5:16–21 16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
John 13:34–35 34A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS IN LIFE GROUP OR WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Passages to consider: Luke 2:1-20; Colossians 3:1-17; Romans 12:9-21
1. What in the sermon was important to you?
2. Read Luke 2:1-20. Share what you see about relationships in this passage. A) What is a new thought for you from the
passage or sermon?
3. In your experience, how do the holidays bring out the best and/or the worst in relationships?
4. Read Colossians 3:1-17. What does setting your mind on things above look like for you in this season? A) What
pattern in your relationships might be an old way of doing things? B) What could be a new pattern to put on this
5. Of the things listed in Colossians 3:12-17, which one comes easily in the midst of your relationships? Which one do
you need more of this season?
6. Think about and pray over the relationships you will engage in this Christmas season. How can you put Christ at the
center of them? Think about the comfortable ones and the uncomfortable ones. Be intentional with some specific relationships.
Next week: Distractions (Week 4): Stress & Pressure vs. Perspective & Peace Passages to prepare: Isaiah 40:28-31; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 4:6-8