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Interactions: Commitment (Interactions Small Group Series)

Interactions: Commitment (Interactions Small Group Series)
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Interactions: Commitment (Interactions Small Group Series)

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CommitmentCopyright 1996 by Willow Creek AssociationRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530ISBN-10: 0-310-26595-9ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26595-5All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New InternationalVersion. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission ofZondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other-except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Rick Devon and Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about thisbook to us in care of zreview@zondervan.com. Thank you.HANGONFORHEAVENT H E B I G P I C T U R EHave you ever heard someone use the expression, "I thoughtI''d died and gone to heaven?" A business woman from Chicagogoes on a business trip to Phoenix in February. She is lookingforward to getting there so she can get some sun betweenbusiness meetings. Her single room is unavailable so theyhave to upgrade her to a luxury suite with a sun-drenched balconyoverlooking the pool. The next day her meetings arecanceled and she is free to spend the whole day relaxing. Shephones a friend and says, "I feel like I''ve died and gone toheaven."After a round of golf, a guy in a bar "tips a few" and begins totell about his putt on the eighteenth green. He recounts howhe hit his ball with a perfect stroke, how it took two hugebreaks, going up a hill and then down and finally rolled straightinto the heart of the cup. He finishes by saying, "I won a tendollarbet and I thought I''d died and gone to heaven."A fan at a Bulls'' basketball game gets to take a shot from halfcourt. He''s told, "If you make this shot, we''ll give you a millionbucks." He makes it! When he tells that story, he probablysays "and when that ball went through the hoop, Ithought I''d died and gone to heaven."When we use that expression, we''re trying to explain anexperience that resulted in a euphoria that goes beyonddescription. Sometimes I want to ask people, "Do you knowwhere that expression originated? Do you know the origin ofthe concept of heaven?" It was not from Greek mythology orPersian fantasy. It''s not a Shakespearean concept. It is not simplyan invention of the English language to express great joy. Ithink a lot of people use the expression and don''t even realizethat the concept of heaven is uniquely biblical. It comes rightout of the teachings of Jesus. And brace yourselves. Jesustaught about heaven and made it sound as real as earth. Hereally believed in such a place and spent a lot of time and energyconvincing other people that heaven was real.A W I D E A N G L E V I E W1. Describe your image of heaven when you were achild.What is your image of heaven now?A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T2. How do you feel when you hear the statement,"Blessed are those who are persecuted because ofrighteousness . . ."? Blessed means "truly happy." Howcan the persecuted be truly happy?What kind of persecution do you think Jesus was talkingabout?3. Jesus assures His followers that the persecutions andsufferings of this life can''t compare with the rewardsand joys of heaven. How does the hope of heavenimpact the way you live your life today?S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S4. Jesus gives His followers a sobering and tough piece ofinformation when He tells them that they will pay aprice for following Him. In light of the world we livein, how are followers of Christ persecuted today?Read Snapshot "Moral Irritations"MORAL IRRITATIONSOne reason Christ followers will take hits in this world is because they unwittingly become moral irritationsto family, friends and colleagues when th

- Publisher What does it mean to be truly committed to Christ? Jesus' answer to that question forms perhaps the greatest sermon ever delivered. In Commitment, you'll revisit the Sermon on the Mount to discover practical ways for assessing your present level of commitment and setting goals for its growth. You'll find out what the Master expects from those who follow Him and what rewards await them. You'll also learn how to sidestep common barriers to commitment and draw closer to Christ than you've ever thought possible. As you explore the themes of Jesus' famous sermon and apply them to your own relationship with God, you'll discover the confidence that comes from being fully committed to Christ. Interactions---a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study. It's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ.

- Publisher
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About "Interactions: Commitment (Interactions Small Group Series)"

CommitmentCopyright 1996 by Willow Creek AssociationRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530ISBN-10: 0-310-26595-9ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26595-5All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New InternationalVersion. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission ofZondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other-except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Rick Devon and Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about thisbook to us in care of zreview@zondervan.com. Thank you.HANGONFORHEAVENT H E B I G P I C T U R EHave you ever heard someone use the expression, "I thoughtI''d died and gone to heaven?" A business woman from Chicagogoes on a business trip to Phoenix in February. She is lookingforward to getting there so she can get some sun betweenbusiness meetings. Her single room is unavailable so theyhave to upgrade her to a luxury suite with a sun-drenched balconyoverlooking the pool. The next day her meetings arecanceled and she is free to spend the whole day relaxing. Shephones a friend and says, "I feel like I''ve died and gone toheaven."After a round of golf, a guy in a bar "tips a few" and begins totell about his putt on the eighteenth green. He recounts howhe hit his ball with a perfect stroke, how it took two hugebreaks, going up a hill and then down and finally rolled straightinto the heart of the cup. He finishes by saying, "I won a tendollarbet and I thought I''d died and gone to heaven."A fan at a Bulls'' basketball game gets to take a shot from halfcourt. He''s told, "If you make this shot, we''ll give you a millionbucks." He makes it! When he tells that story, he probablysays "and when that ball went through the hoop, Ithought I''d died and gone to heaven."When we use that expression, we''re trying to explain anexperience that resulted in a euphoria that goes beyonddescription. Sometimes I want to ask people, "Do you knowwhere that expression originated? Do you know the origin ofthe concept of heaven?" It was not from Greek mythology orPersian fantasy. It''s not a Shakespearean concept. It is not simplyan invention of the English language to express great joy. Ithink a lot of people use the expression and don''t even realizethat the concept of heaven is uniquely biblical. It comes rightout of the teachings of Jesus. And brace yourselves. Jesustaught about heaven and made it sound as real as earth. Hereally believed in such a place and spent a lot of time and energyconvincing other people that heaven was real.A W I D E A N G L E V I E W1. Describe your image of heaven when you were achild.What is your image of heaven now?A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T2. How do you feel when you hear the statement,"Blessed are those who are persecuted because ofrighteousness . . ."? Blessed means "truly happy." Howcan the persecuted be truly happy?What kind of persecution do you think Jesus was talkingabout?3. Jesus assures His followers that the persecutions andsufferings of this life can''t compare with the rewardsand joys of heaven. How does the hope of heavenimpact the way you live your life today?S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S4. Jesus gives His followers a sobering and tough piece ofinformation when He tells them that they will pay aprice for following Him. In light of the world we livein, how are followers of Christ persecuted today?Read Snapshot "Moral Irritations"MORAL IRRITATIONSOne reason Christ followers will take hits in this world is because they unwittingly become moral irritationsto family, friends and colleagues when th
- Publisher

What does it mean to be truly committed to Christ? Jesus' answer to that question forms perhaps the greatest sermon ever delivered. In Commitment, you'll revisit the Sermon on the Mount to discover practical ways for assessing your present level of commitment and setting goals for its growth. You'll find out what the Master expects from those who follow Him and what rewards await them. You'll also learn how to sidestep common barriers to commitment and draw closer to Christ than you've ever thought possible. As you explore the themes of Jesus' famous sermon and apply them to your own relationship with God, you'll discover the confidence that comes from being fully committed to Christ. Interactions---a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study. It's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ.
- Publisher

Meet the Authors

Kevin Harney

Kevin G. Harney is the Teaching Pastor and Evangelism Champion at Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana and Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, MI. He is also on the Teaching Team of the campus ministry at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is author of Leadership from the Inside Out: Examining the Inner Life of a Healthy Church Leader; Seismic Shifts, the little changes that make a BIG difference in your life; John: An Intimate Look at the Saviour; Ephesians: Bringing Heaven to Earth, and co-author of the Willow Creek Interactions series, the Willow Creek New Community series, the Old Testament Challenge series, and Finding a Church You Can Love and Loving the Church You've Found.

Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the largest and most influential churches in North America, and the chairman of the board for Willow Creek Association. He convened The Global Leadership Summit in 1995, following a God-given prompting to help raise and develop the spiritual gift of leadership for the local church.

Both visionary and passionate about seeing every local church reach its full God-given potential, he speaks around the world on strategic issues related to leadership, evangelism, and church growth. An exceptional communicator, he is a best-selling author of more than 20 books on personal evangelism, marriage and especially on the subject of Christian leadership, including Just Walk Across the Room, Courageous Leadership and the newly released, The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God and Having the Guts to Respond.

Bill received a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Deerfield, IL. He and his wife, Lynne, have two adult children and one grandson.

Table Of Contents

  • Contents
  • Interactions...7
  • Introduction:
  • Developing Deeper
  • Devotion To Christ...9
  • Session 1
  • Hang On For Heaven...11
  • Session 2
  • Developing A Heart Of Faith...17
  • Session 3
  • Fixing Broken Relationships...23
  • Session 4
  • Looking, Lusting, Or Loving?...29
  • Session 5
  • An Audience Of One...37
  • Session 6
  • Why Worry?...43
  • Leader's Notes...51

Excerpt

Excerpt from: Interactions: Commitment (Interactions Small Group Series)

Commitment HANGON FORHEAVEN T H E B I G P I C T U R E Have you ever heard someone use the expression, 'I thought I'd died and gone to heaven?' A business woman from Chicago goes on a business trip to Phoenix in February. She is looking forward to getting there so she can get some sun between business meetings. Her single room is unavailable so they have to upgrade her to a luxury suite with a sun-drenched balcony overlooking the pool. The next day her meetings are canceled and she is free to spend the whole day relaxing. She phones a friend and says, 'I feel like I've died and gone to heaven.' After a round of golf, a guy in a bar 'tips a few' and begins to tell about his putt on the eighteenth green. He recounts how he hit his ball with a perfect stroke, how it took two huge breaks, going up a hill and then down and finally rolled straight into the heart of the cup. He finishes by saying, 'I won a tendollar bet and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.' A fan at a Bulls' basketball game gets to take a shot from half court. He's told, 'If you make this shot, we'll give you a million bucks.' He makes it! When he tells that story, he probably says 'and when that ball went through the hoop, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.' When we use that expression, we're trying to explain an experience that resulted in a euphoria that goes beyond description. Sometimes I want to ask people, 'Do you know where that expression originated? Do you know the origin of the concept of heaven?' It was not from Greek mythology or Persian fantasy. It's not a Shakespearean concept. It is not simply an invention of the English language to express great joy. I think a lot of people use the expression and don't even realize that the concept of heaven is uniquely biblical. It comes right out of the teachings of Jesus. And brace yourselves. Jesus taught about heaven and made it sound as real as earth. He really believed in such a place and spent a lot of time and energy convincing other people that heaven was real. A W I D E A N G L E V I E W 1. Describe your image of heaven when you were a child. What is your image of heaven now? A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T 2. How do you feel when you hear the statement, 'Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness . . .'? Blessed means 'truly happy.' How can the persecuted be truly happy? What kind of persecution do you think Jesus was talking about? 3. Jesus assures His followers that the persecutions and sufferings of this life can't compare with the rewards and joys of heaven. How does the hope of heaven impact the way you live your life today? S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S 4. Jesus gives His followers a sobering and tough piece of information when He tells them that they will pay a price for following Him. In light of the world we live in, how are followers of Christ persecuted today? Read Snapshot 'Moral Irritations' MORAL IRRITATIONS One reason Christ followers will take hits in this world is because they unwittingly become moral irritations to family, friends and colleagues when they follow Christ diligently. It's like the gangly fourth grade girl in my elementary school. Her name was Ardith. We froze her out of our social circle for the simple reason that her grades broke the curve for the rest of us who weren't as diligent with our studies. She would get an 'A' on a test and mess up the curve for all the rest of us. We just wanted to say, 'Hey, Ardith, would you chill out a little bit on the grades thing? You're making the rest of us look really bad.' She was becoming an academic irritation to the rest of us. This very dynamic often unfolds in the relational network of Christ followers who are just trying to do their best in leading God-honoring lives. However, like Ardith, we can become an irritation when our lives look different than the lives of those who don't follow Christ. 5. In what ways might fully committed followers of Christ be a moral irritation in today's world? * In the marketplace * In their homes * In friendships with seekers * In school settings How have you experienced this in your life? Read Snapshot 'Stand Firm and Smile' 6. What can you do to stand firm even when persecution comes? STAND FIRM AND SMILE What is a Christ follower to do when persecution comes? Jesus gives us some answers in this passage. When you follow Christ and model His value system, you're on a collision course with people. He says to do two things. First, stand firm. Don't run scared. Don't cave in. Don't shrink back. Stand firm. Second, smile on the inside. Even though you are taking a beating on the outside, smile on the inside. Actually, His phrase is 'Rejoice and be glad.' Smile on the inside, knowing why you are smiling. It's not because it feels good to be beat up. It's because you know that Christ is going to make it worthwhile some day in heaven. Heaven will make our battle scars on earth worth it many times over. Stand firm and smile, knowing that 'great is your reward in heaven.' Read Snapshot 'What If?' What are some outward signs that a Christ follower is smiling on the inside? 7. How do you think you would respond to a life-threatening, full-scale persecution of Christians? What can you do to prepare yourself to be able to stand for Jesus and hang on for heaven no matter what the cost? WHAT IF? Have you ever been on a flight and heard a flight attendant use the phrase 'In the unlikely event of a water landing, your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device'? I heard that on a flight from Atlanta to Chicago. Think about it. There is not a great chance of ever needing a flotation device on a flight between those two inland cities. However, there is another 'What if' situation we should all be ready for. I want to ask, 'In the unlikely event that you end up living in a culture where there is overt hostility and persecution, are you certain how you would respond?' Let's be honest, for most people reading these words, things are pretty comfortable right now. But there are places right now where people gather to worship, to listen to teaching from the Bible, and to pray, and they do so at the risk of imprisonment and death. Now, in the unlikely event that human history were to take a drastic change and we were to be in a culture like that, and the threat of imprisonment was possible because you were worshiping with other Christ followers, would you still be committed to gather for worship? 8. What can the members of your small group do to help you grow in you commitment to live for Jesus, no matter what they face? P U T T I N G Y O U R S E L F I N T H E P I C T U R E HONEST REFLECTION: AM I AN IRRITATION? Jesus never asked us to be needlessly irritating. However, He was clear that fully devoted followers will sometimes become moral irritations by virtue of their unwavering commitment to follow Him no matter what the cost. Take time in the coming days to reflect on your own life.

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Product Details

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Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 232842
  • Product Code 0310265959
  • EAN 9780310265955
  • UPC 025986265953
  • Pages 96
  • Department Ministry
  • Category Studies
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Jul 2005
  • Sales Rank #21563
  • Dimensions 230 x 153 x 7 mm
  • Weight 0.145kg

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