Thursday, October 29, 2009

Touching Base! Part 60

Letters To The Next Generation -
Overcoming “8000 meters”! Part 2

On Oct 18th, we started a series entitled, “Letters to the Next Generation”. The series is based on the book of Deuteronomy, where Moses is reminding the next generation of the laws of God and challenging them to write a better story than the first generation. While God did many great things through that first generation (namely the big exodus from Egypt), they were predominantly remembered for wandering in the wilderness (The Plains of Moab) for four decades. Imagine that, for forty years, they wandered and probably many wondered about all that went wrong. God called them to possess the Promised Land but instead they ended up falling short and in the wilderness, the Plains of Moab for forty years. I want to encourage you to use this Touching Base in your small groups, and in your mentoring relationships to discuss what we talked about on Sunday. The following is a guide to help you go deeper based on Sunday’s (Nov1) message.

Big Idea: We need to build a life that helps us remember God!
Text: Deut. 6:4-9, Deut. 27

On week two of this series, we talked about how “8000 meters” is a place where we can forget God. It’s a place where we set aside what we know to be true for what is expedient - forgetting previous morality markers and forging ahead with a new set of rules, a brand new compass. This past week we talked about building a life that helps us remember God. As a group, brainstorm on all the things you do in your personal life to aid a failing memory either because of age or business. What are the things you most often forget (turning the lights out, locking the door, carrying your wallet)? Consider what we do to remember as a nation? Can you think of any examples of major events, aspects of our history or national story that have been forgotten?

The overarching question on Sunday was, “How are we building a life that helps us remember God?” Before jumping into the texts you may want to discuss how people keep God central in their lives on a daily, weekly basis. What are their best practices?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Read and make observations about this text. Notice verses 6,7,8,9. What do you notice? What do you see happening? Describe the behaviour? One important observation is that there is a private space, a home where God is remembered / honoured; a private space where the kind of devotion mentioned in v.5 is being nurtured in the hearts of children, and modeled by parents; a private space that prioritizes loving the one God, where forgetting God will become difficult.
How does your private space help you remember/remain aware of God? What personal disciplines keep God at the center? What symbols or visuals do you have in your home that aid your God focus? As a parent, what kind of home are you building for your children so that God is central? As a parent what do you find difficult about this challenge? The home is a key piece in building a life that helps us remember God. This is the nugget Moses passes on to the next generation.

Deuteronomy 27 (We only looked at v1-14)
Read and make your observations. The context is a corporate one. What community experiences with other followers of Christ help you remember/remain aware of God? Moses’ words were addressed to “all Israel”, an expression used at least 12 times in the book. What we do in private does help us remember / remain focused, but our community experiences are indispensable. This was characteristic of the Jewish community.

This one-two punch (private focus (Deut 6:4-9) and corporate reinforcement (Deut 27)) is powerful. How many of you grew up in a spiritually alive home and had a healthy corporate experience? Today- How many have a private space that fans the flame and a corporate context- going deeper with others- that also fans the flame? List examples of corporate gatherings that help fan your flame. What are the memorable corporate experiences that have facilitated a deeper work in your life? What is a relationship that helps you remember? What is it about that relationship that helps you remember?

To sum up the dialogue from your meeting, what would you tell the next generation about building a life that remembers God? What’s the nugget!


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