Watch the most recent sermon on 11.28.2021 Go Now!
Concluding our “Undivided” series, special guest Dr. Ed Stetzer of Lifeway and Wheaton Bible College joined us as we discovered how unity in the church demonstrates the love of Jesus to those who don’t know Him. We also examined the message of reconciliation and how we’re called to live it out and share it with others.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your group! Check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
Click below to watch this past weekend’s message in its entirety.
Below you’ll find a recap of the key discussion points from Dr. Stetzer’s message and a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: Share a time you watched a demonstration video—this could be a video on how to cook a specific dish, fix something around the house, or build something. Why are these videos so popular? Why do so many people find them helpful?
KEY VERSE: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders . . .”—John 20:19a (NIV)
MAIN THOUGHT: Fear Divides
DISCUSSION POINT: There are few things as effective as fear when it comes to destroying unity. Fear causes isolation, paranoia, distrust, and ultimately division. We see it here just before the resurrection of Jesus as the disciples were overcome by fear. When we fear others and what could happen, we are driven to isolation, to hiding away, to division from others.
Discussion Question 1: How does fear divide us? How are you seeing that today in the world? The church? Your own life?
KEY VERSE: “Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’”—John 20:19b (NIV)
MAIN THOUGHT: Peace Propels
DISCUSSION POINT: When Jesus speaks peace over us and into us, when His peace guards our hearts and minds, it brings with it a boldness to walk in His will and accomplish His purposes. Fear goes by the wayside in the face of God’s supernatural peace. It propels us to be bold like Peter in Acts 4. It propels us to be peacemakers, to look beyond that which divides and extend our hands to others.
Discussion Question 2: In what ways can the peace of God bring unity to the Church and allow us to be peacemakers in the world?
KEY VERSE: “After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”—John 20:20 (NIV)
MAIN THOUGHT: The Cross Empowers
DISCUSSION POINT: The power of Jesus to save, redeem, and restore us also empowers us to walk in His will, to accomplish the purposes for which we have been called, and to bring glory to God as we lead people to Jesus. It is His resurrection, the completed work of redemption, and His overcoming of the world that emboldens us and His Spirit in us that empowers and equips us “with everything good for doing his will” and works “in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21 NIV).
Discussion Question 3: In what ways has the work of Jesus empowered you to reach the people around you?
Discussion Question 4: How does the cross unite us for the mission of God?
KEY VERSE: “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’”—John 20:21 (NIV)
MAIN THOUGHT: The Mission Unites
DISCUSSION POINT: The peace of God—that He has written into our hearts, that guards our hearts and minds, and that bring us together and empowers us to walk in His will—unites us as a community on mission. Our faith brings this diverse group of people together and makes us a family bound by love and grace. He makes us one.
Discussion Question 5: Before closing, Dr. Stetzer shared Isaiah 6:8 (NIV), which says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” How are you answering the call of God on your life? How can you bring others along with you?
Pause: This week, take some time to reflect on the great mission for which Jesus has called us (Matthew 28:19–20) and what He has specifically called you to as part of the mission.
Ponder: Do you see unity as important as Jesus does? How has your view of unity been like or different from what we see in Scripture?
Practice: This week, pray for unity as we approach the Christmas season. Pray the Lord would use us, His united Church, to reach people in our community and around the world, and that He would use you to speak peace and love into the lives of the people around you.
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Discussion Question 1: How does fear change the way you act?
Discussion Question 2: How does having peace allow you to help others?
Discussion Question 3: In what ways can you show people how a relationship with Jesus will change their lives?
In this 25-day plan, you’ll get to read all about the gift of peace that comes through Jesus and how we can experience it as we look at the familiar story of Christmas through a different lens. Journey through the Christmas stories found in Matthew and Luke, as well as a variety of passages explaining the true peace Jesus came to give us! To subscribe, click here.
The Christmas season has arrived! This weekend, join us as Pastor Doug kicks off our special holiday series titled “Peace” with a message from Isaiah 1 and 9. In this first message, we’ll understand what peace is and why the peace we all seek and long for can only be found in Jesus.
We look forward to spending another awesome weekend with you!
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Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.